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May 3, 2020 - May 9, 2020

Western Bohemia Celebrates the 75th Anniversary of the End Of World War II in Europe

Join us in watching a special online livestream of the annual Liberation Festival, live from the city of Pilsen in western Bohemia, in which the Czech Republic will thank U.S. liberators.


Liberation Festival Pilsen

If you missed it, watch the archived stream HERE

The live broadcast will launch online on Sunday, May 3 from 5 AM (EDT) / 11 AM (CET) and will feature an almost six-hour-long program commemorating the fateful days in early May, 1945, when American and Belgian soldiers of General Patton’s 3rd Army liberated Pilsen:

  • live interviews with the festival organizers & city and county political delegates
  • remarks by historians, veterans, survivors, and artists
  • archival footage
  • a musical performance by Pilsner Jazz Band

Czech Center New York brings you the streaming of this year’s Liberation Festival, live from the city of Pilsen. The city, which was liberated 75 years ago by the U.S. Army, was forced to cancel this year’s celebrations in the streets of Pilsen, but has decided to honor and thank veterans in an online livestream broadcast.

Live streaming on Sunday, MAY 3,  2020, at 5AM EDT (11:00 CET)

You can watch it live on their website (with English commentary) HERE or on their Facebook HERE on Sunday, May 3 from 5 AM (EDT) / 11 AM (CET).

The festival on YouTube


Czech Center New York Thinks Back to Its Swinging to Freedom
Celebrations in January

Celebrations of the end of World War II and the liberation of western Czechoslovakia by U.S. troops already occurred on January 29, 2020 at the Czech Center NY in the historic Bohemian National Hall in Manhattan. Our exhibition titled The Liberation of Pilsen was opened in the Czech Center gallery in the presence of U.S. veterans, liberators, their families, friends, representatives of the embassy and consulate generals of the Czech Republic in the USA, Pilsen city council delegates, and U.S. and Czech army representatives. The exhibition opening was followed by the Pilsner Jazz Band concert in the grand ballroom of the Bohemian National Hall.

Photos from this special occasion can be found HERE  

The Pilsner Jazz Band also played in Washington, D.C. at The Kennedy Center in January.
The recording of their concert can be listened to HERE:

or lovers of swing can watch the band’s special Charleston Pilsen musical video.


At the beginning of February, Czech Center New York also welcome Vojtěch Kyncl, Czech historian from the Institute of History at the Czech Academy of Sciences who specializes in twentieth-century history. In his lecture, he focused on the aftermath of World War II, including the Nuremberg trials and the persecution of Nazi criminals. Attendees of the event also got the chance to see unique archival footage from the liberation of Pilsen and the very end of World War II, as well as listen to the original broadcast of the Battle for Czech Radio from May 5, 1945 which marked the beginning of the Prague uprising.

The United States Army quickly liberated the individual towns and regions of south and west Bohemia within its zone. In the morning on 6 April 1945, it finally arrived in Plzeň, which, however, had already largely been controlled by the Czech resistance fighters. However, the surviving footage from that day shows that the American troops had to eliminate treacherous resistance of Nazi snipers and fanatical militia in the centre of Plzeň.“ (from the lecture by historian Vojtěch Kyncl)



 May 8 at 7 PM (EDT) online / May 9 at 1 AM (CET) online 

Czech Center New York will continue with its programming commemorating the end of World War II and the liberation by U.S. troops with our special online event on May 8, 2020 featuring Patrick Dewane, who will present the remarkable story of his grandfather, Matt Konop, an American lieutenant colonel with Czech ancestry who, thanks to his knowledge of the Czech language, became the harbinger of the liberation and the end of World War II in western Czechoslovakia in May 1945. A string of jaw-dropping coincidences even had Konop freeing the villages of his grandparents. The Czechs gave him a hero’s homecoming that changed Konop’s notion of his identity. Patrick Dewane has turned his grandfather’s story into the one-man show titled The Accidental Hero, and will perform several staged readings from the play on May 8.

RSVP HERE (registration required).


Photo credits: Czech Center New York Archive, Liberation Festival Pilsen, Patrick Dewane


Organized in collaboration with Consulate General of the Czech Republic in New York



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From: May 3, 2020
To: May 9, 2020


Czech Center is a coorganizer of the event

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