Euroregion Elbe/Labe

Weekly review no. 29

100 years of the Erzgebirge Theatre in Teplice – Interest in the European Union is growing in the Czech Republic – High-speed rail line: decision in June – Whooping cough wave in northern Bohemia


100 years of the Ore Mountain Theatre Teplice

Krušnohorské divadlo in Teplice
Ore Mountain Theatre (Krušnohorské divadlo) Teplice (probably 1920s)

The spa town of Teplice is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Ore Mountains Theatre (Krušnohorské divadlo). The monumental building on the edge of the spa park was ceremoniously opened as the "Teplitz-Schönau Municipal Theatre" on April 20, 1924. At the time, it was the largest theatre building outside of Prague. It was built in just under two years on the site of the previous building. It was destroyed in a fire in 1919. The current building is a Dresden co-production. The architectural competition was won by the Dresden architect with Bohemian roots, Rudolf Bitzan. He is known for the crematorium in Liberec (Reichenberg), designed the town hall in Freital-Döhlen and was also involved in the design for Leipzig Central Station. The interiors were designed by the Dresden artists Richard Guhr and Alexander Baranowsky.

Programs from the 1920s show a lively cultural life. The theater had three sections: opera, operetta and drama. Performances were performed at least once a day, sometimes several times. In addition to the large hall with over 700 seats, the theater had a small hall with 500 seats, a restaurant, a café and a cinema, as well as several other salons for dance events, for example. Due to the German-speaking majority of the population, performances were usually performed in German. At least once a month there was a Czech-language event. Many actors of Jewish descent also performed at the theater. Despite growing pressure from the fascist-minded Sudeten German Party, the directors managed to keep the Jewish actors, who made up about a third of the ensemble, until the Wehrmacht invaded the Sudetenland in 1938. In 1938 the theater not only lost its Jewish actors, but also some Germans quit their jobs. After 1945, the ethnic German population had to leave the country.

Today the theatre is run by the town of Teplice, which subsidises all venues under the roof of the cultural centre with 2 million euros every year. In addition to the modern cultural centre itself, this includes the Ore Mountains Theatre and, among others, the Zahradní dům (Garden House) near the castle. Today the theatre mainly hosts external productions, but cultural centre director Přemysl Šoba has announced four of his own premieres for the first time this year, partly supported by musicians from the Teplice Conservatory. As the cultural centre is currently being renovated, the Ore Mountains Theatre is also the venue for the North Bohemian Philharmonic this year. The Beethoven Festival in early summer will also take place in the Ore Mountains Theatre.

Interest in the European Union is increasing in the Czech Republic

On June 9, the people of the European Union will elect a new parliament. A Eurobarometer survey conducted in the Czech Republic in February suggests that voter turnout will be higher this time. According to the survey, 38 percent of eligible voters will go and vote. That may not be much for other countries. But in the Czech Republic, where turnout in EU elections has always been among the lowest, that would be a new record.

Interest in the European elections was already rising again before the last elections, after voter turnout had fallen to a historic low of 18.2 percent in 2014. After the Czech Republic joined the European Union on May 1 with nine other countries in Central and Eastern Europe and Southern Europe, voter turnout had always been just over 28 percent. In 2019, it returned to this level and even reached a new high of almost 29 percent.

When asked about priorities for the European elections, the Czech Republic's priorities are defense and security (45 percent), independence in energy supply and industrial production (40 percent) and the future of Europe (35 percent). This differs in some ways from the overall picture of all 27 EU states, where only defense and security are higher in priority. The issue of migration and asylum is also given greater weight in the Czech Republic (33 percent) than in the EU as a whole (24 percent).

There are more similarities in the values that the EU Parliament is to defend over the next five years. Peace and democracy are at the forefront here. While the Czech Republic places a little more emphasis on solidarity between EU states and regions and respect for national identities, cultures and traditions, the EU as a whole places greater emphasis on the protection of human rights and the rule of law.

When asked what the EU should focus on to strengthen its influence in the world, however, the picture is again mixed. Defence and security, as well as independence in the supply of energy and raw materials and infrastructure, are top priorities. In the Czech Republic, however, the emphasis is on strengthening the competitiveness of the economy and industry (40 percent/EU27: 27 percent). In contrast, the EU27 rate food supply and agriculture higher at 30 percent than Czech respondents (23 percent).

High-speed rail line: decision in June

While the route of the new high-speed rail line from Dresden to Prague has been clarified on the German side, the decision on the Czech side is still pending. The ball is currently in the Ústí district's court. The district office is evaluating over 600 statements. In particular, the section south of the Bohemian Central Mountains, through which the high-speed rail line is to be run via a tunnel, has still not been decided between three options. The exit of the Ore Mountains Base Tunnel on the Czech side is still controversial. But the railway infrastructure administration Správa železnic is pushing for a decision. "June is our big wish. Otherwise everything will be delayed - not just the Ore Mountains Tunnel, but also the Prague-Lovosice section, which is to be built first," says Pavel Hruška, head of planning at Správa železnic.
The district office is expected to have processed all 600 statements by June. After that, the members of the district parliament will have the final say. If no decision is reached, the Ministry of Transport wants to take over the process and force a decision. This will enable it to revise the building law. District administrator Jan Schiller (ANO) is opposed to such a course of action: "We have already struggled so intensively with all the affected communities. It would all have been in vain," said the district administrator. He is still hoping to find a compromise.

Whooping cough wave in Northern Bohemia

In recent weeks, there has been an increase in whooping cough cases in northern Bohemia. Last week, the Ústí District Hygiene Station reported an increase of 130 new cases. Most of them were registered in the Děčín District (27). The disease is also increasingly appearing in the Chomutov (25 cases) and Ústí (24 cases) districts. The prevalence in the district remains unchanged at 16 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. The disease is most prevalent in the 15-19 age group, with almost 92 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.


The production of this newsletter is co-financed by tax revenue on the basis of the budget approved by the Saxon State Parliament.

(This is an automatic translation by Google Translator.)

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