Prague, Oct 24 (CTK) – Prague Mayor Adriana Krnacova (ANO) will give the key to the Capital of Prague to Jiri Brady, 88, a Holocaust survivor, whom President Milos Zeman reportedly refused to decorate on the national holiday, Krnacova said online yesterday.
Zeman allegedly did so because Brady’s uncle, Culture Minister Daniel Herman (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL), met the Tibetan Dalai Lama earlier in October despite Zeman’s warning that he should not do so.
Zeman has denied the allegations.
“When people like him are not honoured at the Castle [the Presidential Office], we will at least honour them in Prague,” Krnacova wrote.
Brady is to receive the key at the Old Town Hall on Wednesday, she added.
Krnacova said the decoration of the personalities of Czech and Czechoslovak history should not be the object of political struggles of which she felt ashamed.
“This is why I have decided to give at least the key to the Capital of Prague to Brady. Few, if any deserve it so much for his lifetime courage and work as Brady,” she added.
The Presidential Office says that Brady has never been on any list for the decoration.
Brady himself has said the Presidential Office staff told him over the phone that he would receive the Tomas Garrigue Masaryk Order on October 28, the crucial Czech national holiday.
Brady writes and makes lectures on the Holocaust horrors. He has been decorated for his activities the world over.
Brady’s parents died in a concentration camp. In 1949, after the communist coup in former Czechoslovakia, he emigrated to Austria, from where he went to Canada. He helped other emigres and defended human rights.
He came to the Czech Republic on Sunday. Palacky University in Olomouc, north Moravia, and the town Brno also want to decorate him.
The Capital of Prague keys are awarded to outstanding personalities. Bill Gates received them when the post of Prague Mayor was held by Pavel Bem in the 2000s.