“Come with us! We are defending Prague! We will defend Prague! Prague exists and it will remain free!”
That was the sound of a 1945 broadcast made by Český Rozhlas or Czech Radio to Czech citizens asking them to revolt against Czech rule in the Czech lands.
Seventy-two years ago on May 5, 1945, Czechoslovak Radio called on citizens to rise up against the Nazi occupying force. With this, the Prague Uprising began, and for five days Czechs took up arms against the German troops until the Red Army arrived in the Czech capital on May 9.
The Prague uprising sparked the Czech fight back against Nazism after nearly seven years of occupation. It came with Adolf Hitler already dead, Berlin occupied by the Red Army and Germany’s defeat already sealed.
Almost 1,700 Czechs lost their lives during the uprising, along with 300 Soviet deserters and 30 Red Army soldiers, while German casualties numbered around 1,000.
Among those attending Friday’s memorial event were the heads of both Czech house of parliament, Milan Štěch and Jan Hamáček, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, and Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová.