Category Archives: Czech Republic

The Immigration Debate

We in America believe the issue of illegal immigrants is among the most important issues confronting our society. It turns out so do many people in Europe. No, they are not concerned about Christian Mexicans crossing their borders and settling in their fair lands. However, they are worried that illegal immigrants will take away their jobs sweeping the streets and working in meat plants. The Czech Republic is instituting new regulations that will ensure the right of Czech people to pick strawberries and other such fruits. Of course, the reality is fear of Muslim immigrants from Turkey  and illegals from African  lands.

Under new regulations if a Czech person wants to marry a third country national the person must complete an integration course and learn the Czech language. In addition, the person must apply for a work visa if they desire to remain more than three months. I assume  if  a person marries a Czech citizen they intend to remain more than three months in that fair land. Let us not allow spouses to cheat the Czech state. However, it is OK to cheat on your spouse.

Bigotry Leads To Death In Czech Republic

The world is quite aware of the Holocaust which resulted in death of six million Jews in Europe, but few know that Nazi forces also killed thousands of Roma people. In many cases, killing Roma did not arouse anger in certain parts of eastern Europe anymore than did killing Jews. Most Jews have left eastern Europe, but the Roma remain. Prejudice, hatred, and violence are still found in many areas of Eastern Europe which ends with brutality and death to Romas.

Milan Juhasz, a policeman, did not report for duty. He want to a Roma house and proceeded to kill the father, his son, his son-in-law and wound other members of the family. In the Czech Republic, violence toward Roma is not unusual.  Human rights activist, Irena Biharova, warned the public response would most probably lead to “mass glorification of the murderer and hateful responses to the victims.”

I think we in America are familiar with blaming the victim and making George Zimmerman a hero for murdering a defenseless boy.

Were Germans Mistreated During WWII?

The legacy of World War II continues to impact the minds and hearts of Europeans even though the event occurred over sixty years ago. There is a proposal in the German legislature to commemorate the expulsion of Germans from eastern Europe who were forced to flee their homes in Poland, parts of eastern German and Czechoslovakia due to boundary changes. Several members of the German government are citing a statement issued by Germans in August, 1950 named the “Charter of German Expellees.” There is no question that millions of Germans were forced to leave their homes in the aftermath of the bloody war which resulted in the death of over 35 million people. Of course, Germany was responsible for these murder of the innocent and for some strange reason those remaining alive were angry and filled with hatred toward the perpetrators of death camps, and mass killing of the innocent. The original statement in 1950 made no mention of death camps, it made no mention of mass murders, the killing of millions of Russian POWs, the systematic murder of Jews, Poles, gays, Roma and millions of others.

Many contemporary Germans cite British and American air attacks on their cities as examples of murder of the innocent. Reality check. German planes began the process of bombing civilian areas in cities. German V-Bombs blasted London and other English cities. Yes, US and British 1,000 plane raids destroyed housing, killed civilians and wiped out industrial areas. Yes, one wrong does not justify another wrong. But, war is hell. Once set on the path of war, the innocent always die.  As I recall, millions of Germans yelled support for Adolf Hitler. He was a Pied Piper leading Germans into disaster, but there were points on the road to destruction when some Germans enjoyed the good life.

War is brutal. There were innocent Germans caught in the aftermath of Nazism. But, among those expelled were millions of Germans who enjoyed the good life that came with rule by Germany over Poland or Czechoslovakia. Land and property of Jews were taken by Germans living in occupied areas. Of course, not all Germans committed these heinous crimes, but it is difficult to differentiate between the innocent and the guilty. The idea of commemorating those who were guilty is a horrible miscarriage of justice and an insult to the dead.

Romas Enjoy Special Education

Perhaps, people in the Czech Republic believe placing a child into a “Special Education” class is a compliment because she will receive a special education. Current estimates are that 90% of special education classes contain children of Roma backgrounds. It is believed at least 5,000 Roma students are in such classes despite having no learning problems, but, since they are “Roma” that is good enough for Czech educators to give them the pleasant designation of, “special.” Lucie Panovska, a dedicated teacher who works with these children resents being termed a racist. “I am not a racist and I’m tired of people pointing to the Czech Republic as a racist country.” She insists Roma children are educationally retarded due to family backgrounds. She claims these children are “not talked to” and not provided good educational experiences at home.

