Vaclav Koblizek (left), photo: Mike Koblizek archives

Topics discussed this week in Mailbox: response to our programmes about the 61st anniversary of the end of WWII; jaywalking in the Czech Republic; reception conditions; largest telescope in the Czech Republic. We quote from letters and e-mails sent by: Mike Koblizek, Canada; Raymond T. Tufo, Scott McDonald, US; Atsuhisa Kageyama, Japan; Stephen Hogan, Australia.

Vitkov memorial,  photo: CTK
Over the last couple of weeks we have received quite a number of letters and e-mails responding to our special programme on May 8th dedicated to the anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

Mike Koblizek from Ontario saw an article on our website with a photo of the Vitkov memorial in Prague where ceremonies are traditionally held. He sent us a photo taken from the same angle as the one on our site - only 61 years ago.

Vaclav Koblizek  (left),  photo: Mike Koblizek archives
"I saw your commemorations picture at Vitkov in Prague, 61 years after the end of the Second World War. I may enrich the history with this picture, taken at the same place, 61 years earlier, in 1945 during of the Prague liberation, not far from the Radio Prague building. First from the left is my father, Vaclav Koblizek, with his Czechoslovak friend soldiers and with some of the soldiers of the liberating armies."

From the United States, Raymond T. Tufo, who listens to Radio Prague in the state of New York, sent us this letter.

"I have just recently resumed short-wave listening after being away from it for many years. I picked up an English language broadcast to North America of Radio Prague, and although this was a special broadcast celebrating the 61st anniversary of the end of World War II, I found it very informative and I hope to become a listener of your regular daily programming."

And Raymond T. Tufo continues:

"Although there are countless number of books about World War II filling many shelves of many libraries with facts, statistics and stories about historic figures, we in the world cannot forget that the war was fought by people such as Major General Perina who did not get recognition in world history. And of course, the events in communities such as Ostrava must always be told and can never be forgotten. I complement you station for continuing these reports and hopefully future generations will tell them as well."

A complete change of tone now, Scott McDonald from Illinois, listened to last Sunday's Letter from Prague by Brian Sabin.

"Having lived and worked in Chicago for many years, I especially enjoyed hearing the story about jaywalking, which is in fact almost a sport in Chicago. I've visited Prague twice, and when I return, I will be certain to pay just a bit more attention thanks to the program. Your program is well-timed and very enjoyable here on late Sunday afternoon, and as the weather improves, will be very enjoyable with the portable from the hammock. I look forward to displaying your card in my office. I'm also looking forward to trying your podcasts for times when propagation is poor which is why I came to the website in the first instance."

Ondrejov Observatory
Mr Atsuhisa Kageyama from Osaka, Japan, has also complained about poor reception conditions in his area. He sent us a photo of his receiver, antenna and the area where he's listening as well as a picture of himself. You know that we often encourage you to tell us in your reception reports more about yourselves and the place where you listen to Radio Prague. For instance, Stephen Hogan listens to us in New South Wales, in Australia.

"Our warm autumn days are still holding up. Nights and early mornings are cooler so winter is not too far away. Crisp clear nights are good for star-gazing, so I can get my telescope out and search the heavens above. Tell me what is the largest telescope in the Czech Republic? Where is it located?"

The largest telescope in the Czech Republic is located some 35 kilometres south of Prague in the Ondrejov Observatory belonging to the Institute of Astronomy of the Czech Academy of Sciences. It is a reflector and has two metres in diameter. It was installed in the observatory in 1967.

That leads us smoothly on to our monthly competition as the mystery person this month was also a keen amateur astronomer, at least judging from the title of one of his collection of poems. So this is the question for May.

"A well known South American poet, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature, wrote under a pen-name which he adopted from a 19th-century Czech poet and journalist. What was the name of the Czech author?"

Just a reminder, we are asking you to tell us the name of the Czech author, not the South American one.

The deadline for your entries is May 31st and the address is Radio Prague, 12099 Prague, Czech Republic or [email protected]. We'll be back next week, so till then, bye bye.