Euroregion Elbe/Labe

Weekly review no. 16

New monument to Jan Palach and Jan Zajíc in Děčín – “Hole of Ústí” will be closed – Excessive parliamentary debate on postal voting

19.01.2024

Inauguration of the monument to Jan Palach and Jan Zajíc in Děčín

On Tuesday, a new monument to Jan Palach and Jan Zajíc was inaugurated in front of the Protestant church in Děčín. The two students met on January 16th. or February 25, 1969 in Prague in protest against the occupation of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact troops. On the 50th anniversary of this event, it was criticized that there was no monument dedicated to them in Děčín. The monument, now designed by the famous architect David Vávra, consists of a glass column and the two names, each with a handprint. When you touch it, the column lights up in different colors.

Einweihung des Denkmals für Jan Palach und Jan Zajíc in Děčín am 16.1.24
Large crowds in front of the church (© EEL/Kubsch)

The crowds for the ceremony were overwhelming. It is estimated that at least 200 people attended. For the actual unveiling, the police had to regulate traffic in front of the church because the many guests could only find space using the street. There was then a series of speeches in the church, which was packed despite the low temperatures.

Czech Senate President Miloš Vystrčil emphasized in his contribution that although there was no direct connection between the two young men and the city of Děčín, the values for which they died should be linked to every place in the Czech Republic. In addition to Vystrčil, Mayor Anděl and other Czech representatives, representatives of the Evangelical Church in Saxony and Dresden also spoke. This was shown by the close contacts with the Protestant Church in Děčín, which were also expressed in the concert in honor of Albert Schweitzer in September 2023. Representatives also came from the twin town of Pirna.

An SZ article (unfortunately behind a paywall) sheds more light on the background of the monument.

City buys “Ustí Hole”

Das "Loch von Ústí"
The "Hole of Ústí" (© Deník/Janni Vorlíček)

For 15 years, the cityscape has been blighted by an investment ruin at the upper corner of Mírové náměstí, which has been popularly nicknamed the "Loch of Ústí" (with a temporal overlap with the "Vienna Hole" in Dresden, if anyone remembers). The owner had started construction, but had to stop it in the basement for financial reasons. Since then, the unsightly construction site lay quietly in a prominent location between the municipality and the district administration and fell into disrepair.

Now the city of Ústí has bought the property for 73 million crowns and wants to build a building for public use on it. According to current plans, the structures built so far will be used, but the appearance will certainly be different in the end than planned almost 20 years ago. The city administration did not provide any more detailed information, but estimated that people will have to live with construction fences for at least another four years.

Excessive parliamentary debate on postal voting

Tomio Okamura am Rednerpult
Tomio Okamura at the lectern (© Zuzana Jarolímková, iROZHLAS.cz)

The Czech Parliament is currently debating the introduction of postal voting for Czechs living abroad. Although that's not entirely true, because most of the time people talk about completely different topics in order to drag out the debate, as various media reports.

On Wednesday, ANO boss Babiš stood at the lectern for almost four hours and spoke, for example, about the construction of the motorway to Austria. The fact that he described his southern neighbors as “magor” (crazy, idiots, fools) caused quite a stir.

The next day this was topped by the head of the right-wing populist SPD, Tomio Okamura, who spoke for almost 11 hours, mainly on historical topics, and read out, for example, an academic publication on the famous President of the First Republic Masaryk.

 

Due to illness, this week's newsletter is a little shorter.

 


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The creation of this newsletter is co-financed by tax revenue based on the budget approved by the Saxon state parliament.

(This is an automatic translation by Google Translator.)

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