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Up to two-thirds of the citizens were in groups targeted by the Nazis for deportation or death. The Nazi Generalplan Ost called for the extermination, expulsion, Germanization or enslavement of most or all Czechs for the purpose of providing more living space for the German people.
On 9 June Hitler ordered bloody reprisals against the Czechs as a response to the Czech anti-Nazi resistance. The German occupation ended on 9 May , with the arrival of the Soviet and American armies and the Prague uprising.
An estimated , Soviet soldiers died in liberating Czechoslovakia from German rule. During this time, thousands of Germans were held in prisons and detention camps or used as forced labour.
In the summer of , there were several massacres, such as the Postoloprty massacre. Research by a joint German and Czech commission of historians in found that the death toll of the expulsions was at least 15, persons and that it could range up to a maximum of 30, dead.
Following a Soviet-organised referendum, the Subcarpathian Rus never returned under Czechoslovak rule but became part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic , as the Zakarpattia Oblast in Czechoslovakia uneasily tried to play the role of a "bridge" between the West and East.
However, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia rapidly increased in popularity, with a general disillusionment with the West, because of the pre-war Munich Agreement , and a favourable popular attitude towards the Soviet Union, because of the Soviets' role in liberating Czechoslovakia from German rule.
They formed a coalition government with other parties of the National Front and moved quickly to consolidate power.
The Communist People's Militias secured control of key locations in Prague, and a single party government was formed. For the next 41 years , Czechoslovakia was a Communist state within the Eastern Bloc.
This period is characterized by lagging behind the West in almost every aspect of social and economic development. The country's GDP per capita fell from the level of neighboring Austria below that of Greece or Portugal in the s.
The Communist government completely nationalized the means of production and established a command economy. The economy grew rapidly during the s but slowed down in the s and s and stagnated in the s.
The political climate was highly repressive during the s, including numerous show trials the most famous victims: This was forcibly ended by invasion by all Warsaw Pact member countries with the exception of Romania and Albania on 21 August Student Jan Palach became a symbol of resistance to the occupation, when he committed self-immolation as a political protest.
The invasion was followed by a harsh program of " Normalization " in the late s and the s. Until , the political establishment relied on censorship of the opposition.
Dissidents published Charter 77 in , and the first of a new wave of protests were seen in Between and about , Czechs and Slovaks were sent to prison for political reasons, and over , emigrated.
However, Slovak national aspirations strengthened see Hyphen War and on 1 January , the country peacefully split into the independent Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Both countries went through economic reforms and privatisations , with the intention of creating a market economy. This process was largely successful; in the Czech Republic was recognised by the World Bank as a "developed country",  and in the Human Development Index ranked it as a nation of "Very High Human Development".
The Czech landscape is exceedingly varied. Bohemia , to the west, consists of a basin drained by the Elbe Czech: Moravia, the eastern part of the country, is also quite hilly.
Water from the landlocked Czech Republic flows to three different seas: The Czech Republic also leases the Moldauhafen , a 30,square-metre 7.
The territory reverts to Germany in According to the World Wide Fund for Nature , the territory of the Czech Republic can be subdivided into four ecoregions: There are four national parks in the Czech Republic.
The three historical lands of the Czech Republic formerly the core countries of the Bohemian Crown correspond almost perfectly with the river basins of the Elbe Czech: The Czech Republic mostly has a temperate oceanic climate , with warm summers and cold, cloudy and snowy winters.
The temperature difference between summer and winter is relatively high, due to the landlocked geographical position. Within the Czech Republic, temperatures vary greatly, depending on the elevation.
In general, at higher altitudes, the temperatures decrease and precipitation increases. Another important factor is the distribution of the mountains; therefore, the climate is quite varied.
The country's capital, Prague , has a similar average temperature, although this is influenced by urban factors.
The coldest month is usually January, followed by February and December. During these months, there is usually snow in the mountains and sometimes in the major cities and lowlands.
During March, April and May, the temperature usually increases rapidly, especially during April, when the temperature and weather tends to vary widely during the day.
Spring is also characterized by high water levels in the rivers, due to melting snow with occasional flooding.
The warmest month of the year is July, followed by August and June. Summer is also characterized by rain and storms. Autumn generally begins in September, which is still relatively warm and dry.
By the end of November, temperatures usually range around the freezing point. Most rain falls during the summer. Sporadic rainfall is relatively constant throughout the year in Prague, the average number of days per month experiencing at least 0.
The Czech Republic ranks as the 27th most environmentally conscious country in the world in Environmental Performance Index. The Czech Republic is a pluralist multi-party parliamentary representative democracy , with the President as head of state and Prime Minister as head of government.
