Prague: Day Four

Published January 6, 2014 by Christa Maurice

Sunday we had decided to go on a WWII tour, but my companion wanted to attend mass so we went to the later tour. The guide was fantastic and had visual aids. He had his exact spots on the sidewalk picked out so that we kept ending up facing exactly where he wanted us looking.

 

 

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This is the Prague Town Hall. The left picture is pre-WWII. I took the right picture. There was no blitz in Prague because there was no heavy industry in the city. One bomb did hit the city, but that was a squadron of American fliers got off course in the clouds and mistook Prague for Dresden. There are no hard feelings. If my tour guide is anything to go by, the Czechs probably would have invited bombing if it meant getting the Nazis out of their country. But that’s not what happened to the town hall building. After World War II was declared over and while the Czechs were waiting for the Soviets to come collect the Nazis, the Nazis were trying to get away from the Soviets. They weren’t stupid. Americans might try them and put them in jail, but Stalin was going to ship them to a gulag that would make Terezin look like a seaside vacation. The Czechs also knew the score and really wanted the Nazis in the hands of the Soviets. There was fighting for four days and during that fighting the town hall was set on fire and the majority of it was destroyed. Just as a fun aside, the KGB used to use the bell tower of the town hall to watch the Czechs.

czpr017-2When taking the above picture, the Alphons Mucha Museum was directly behind me and this unassuming building was to my left. Why have I included a picture of this particular building? Because then Albert Einstein was teaching at Charles University he lived there. Honestly, you can’t go five steps in Prague without stepping on some significant spot. Oh yes, when Einstein was living here, he was hanging out with Kafka.

 

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