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Feb 6, 2020 7:00 PM

Czech Science Café: Vojtěch Kyncl: The Aftermath of WWII in Czechoslovakia

Czech Science Café with Vojtěch Kyncl. A lecture with archival footage including unique shots from Pilsen, accompanied by recordings from Czech Radio and followed by a Q&A.


Presenter: PhDr. Vojtěch Kyncl, Ph.D., Institute of History, Czech Academy of Sciences

February 6, 7PM in the Cinema

The defeat of the Nazi Third Reich was an impatiently awaited result of the European nations’ struggle for freedom. The last weeks of the war at the turn of April and May 1945 were connected with fighting operations of the American and Soviet armies which gradually liberated Czech cities one by one. The historical events were caught on camera by official army film crews and amateur enthusiasts who captured the “Zero Hour” in Prague, Brno and Pilsen. A wide range of film material is kept until this day in the archival collections and we will have the opportunity of commemorating the historical moment of the defeat of Nazism thanks to a short (15 min) compilation accompanied by recordings from Czech Radio, including unique shots from Pilsen.

The new era of peace brought with it a revelation of amassive range of material devastation and, primarily, human suffering. Czechoslovakia lost over 360 000 victims, of which only 12 000 were soldiers. 75 000 people returned to their homeland from concentration camps in very bad health, while 200 000 citizens died in the camps in inhumane conditions. The efforts of Czechoslovakia to punish the Nazis for their barbaric extermination war began in 1942 and ended with the death of the last known perpetrator in 2013. The introduction of the new book “Beasts. Czechoslovakia and the Prosecution of Nazi War Criminals” will show not only the seventy years of attempts at dealing with Nazism according to criminal law on the level of international politics, but also a handful of cases which Czechoslovakia, Eastern and Western Germany and Austria dealt with over the Iron Curtain in the 1960s and ‘70s. Two of the cases concerned American citizens who were murdered and their killers were caught in West Germany and Austria twenty-five years later.

About Vojtěch Kyncl

PhDr. Vojtěch Kyncl, Ph.D. was born in 1983. Between 2002 and 2007 he studied at the Faculty of Education in České Budějovice, majoring in History and German. During his studies he spent several years at universities in Ireland, Germany and Canada. In 2008 he defended his rigorous thesis “Ležáky. Ordinary village, Silver A and Pardubice Gestapo in the mirror of the Heydrichade”. Since then he has been working as a historian of the Lidice Memorial and since 2012 he has also been a researcher at the Institute of History of the Academy of Sciences in the Department of 20th Century History. He has written a number of scholarly publications, for which he has won a number of awards, including the Czech Academy of Sciences Prize for the monograph “Without remorse… Czech genocide after the assassination of Reihard Heydrich”. He specializes in the period of the Nazi-socialist regime, World War II, post-war history of Central Europe with regards to the impact of Nazi persecution.


VOJTĚCH KYNCL: Beasts. Czechoslovakia and the Prosecution of Nazi War Criminals




Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street
NY 10021 New York
United States


Feb 6, 2020 7:00 PM


Czech Centre

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