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This week in Mailbox we announce the winners of our April listeners' competition and you will also find out the new question for May. Listeners quoted: Donald Schumann, Charles Konecny, Mary Lou Krenek, USA; David Eldridge, UK; Flemming Christensen, Denmark; Henrik Klemetz, Sweden; Hari Madugula, Mukesh Kumar, India; Colin Law, New Zealand.

Hello and welcome to Mailbox. It's once again the first Sunday of the month which means it's time to reveal the correct answer to our monthly competition and announce the names of the winners.

In April we asked you to list all of the Czech Nobel Prize winners. Strictly speaking there have only been two. But as many listeners listed in their answers all the Nobel Prize laureates who were born in what is now the Czech Republic - even though they were not ethnic Czechs, we decided that both types of answers would qualify.

Donald Schumann, from Colorado, USA, listed only the two laureates that were of Czech nationality.

"Jaroslav Heyrovsky won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1959. He developed a novel method of analyzing chemical solutions. Most of his career was devoted to polarography which is the name for his method utilizing the polarograph, an instrument that he developed. Jaroslav Seifert was a Czech poet. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1984. His revolutionary songs fit into his character as he was a signatory to Charter 77. Life is poetry in the words of Jaroslav Seifert."

Our listener from Denmark - with quite a fitting name for last month's topic -Flemming Christensen, wrote this:

"It seems that there have been only two Czech Nobel laureates: Jaroslav Heyrovský in 1959 and Jaroslav Seifert in 1984. And it is a disgrace that Karel Capek was not chosen for political reasons - or for that matter Edvard Beneš and T. G. Masaryk."

But Charles Konecny from the United States sent us this answer:

"There are a couple of ways to look at this. Jaroslav Heyrovsky won in 1959 for Chemistry and Jaroslav Seifert won in 1984 for Literature. Also, Greta and Carl Corie (Cori) won in 1947 as a husband and wife team for Medicine. They were born in Prague, went to the America, and became U.S. citizens in 1928. So I think the Czech Republic should get some credit for that."

And David Eldridge from Britain added one more laureate:

"Baroness von Suttner, Austrian novelist who was one of the first notable woman pacifists. She is credited with influencing Alfred Nobel in the establishment of the Nobel Prize for Peace, of which she was the recipient in 1905."

This following entry came from Henrik Klemetz from Sweden:

"Nobel Peace prize laureate Bertha von Suttner, is usually referred to as Austrian, but she was actually born in Prague, at that time part of the Austrian Empire. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1905. In the book "The Nobel Peace Prize and the Laureates" by Irwin Abrams, there is more about Suttner´s friendship with the Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prize. Other Nobel Prize laureates born in Prague include Carl Cori and his wife Gerty Cori, née Radnitz (Medicine, 1947) who emigrated to the USA after the 1st World War, Jaroslav Heyrovský (Chemistry, 1959) and Jaroslav Seifert (Literature, 1984). Three more Nobel laureates studied or worked in Prague, namely Albert Einstein (Physics, 1921), Otto Stern (Physics, 1943) and Valdo Prelog (Chemistry, 1975)."

Hari Madugula and Mukesh Kumar, from India also listed all the five laureates and so did our regular listener Colin Law from New Zealand:

"All of these five were born in Prague, then within Austria-Hungary, and may be found listed under the heading "Famous Austrians." Gerty Cori is also listed as 'the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine'. Perhaps that should also read 'the first Czech-born woman'. In another internet listing she is shown as 'the first German woman to win a Nobel Prize in science'. That's all I could find unfortunately. However, there is evidence, especially in North America, of a number of Nobel Prize winners with one or both parents or grandparents born in Czechoslovakia or Austria-Hungary."

Mary Lou Krenek from Texas also listed the five laureates and added:

"To complicate matters more, here is one more Laureate that the Czechs could probably claim due to her Czech-Jewish father and the Czech name. Her place of birth was Austria. Elfriede Jelinek - Nobel Prize in Literature - 2004. This area of the world had such a turbulent history in the past century due to boundary and name changes in countries, that the migration and residence of individuals is so complicated. There are probably several others who are Nobel Laureates in history that the Czech Republic can claim some connection to their lineage or education."

The number of answers was again very high in April and that's why we decided to increase the number of winners to four. Three runner-up prizes go to David Eldridge, Hari Madugula and Donald Schumann and the main prize, a special Radio Prague T-shirt, is on its way to Sweden to Henrik Klemetz. Congratulations!


Let me thank everybody for taking part in our competition and taking the time to research the answers. If your name is not among the lucky four, why not give it a try this month. Staying with Nobel Prize winners, this is our 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?"

The deadline for your entries is May 31st and the address is Radio Prague, 12099 Prague, Czech Republic or english@radio.cz. Till next Sunday, good-bye.