The president is a formal head of state with limited and specific powers, most importantly to return bills to the parliament, appoint members to the board of the Czech National Bank , nominate constitutional court judges for the Senate's approval and dissolve the Chamber of Deputies under certain special and unusual circumstances.
The president and vice president of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President of the Republic. He also appoints the prime minister, as well the other members of the cabinet on a proposal by the prime minister.
Since the presidential election is direct. The Government of the Czech Republic 's exercise of executive power derives from the Constitution.
The members of the government are the Prime Minister , Deputy ministers and other ministers. The Government is responsible to the Chamber of Deputies.
The Prime Minister is the head of government and wields considerable powers, such as the right to set the agenda for most foreign and domestic policy and choose government ministers.
There are 14 voting districts, identical to the country's administrative regions. The Chamber of Deputies, the successor to the Czech National Council , has the powers and responsibilities of the now defunct federal parliament of the former Czechoslovakia.
The members of the Senate are elected in single-seat constituencies by two-round runoff voting for a six-year term, with one-third elected every even year in the autumn.
The first election was in , for differing terms. This arrangement is modeled on the U. Senate , but each constituency is roughly the same size and the voting system used is a two-round runoff.
The Czech Republic is a unitary state with a civil law system based on the continental type, rooted in Germanic legal culture.
The basis of the legal system is the Constitution of the Czech Republic adopted in The Penal Code is effective from A new Civil code became effective in The court system includes district, county and supreme courts and is divided into civil, criminal, and administrative branches.
The Czech judiciary has a triumvirate of supreme courts. The Constitutional Court consists of 15 constitutional judges and oversees violations of the Constitution by either the legislature or by the government.
The Supreme Court is formed of 67 judges and is the court of highest appeal for almost all legal cases heard in the Czech Republic.
The Supreme Administrative Court decides on issues of procedural and administrative propriety. It also has jurisdiction over many political matters, such as the formation and closure of political parties, jurisdictional boundaries between government entities, and the eligibility of persons to stand for public office.
The Czech Republic ranks as the 7th safest or most peaceful country. The Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs have primary roles in setting foreign policy, although the President has considerable influence and also represents the country abroad.
Czech officials have supported dissenters in Belarus , Moldova , Myanmar and Cuba. The armed forces are managed by the Ministry of Defence. The President of the Czech Republic is Commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
In the army transformed itself into a fully professional organization and compulsory military service was abolished. Defense spending is approximately 1.
Since , the Czech Republic has been divided into thirteen regions Czech: In Prague, the assembly and presidential powers are executed by the city council and the mayor.
The older seventy-six districts okresy , singular okres including three "statutory cities" without Prague, which had special status lost most of their importance in in an administrative reform; they remain as territorial divisions and seats of various branches of state administration.
The Czech Republic has a developed ,  high-income  export-oriented social market economy based in services, manufacturing and innovation, that maintains a welfare state and the "continental" type of the European social model.
Monetary policy is conducted by the Czech National Bank , whose independence is guaranteed by the Constitution. The Czech Republic has a highly diverse economy that ranks 7th in the Economic Complexity Index.
The country has been a member of the Schengen Area since 1 May , having abolished border controls, completely opening its borders with all of its neighbours Germany, Austria , Poland and Slovakia on 21 December In the largest companies by revenue in the Czech Republic were: Production of Czech electricity exceeds consumption by about 10 TWh per year, which are exported.
Nuclear power presently provides about 30 percent of the total power needs, its share is projected to increase to 40 percent.
The Czech Republic is reducing its dependence on highly polluting low-grade brown coal as a source of energy. Natural gas is procured from Russian Gazprom , roughly three-fourths of domestic consumption and from Norwegian companies, which make up most of the remaining one-fourth.
Russian gas is imported via Ukraine Druzhba pipeline , Norwegian gas is transported through Germany. South Moravia has small oil and gas deposits.
In , it handled Russia, via pipelines through Ukraine and to a lesser extent, Norway, via pipelines through Germany, supply the Czech Republic with liquid and natural gas.
The Czech Republic ranks in the top 10 countries worldwide with the fastest average internet speed.
The Czech lands have a long and rich scientific tradition. The research based on cooperation between universities , Academy of Sciences and specialised research centers brings new inventions and impulses in this area.
Important inventions include the modern contact lens , the separation of modern blood types , and the production of Semtex plastic explosive.
Cyril and Methodius laid the foundations of education and the Czech theological thinking in the 9th century. Original theological and philosophical stream — Hussitism — originated in the Middle Ages.
