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Officials honour Prague Uprising victims, discuss Red Army’s role

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Prague, May 5 (CTK) – Speakers at a meeting the Czech Freedom Fighters’ Group organised to mark the anniversary of the May 1945 anti-Nazi Prague uprising on Saturday paid homage to its victims but showed different views on the Red Army’s role in it.

Senator Renata Chmelova (for the Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) emphasised that the Prague Uprising of May 5-9, 1945 was an initiative of the Czech anti-Nazi resistance movement, in which all groups of inhabitants took part.

Almost 3,000 Czechoslovaks died in the Prague streets at the time. Their contribution to the liberation of Prague was later challenged by some, Chmelova told the meeting held outside the Old Town Hall historical building.

“The then Czech National Council leaders were ousted almost immediately [after the war] and ended close to imprisonment,” Chmelova said.

The Red Army’s victims must not be forgotten, but Czechs should show cautiousness in this respect. “Let’s not forget that together with the Red Army, it was the policy of the Soviet Empire that entered our country and that grew over into open occupation in 1968,” Chmelova said.

Reacting to her words, Freedom Fighters chairman Jaroslav Vodicka said 690 Soviet soldiers fell in Prague and its surroundings in 1945.

Vodicka cast doubt on the role of the Vlasov units, members of the Russian liberation army, which fought side by side with the Germans against the Soviet Union, but helped save Prague at the end of the war.

Vodicka said it is a mistake that the Prague Uprising’s further victims from among the Poles and Bulgarians tend to be forgotten.

He criticised what he called the present young generation’s lack of interest in this chapter of history.

The meeting was also attended by the Russian ambassador to Prague, Alexandr Zmeyevski, Prague Mayor Adriana Krnacova and lower house deputy chairman Vojtech Pikal (Pirates).

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