I am of immigrant parents who never went to school back in Poland or Russia. The only book in our household was a religious siddur. We certainly did not have discussions around the supper table and neither of my parents knew much about schools. I had some good teachers who educationally believed in me, and I progressed. Blaming parents is a cop out. It is the School’s Responsibility to provide a learning environment. Develop interesting and challenging curriculum that captures interest of Roma children, provide plenty of positive support and most do not have to remain in special education classrooms.

Federalism Or State Rights Is Question

The European Union is  fast approaching an historic decision as to whether the organization which lacks a strong Federal center is in need of  greater  concentration of power or whether it should fracture itself and  go the way of   individual national rights.

Greece and its financial collapse raise issues concerning the importance of  developing greater Federal control over individual states or whether the Union  eventually will disintegrate under financial pressures.

The current requirement of unanimity is simply unacceptable for a modern economic organization. Someone has to be in charge.

Czech Republic Introduces College Tuition

For over a hundred years it was common in most parts of Europe, and in the United States, for college bound students to have the option of attending a college which did not charge tuition. New York City alone had four free colleges students could attend either as day or night time students. The Czech Republic has free colleges, but the government is proposing introducing the concept of tuition for students. As one student noted, “the introduction of university tuition would deepen the divide between real opportunities of poor and rich students.” For many, the idea of securing a degree from college might cease being an option. Those in favor of tuition argue costs have risen, there are serious economic problems confronting most European nations, and college students must recognize the old days of a free ride are over.

The argument for tuition invariably returns to a sick economy and need for all to sacrifice. In the United States, Wall Street stock people sacrifice to the tune of only taking $100 million bonuses instead of $200 million ones. It is time those who have vast amounts of money take a smaller piece of the profit pie and share with those who have been screwed by financial sectors of society.

Czech Republic Seeks EU Action On Missiles

Since the administration of George Bush the American people have been sold a bill of goods of the necessity of creating an anti-missile system run by the US military in order to prevent “rogue nations” from sending missiles into Europe. There is no evidence Iran, Russia or North Korea had any plans to send missiles into Europe or how they would send such weapons of destruction thousands of miles in the air. Barack Obama on assuming office cancelled the scheme and promised to work with Russia in an effort to eliminate any such threat. Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kohout introduced a sense of reality by urging the European Union to assume responsibility for constructing any missile defense.

If the issue is possible missile attacks on the European Union then it is only logical for that organization, not the United States to assume responsibility for dealing with the problem. Frankly, we doubt if an anti-missile system is needed.

Onward Nazi Soldiers Marching As To War!

During World War II the people of Czechoslovakia suffered horrible attacks from their Nazi occupiers including the mass murder of an entire village, Lidice. One would assume that contemporary Czechs would not be glorifying the SS who killed their grandparents, but this is the world of MySpace and Facebook where ignorance of the past is all too common. A few months ago it was discovered that two soldiers serving in Afghanistan wore SS symbols on their helmets as they fought for democratic ideas! This was followed with disclosure that a soldier had an SS tatoo on his back. So why would young Czechs wander around with SS symbols on their backs?

The answer most probably lies in the ignorance of most young people about World War II and the horrors committed by Nazi forces. Many believe only Jews were killed and have no idea that overall over thirty million Europeans died during this war. How about teaching history?

Czech Republic Discriminates Against Romas

A recent report by Amnesty International(AI) indicates Romas are subject to discrimination on the part of police and there is need to retrain those who supposedly protect human rights. AI says prejudice is most apparent in housing, health care, employment and education. Roma complaints that their children were more prone to be sent to special schools where they never attained a solid academic education and thus were prevented from pursuing higher education was validated by the European Court of Human Rights. The Czech Republic is the only European Union nation which lacks an anti-discrimination law.

There is a massive record of Czech police violating human rights, particularly those who are from minority groups or lack money and social standing. Perhaps, the first step in dealing with issues impacting Romas is to re-educate those in authority so they adhere to EU laws regarding human rights.

Positive Move For Roma Rights In Czech Republic

The situation for Romas in eastern Europe is more often than not marked by prejudice and denial of basic rights such as a decent education for their children. Ten Czech towns have joined a program sponsored by the Agency for Social Inclusion that seeks to integrate Roma residents into the general community. Town government can spend money on developing a social services infrastructure or create clubhouses for children and centers dealing with housing. Money has also been set aside for Romas to work on government projects.

Reality is best described in the Czech Republic by the percent of Roma children who complete elementary school –50%. No education translates into lacking skills for modern jobs.