At the end of the Middle Ages, Jan Amos Comenius substantially contributed to the development of modern pedagogy. Jewish philosophy in the Czech lands was represented mainly by Judah Loew ben Bezalel known for the legend of the Golem of Prague.
Bernard Bolzano was the personality of German-speaking philosophy in the Czech lands. He also started the struggle for rescuing the Czech language.
This culminated in the Czech national revival in the first half of the 19th century. He wrote the first synthetic history of the Czech nation.
He was also the first Czech modern politician and geopolitician see also Austro-Slavism. He is often called "The Father of the Nation". In the second half of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century there was a huge development of social sciences.
Alois Musil was a prominent orientalist, Emil Holub ethnographer. Lubor Niederle was a founder of modern Czech archeology. Sigmund Freud established psychoanalysis.
Edmund Husserl defined a new philosophical doctrine — phenomenology. Joseph Schumpeter brought genuine economic ideas of "creative destruction" of capitalism.
Hans Kelsen was significant legal theorist. Karl Kautsky influenced the history of Marxism. On the contrary, economist Eugen Böhm von Bawerk led a campaign against Marxism.
Max Wertheimer was one of the three founders of Gestalt psychology. Musicologists Eduard Hanslick and Guido Adler influenced debates on the development of classical music in Vienna.
The new Czechoslovak republic — wanted to develop sciences. Philosopher Herbert Feigl was a member of the Vienna Circle.
In the second half of the 20th century can be mentioned philosopher Ernest Gellner who is considered one of the leading theoreticians on the issue of nationalism.
Also Czech historian Miroslav Hroch analyzed modern nationalism. Egon Bondy was a major philosophical spokesman of the Czech underground in the s and s.
Czech Egyptology has scored some successes, its main representative is Miroslav Verner. Czech psychologist Stanislav Grof developed a method of "Holotropic Breathwork".
Experimental archaeologist Pavel Pavel made several attempts, they had to answer the question how ancient civilizations transported heavy weights.
A number of other scientists are also connected in some way with the Czech lands. The following taught at the University of Prague: The Czech economy gets a substantial income from tourism.
The low crime rate makes most cities and towns very safe to walk around. The territory was formerly the site of steel production, but now it hosts a technical museum with many interactive expositions for tourists.
All of them are in the cultural category. As of , further 18 sites are on the tentative list. There are several centres of tourist activity.
There are 12 cathedrals and 15 churches elevated to the rank of basilica by the Pope, calm monasteries, many modern and ancient churches — for example Pilgrimage Church of Saint John of Nepomuk is one of those inscribed on the World Heritage List.
The country is also known for its various museums. Puppetry and marionette exhibitions are very popular, with a number of puppet festivals throughout the country.
The Czech Republic has a number of beer festivals , including: According to preliminary results of the census, the majority of the inhabitants of the Czech Republic are Czechs As the 'nationality' was an optional item, a substantial number of people left this field blank There were , 4.
Most of the foreign population lives in Prague The Jewish population of Bohemia and Moravia, , according to the census, was virtually annihilated by the Nazi Germans during the Holocaust.
The total fertility rate TFR in was estimated at 1. About 77, people immigrate to the Czech Republic annually. At the turn of the 20th century, Chicago was the city with the third largest Czech population,  after Prague and Vienna.
Christianization in the 9th and 10th centuries introduced Catholicism. Taborites and Utraquists were major Hussite groups. Following the joint Utraquist—Catholic victory, Utraquism was accepted as a distinct form of Christianity to be practiced in Bohemia by the Catholic Church while all remaining Hussite groups were prohibited.
In the wake of the Reformation, Utraquist Hussites took a renewed increasingly anti-Catholic stance, while some of the defeated Hussite factions notably Taborites were revived.
After the Habsburgs regained control of Bohemia, the whole population was forcibly converted to Catholicism—even the Utraquist Hussites.
Going forward, Czechs have become more wary and pessimistic of religion as such. A long history of resistance to the Catholic Church followed.
It suffered a schism with the neo-Hussite Czechoslovak Hussite Church in , lost the bulk of its adherents during the Communist era and continues to lose in the modern, ongoing secularization.
Protestantism never recovered after the Counter-Reformation was introduced by the Austrian Habsburgs in Education in the Czech Republic is compulsory for 9 years and citizens have access to a tuition-free university education , while the average number of years of education is Healthcare in the Czech Republic is similar in quality to other developed nations.
The Czech universal health care system is based on a compulsory insurance model , with fee-for-service care funded by mandatory employment-related insurance plans.
