Česká centra, Czech Centres

Česká centra / Czech centres - logo

Press Releases

The Liberation of Pilsen - Celebrating the 75th anniversary of the liberation by the US Army

Delegation from the city of Pilsen will arrive to New York and Washington, D.C. to honor liberators and to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the city of Pilsen by the US army and the end of WWII


Representatives of the Pilsen City Council will come to the United States at the end of January to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the city of Pilsen by the US army and the end of WWII. As a special thank you, honoring the liberators, Czech Center New York and the city of Pilsen present a concert of Pilsner Jazz Band Swinging to Freedom and an exhibition The Liberation of Pilsen - Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation by the US Army. The events will also serve as an invitation to the Pilsen’s Liberation Festival, taking place in the Czech Republic in May 2020.

The city of Pilsen was one of the last cities to be liberated by the Allies during the end of WWII, on May 6, 1945. Representatives of the city of Pilsen will come to the United States to celebrate the anniversary with American audiences and to honor the liberators during the opening of exhibition The Liberation of Pilsen - Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation by the US Army, which will take place at the gallery of Czech Center New York on January 29, 2020 at 6:30PM. The Consul General of the Czech Republic in New York Miroslav Rameš will welcome the guests at the exhibition and opening remarks will be held by Deputy Mayor of the City of Pilsen Michal Vozobule, the curator Ivan Rollinger, liberator Earl Ingram, and George Patton Waters, the grandson of General George S. Patton.

The exhibition will be followed by a concert of Pilsner Jazz Band called Swinging to Freedom, which will take place in the Grand Ballroom of the Bohemian National Hall at 8PM. The evening will be hosted by Her Excellency Marie Chatardová, the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations in New York.

The exhibition, prepared by the Patton Memorial Pilsen, will present the advance of Allied troops from Normandy to Pilsen and shed light on the role of General George S. Patton and other historical circumstances which had a direct impact on Pilsen patriots as well as the entire Western-European region. Besides that, visitors will also learn about the dark years of 1948 - 1989, when the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia was determined to erase this part of history from people’s minds. The celebrations of liberating the city of Pilsen were banned until the Velvet Revolution and the year of 1990, when the first official celebrations of the liberation were allowed and were accompanied by the return of the liberators and their memories.

DEPUTY MAYOR OF THE CITY OF PILSEN MICHAL VOZOBULE
“The Liberation Festival in Pilsen does not celebrate only the end of WWII. The people of Pilsen were officially allowed to honor the liberation only for a very short time. From 1948, the Communist Party had been twisting the historical facts and for the following 40 years, commemorating the liberation by the US army was banned. Only after the end of the totalitarian regime in 1989 could the Western Bohemia region and the city of Pilsen celebrate the liberation again. The first celebrations in 1990 were attended by the then president of Czechoslovakia, Václav Havel, and the ambassador of the United States in Czechoslovakia, Shirley Temple Black. In the following years, the celebrations were also joined by the Czech-born American politician and diplomat Madeleine Albright. The celebrations are regularly attended by the ambassadors of the Czech Republic in the US, and during the anniversary years by the current US Forces representatives. We cordially invite everyone to visit the Czech Republic and The Liberation Festival in Pilsen, which is taking place on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the liberation by the US Army from May 1 to May 6, 2020.”

DIRECTOR OF CZECH TOURISM NEW YORK MICHAELA CLAUDINO
“Home to the world-known Pilsner Urquell Brewery, the second largest synagogue in Europe (after Budapest), one of largest city squares in the Czech Republic, and an impressive underground system, the city of Pilsen offers plenty to see. This year, we are also marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the city by the American army. This historical milestone is celebrated in Pilsen annually, but I am very happy that in 2020, we can also bring a little taste of Pilsen to New York.”

DIRECTOR OF CZECH CENTER NEW YORK MIROSLAV KONVALINA
“The Czech Center is extremely honored to host the programs celebrating the anniversary of the liberation of Western Bohemia in New York. And it is an even greater honor for us to welcome the liberators and their families to the Bohemian National Hall, passing on a special thank you from the Czech Republic.”

EXHIBITION CURATOR IVAN ROLLINGER FROM PATTON MEMORIAL PILSEN
“This year marks 75 years since the 16th Armored Division of the U.S. Army entered the area of the city of Pilsen on Sunday, May 6, 1945 after 8AM. When General Patton’s U.S. 3rd Army arrived at Western and South-Western Bohemia in the spring of 1945, it determined the end of the war not only for Pilsen, but for the whole Europe. The journey of the American soldiers from Normandy to Pilsen was redeemed by many victims and suffering. Pilsen citizens have never forgotten the liberators and since 1990, they have remembered and honored them at the Liberation Festival in May and in the Patton Memorial Pilsen Museum, which is open all year.”

Prior to the celebrations in New York, the Pilsen delegation will honor the liberators in Washington, D.C. with the concert of Pilsner Jazz Band in The J. F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and with the exhibition opening of Czech artist Jiří Slíva at the Czech Embassy.

Representatives of the city of Pilsen in the United States will be: Michal Vozobule, deputy mayor of the city of Pilsen, Lucie Kantorová, councilor of the city of Pilsen, Ivan Rollinger, curator of Patton Memorial Pilsen, and deputies of the Liberation Festival organization team from the Municipality of the city of Pilsen.

Exhibition Opening: The Liberation of Pilsen: January 29, 6:30PM Czech Center New York Gallery, Bohemian National Hall, Exhibition will be on view until March 1, 2020

Concert: Pilsner Jazz Band: Swinging to Freedom: January 29, 8PM Ballroom, Bohemian National Hall

The exhibition and concert are organized by the City of Pilsen, Czech Center New York, and Czech Tourism in collaboration with the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington, D.C., Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations in New York, Consulate General of the Czech Republic in New York, Patton Memorial Pilsen, and Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association. Sponsored by Pilsner Urquell.

Both events are an invitation to the Liberation Festival held in Pilsen from May 1 to May 6, 2020.
More details at www.slavnostisvobody.cz.

For more information: Marie Tomanova / tomanova@czechcenter.com / 646.422.3395
CZECH CENTER NEW YORK, 321 E 73rd Street, New York, NY 10021

Download Press Release in PDF here: