On Tuesday, the Czech Republic marks one of the most important anniversaries in its history. The fifth of may 1945, the Prague uprising began against the Nazi occupation. A very important role in this played the “Czech radio”, and not only because the legendary phrase in the air: “Sex Godin” (the phrase “Six o’clock” in German and Czech language at the same time — approx. transl.). Speaker Zdenek mancal have retreated from mandatory German language, thereby submitting to the audience the signal that something is happening. This and other developments in the program “20 minutes of Radio,” spoke to President Milos Zeman.
iROZHLAS.cz: If I’m not mistaken, in may 1945 you was 9 months, that is about the Second world war and its conclusion, you learned in school, from books and archives. Do you have any other gaps that you would like to fill? Is there something that remained unclear in the Prague uprising?
Milos Zeman: Think about the Prague uprising, I learned enough. Rather, I’d like to talk about what happened to participants in the Prague uprising. This, in turn, about Professor albert Prace, the Chairman of the Czech national Council, the Joseph Smrkovsky and Mehanizam fighter, whom the Communists executed. This is because of what I said during the presentation of awards. I said that the outstanding figures of the First Republic (Czechoslovakia — approx. transl.) basically a bad end. In the example I gave of General Achara, who represented the us at the Nuremberg trials. As a classic said, is really a revolution devours its children.
In the case of what we are talking, it came out literally, because, as you said yourself, many heroes of 1945 ended up in jail. I would have remembered more of General Karel Setlaser that the fifth of may in Prague was appointed the commander of the rebel forces. May 16, 1949, the State court of Prague sentenced him for treason and sentenced to life in prison. Also it was downgraded to the soldier inventory. In 2017 you awarded him posthumously the Order of the white lion of the first degree for outstanding merits in the defense of the state. You emphasized many times that the hero can turn into a prisoner. In the 60-ies of Setlaser was unestimable, but with a pension of 230 crowns, he worked as a night watchman. So how is your opinion can happen?
— This can happen quite simple. In the state, ruled by grey mediocre person, any bright figure exacerbates the inferiority complex, Mr. editor. It is envy that turns into hatred, and if these people have the power in their hands, they do everything in order for these heroes to eliminate either physically, or at least professionally.
When involved in this one, then probably another future, a world power (I mean the Soviet Union), for which these people were as an eyesore, the situation is only complicated.
In a sense, Yes. Still debate about the death of Jan Masaryk. Don’t know whether to put her hand to the Soviet Union or not, because of several hypotheses. On the one hand, the activities of Masaryk helped the Soviet Union. Remember his words: “With this government I will lead”. And it was already after the Communist coup. On the other hand, they may have feared that he might escape abroad and organize another resistance. But, unfortunately, our historians have failed, leaving only a few hypotheses, none of which looks to end reliable.
— Maybe it’s because we haven’t had a chance to look in the archives of the time: German, American, and, most importantly, the Soviet archives. I note in this connection that recently the Russian defense Ministry publishes some materials from that period on its website in honor of some anniversary. Could there be a connection with the deteriorating dispute around the interpretation of certain events?
— If you mean the Marshal Konev, then probably not. Two years ago I talked with President Putin about the opening of the Russian archives. First, he promised me to do it, and second, we agreed to establish the Czech-Russian Commission of historians. She really started to work and, I believe, really has some content. Let’s not forget that the Russian very late released data about Katyn. So why would they not publish this information.
— It is generally accepted to publish the archives after 50 years. We’re talking about a period of 75 years ago. In Moscow, among others, contains the archive of the Communist international (which was created by the Communists, the umbrella organization of the Communists throughout Europe). It is useful for us would be to get acquainted with the materials of their archives of the time, to understand what processes led to many cases?
— Any archival material of interest. The Comintern enjoyed a certain influence, although do not forget that some prominent members were executed. Recall, Radek and others. Others, like Dimitrov, was turned into an icon, and at the last stage of life he was just a puppet. There wasn’t a bright politician. If you compare this organization with the later period, say, Eurocommunism in Spain, the discipline and subordination to the Soviet Union there was an iron and any kind of decentralization possible.
— You have confirmed to Russian President Putin their participation in the pending celebrations in honor of the 75th anniversary of the end of world war II in Europe, scheduled to be held in Moscow. It seems that the Russian Federation is a country that has suffered greatly from the epidemic of the coronavirus. Can we assume that this time the event will be more modest than before?
It depends on the Russian side. Many of the affected countries. For example, the United States, which in this respect, unfortunately, in the lead. I think that will be our first meeting face to face. May participate will be six to eight people. That is, no pompous reception or something like that will not.
— Do you know approximately when will held the event?
— About — well, I — no. They will be timed to the anniversary of the end of the Second world war, as you know. Since the Russian took part in the fighting against Japan, even at the last moment, in September, events will be held this month.
— Now it seems that the Russian-Czech relations are, to put it mildly, a turbulent period. You still intend coming to Moscow to urge Russians — and I quote — “turn the page”, as you said in December last year after the foreign Ministry was critical of the decision to make August 21 memorial day? You called this step a perfect audacity.
— Yes, but you quoted is totally incorrect, as they called “turn the page” not I, but the Russian foreign Ministry. I’ve talked about this a few years ago when he criticized a Russian journalist that he praised the Russian occupation. Then we discussed it with Prime Minister Medvedev, and I can say that that reporter was fired. Thus my intervention had a certain effect. I wish nobody (nobody — so, really, no one) did not interfere in our internal Affairs. You know, the other day I quoted the American Ambassador, who recently sent a letter to deputies and because of the Internet tax threatened retaliation for Czech companies in the United States. Here for any such external pressure we should be treated equally, not favouring one and criticize the other.
We mean, in particular, the story of the dismantling of the monument to Konev, which was established in Prague in 1980. In Russia adopted the law on the basis of which criminal case against Czech politicians. How can you comment?
— If they don’t go to Russia — and, I think, a European warrant for their arrest to issue impossible as the Interpol warrant, something with them nothing will happen. The Russian reaction seems overly violent, although it is a reaction to stupidity, which made our worthless politicians. After all, when a politician is worthless, he tries to give us something to attract attention. He or balloons sex scandal, or stolen money, or self-assertion in another way. I think the authorities in Prague 6, Prague, Reporyje need to take care of their areas, and the policy (and this applies to all) is best left to the politicians.
Now not only those two who we’re talking about, but the mayor of Prague, zdeněk Grzyb received police protection. The police is not going to such measures unless there is good reason. In your opinion, the situation when the three municipal leaders put protection, alarming?
— Here again the question arises, not whether it’s done for PR, not asked whether they themselves are aware of this police protection. I read an article in “Respect” Bakaly ((Zdenek Bakala, Czech entrepreneur and investor — approx. transl.), and, you know, don’t believe the media Zdenek Bakaly not a single word. I found it amusing that the alleged Russian agent allegedly came with the ricin, because my modest knowledge of chemistry tells me that the ricin is something like a laxative. Italian fascists used it to punish political opponents with one interesting way. Well, at least not executed. Anyway if it were true, information must confirm the intelligence agencies, and this has not happened yet.
— Require police protection anyone can have any COP, but then held a serious test. The decision on granting of such protection should take head of the regional office at the suggestion of his expert machine, that is criminal police. To obtain police protection is not so easy, unless there is a compelling reason. Special services are preparing for you reports. Some of them explained why he had taken these measures?
— None. By the way, of the three intelligence services that we have, two I think completely unnecessary. Most of all, I trust Military intelligence, and she wouldn’t wrote.
— Let’s return again to where we started — the end of the Second world war. Now 75 years on our land there was no war. So, what do you think?
— Was fairly long periods of peace after the peace of Westphalia. But in General you are right: the current period very long. I attribute this to the emergence of the European Union. We can criticize it many things, but I think the emergence of this community has become one of the main factors due to which we haven’t had war.
Ten years ago in “Questions of václav Moravec” you said that in the next 20 — 30 years, Russia will become a member of the European Union. Since then has passed ten years. You changed your mind?
— Ten years have passed. So, there is still ten or twenty. I guess it’s still possible. From the point of view of culture, Russia is undoubtedly part of the European tradition. Some countries are criticized for the authoritarian regime, and in Russia it too, but keep in mind that there are elections, there are several political parties, but it is not quite typical of authoritarianism.