Theodoric of Prague was the most famous Czech painter in the Gothic era. For example, he decorated the castle Karlstejn.
In the second half of the 19th century had the main say the so-called "National Theatre generation": At the end of the century came a wave of Art Nouveau.
Alfons Mucha became the main representative. He is today the most famous Czech painter. The 20th century brought avant-garde revolution.
In the Czech lands mainly expressionist and cubist: The Czech Republic is known worldwide for its individually made, mouth blown and decorated Bohemian glass.
The earliest preserved stone buildings in Bohemia and Moravia date back to the time of the Christianization in the 9th and 10th century. Since the Middle Ages, the Czech lands have been using the same architectural styles as most of Western and Central Europe.
The oldest still standing churches were built in the Romanesque style St. George's Basilica , St. Vitus Cathedral , St. During the Hussite wars , many of them were damaged or destroyed.
An outstanding example of the pure Renaissance architecture in Bohemia is the Royal Summer Palace , which was situated in a newly established garden of Prague Castle.
In the 17th century, the Baroque style spread throughout the Crown of Bohemia. Very outstanding are the architectural projects of the Czech nobleman and imperial generalissimo Albrecht von Wallenstein from the s Wallenstein Palace.
His architects Andrea Spezza and Giovanni Pieroni reflected the most recent Italian production and were very innovative at the same time.
In the first third of the 18th century the Bohemian lands were one of the leading artistic centers of the Baroque style.
In Bohemia there was completed the development of the Radical Baroque style created in Italy by Francesco Borromini and Guarino Guarini in a very original way.
In the 18th century Bohemia produced an architectural peculiarity — the Baroque Gothic style , a synthesis of the Gothic and Baroque styles.
This was not a simple return to Gothic details, but rather an original Baroque transformation. During the 19th century, the revival architectural styles were very popular in the Bohemian monarchy.
Peter and Paul in Brno. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries the new art style appeared in the Czech lands — Art Nouveau.
Bohemia contributed an unusual style to the world's architectural heritage when Czech architects attempted to transpose the Cubism of painting and sculpture into architecture House of the Black Madonna.
During the first years of the independent Czechoslovakia after , a specifically Czech architectural style, called Rondo-Cubism , came into existence.
Together with the pre-war Czech Cubist architecture it is unparalleled elsewhere in the world. The first Czechoslovak president T.
Between World Wars I and II, Functionalism , with its sober, progressive forms, took over as the main architectural style in the newly established Czechoslovak Republic.
In the city of Brno, one of the most impressive functionalist works has been preserved — Villa Tugendhat , designed by the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
Hotel International in Prague is a brilliant example of the so-called Socialist realism , the Stalinistic art style of the s.
The Czechoslovak avant-garde artistic movement known as the Brussels style named after the Brussels World's Fair Expo 58 became popular in the time of political liberalization of Czechoslovakia in the s.
Brutalism dominated in the 70s and 80s Kotva Department Store. Even today, the Czech Republic is not shying away from the most modern trends of international architecture.
In a strict sense, Czech literature is the literature written in the Czech language. A more liberal definition incorporates all literary works written in the Czech lands regardless of language.
Thus Franz Kafka , who—while bilingual in Czech and German   —wrote his works The Trial , The Castle in German, during the era of Austrian rule, can represent the Czech , German or Austrian literature depending on the point of view.
Bible translations played an important role in the development of Czech literature and the standard Czech language. The oldest Czech translation of the Psalms originated in the late 13th century and the first complete Czech translation of the Bible was finished around The first complete printed Czech Bible was published in Prague Bible.
The first complete Czech Bible translation from the original languages was published between and and is known as the Bible of Kralice.
The Codex Gigas from the 12th century is the largest extant medieval manuscript in the world. Czech-language literature can be divided into several periods: The Czech Republic has the densest network of libraries in Europe.
Czech literature and culture played a major role on at least two occasions when Czechs lived under oppression and political activity was suppressed.
On both of these occasions, in the early 19th century and then again in the s, the Czechs used their cultural and literary effort to strive for political freedom, establishing a confident, politically aware nation.
The musical tradition of the Czech lands arose from first church hymns, whose first evidence is suggested at the break of 10th and 11th century.
The first significant pieces of Czech music include two chorales, which in their time performed the function of anthems: In , in the beginning of the Czechoslovak state, the song was discussed as one of the possible choices for the national anthem.
The wealth of musical culture in the Czech Republic lies in the long-term high-culture classical music tradition during all historical periods, especially in the Baroque , Classicism , Romantic, modern classical music and in the traditional folk music of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia.
Since the early era of artificial music, Czech musicians and composers have often been influenced the folk music of the region and dances e.
Czech music can be considered to have been beneficial in both the European and worldwide context, several times co-determined or even determined a newly arriving era in musical art,  above all of Classical era, as well as by original attitudes in Baroque , Romantic and modern classical music.
The most famous music festival in the country is Prague Spring International Music Festival of classical music, a permanent showcase for outstanding performing artists, symphony orchestras and chamber music ensembles of the world.
The roots of Czech theatre can be found in the Middle Ages, especially in cultural life of gothic period. In the 19th century, the theatre played an important role in the national awakening movement and later, in the 20th century it became a part of the modern European theatre art.
Original Czech cultural phenomenon came into being at the end of the s. This project called Laterna magika The Magic Lantern was the brainchild of renowned film and theater director Alfred Radok , resulting in productions that combined theater, dance and film in a poetic manner, considered the first multimedia art project in international context.
The tradition of Czech cinematography started in the second half of the s. However, dramatic movies were more internationally successful.
Another Czech cultural phenomenon came into being at the end of the s. This project called Laterna magika "The Magic Lantern" , resulting in productions that combined theater, dance and film in a poetic manner, considered the first multimedia art project in international context mentioned also in Theatre section above.
The hallmark of the films of this movement were long, often improvised dialogues , black and absurd humor and the occupation of non-actors. Directors are trying to preserve natural atmosphere without refinement and artificial arrangement of scenes.
He is a self-labeled surrealist known for his animations and features, which have greatly influenced many artists worldwide.
The Czech Lion is the highest Czech award for film achievement. The Barrandov Studios in Prague are the largest film studios in country and one of the largest in Europe with many many popular film locations in the country.
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is one of the oldest in the world and has become Central and Eastern Europe's leading film event. Since the Czech Republic is a democratic republic, journalists and media enjoy a great degree of freedom.
There are restrictions only against writing in support of Nazism , racism or violating Czech law. The most watched main news program is TV Nova.
Newspapers are quite popular in the Czech Republic. The best-selling daily national newspapers are Blesk average 1. The Czech Game of the Year Awards are held annually to recognize accomplishments in video game development.
Czech cuisine is marked by a strong emphasis on meat dishes. Pork is quite common; beef and chicken are also popular.
Goose, duck, rabbit and wild game are served. Fish is rare, with the occasional exception of fresh trout and carp , which is served at Christmas.
Czech beer has a long and important history. The first brewery is known to have existed in and the Czech Republic has the highest beer consumption per capita in the world.
Apart from these and other major brands, the Czech Republic also has a growing number of small breweries and mini-breweries. Aside from slivovitz , Czech beer and wine, the Czechs also produce two unique liquors , Fernet Stock and Becherovka.
Kofola is a non-alcoholic domestic cola soft drink which competes with Coca-Cola and Pepsi in popularity. Sports play a part in the life of many Czechs, who are generally loyal supporters of their favorite teams or individuals.
The two leading sports in the Czech Republic are ice hockey and football. The many other sports with professional leagues and structures include basketball, volleyball, team handball , track and field athletics and floorball.
The country has won 14 gold medals in summer plus 49 as Czechoslovakia and five gold medals plus two as Czechoslovakia in winter Olympic history.
Czech hockey school has good reputation. The Czech ice hockey team won the gold medal at the Winter Olympics and has won twelve gold medals at the World Championships including 6 as Czechoslovakia , including three straight from to The Czechoslovakia national football team was a consistent performer on the international scene, with eight appearances in the FIFA World Cup Finals, finishing in second place in and The team also won the European Football Championship in , came in third in and won the Olympic gold in After dissolution of Czechoslovakia, the Czech national football team finished in second and third place at the European Football Championship.
Czech Republic women's national basketball team win EuroBasket Women. Czechoslovakia national basketball team win EuroBasket Sport is a source of strong waves of patriotism, usually rising several days or weeks before an event.
The events considered the most important by Czech fans are: One of the most popular Czech sports is hiking, mainly in the Czech mountains.
The word for "tourist" in the Czech language, turista , also means "trekker" or "hiker". For hikers, thanks to the more than year-old tradition, there is a Czech Hiking Markers System of trail blazing , that has been adopted by countries worldwide.
The most significant sports venues are Eden Arena e. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Czechia disambiguation.
For other uses, see Czech Republic disambiguation. Greater coat of arms. The question is rhetorical , implying "those places where my homeland lies".
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