Editor’s Word - Not Only Do We Remember
Many thanks to all the readers who have repeatedly voiced their appreciation of my editorial. They say that I clearly and directly hit the target on political affairs, fraud and corruption, as well as pomposity of the current big-shots.
I hope that you shall forgive me this time for omitting that issue since I would much rather write something about a very positive current event.
Six years ago (ah how time does fly) a very nice man by the name of Vaclav Zidek, living in Germany came over with an idea to arrange a get-together with songs by Karel Hasler on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of his death.
As you well know, Karel Hasler was a very special person. He was an artist, actor, musician and composer of hundreds of songs mostly dealing with his beloved Prague. He was a Czech patriot killed by the Nazis in 1941 in the concentration camp of Mauthaussen.
Vaclav Zidek is a very active person who is well able to inspire others towards important activities. To make it short, on December 9, 2001 there was a huge concert in a large theater. The popular Slapeto group and the group Archeus from southern Bohemia played and sang Hasler songs. Pavlina Filipovska and Jiri Hanak were in charge of introductions. The well-known TV producer Gustav Opustil also took part in the programs as well as a long-time friend of the Hasler family Hilda Hojerova - Cihakova, who had been imprisoned by the CommuCommunists for political reasons. She was an intelligent and elegant lady who only recently died at the age of 96. Many descendants and relatives of the Hasler family were also present. The concert was supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Municipal Council of the city of Prague. Even the Office of the President Vaclav Havel had sent their well wishes.
On account of its success, the concert was repeated in the City Library and the member of the Slapeto group, Ivo Zelenka a singer and musician, came up with a great idea to build a Hasler memorial in Prague, to honor the songwriter’s memory. He founded a citizen’s association, “Pisnickar” and announced that donations would be accepted to fund the project of building the memorial. Whoever had ever tried to do anything like that well knows how extremely difficult it is. However, Ivo Zelenka did not give up and with the help of other volunteers, after years of visiting different city institutions, writing applications, filling out forms and explaining this and that, managed to get results.
There will be a memorial!
Not only that, but it will stand at the Old Castle Steps, the scene of Hasler’s most popular song , “Po Starych Zameckych Schodech”
As you can see, the spot is most appropriate. A competition tender has already been set up for artists to create the best statue. Even the material has already been bought.
Those who have already donated funds toward the project are the members of the citizen’s association the “Pisnickar (Songwriter)’, The Confederation of Political Prisoners, Senator Petr Bratsky, other important individuals, and mainly what I’d like to emphasize, Czechs and Slovaks living in Sweden from where I’d just returned, who were the first Czechs and Slovaks from abroad to support the project.
Ivo Zelenka attended this year’s annual get-together in Kyrkekvarn. He played and sang the popular Hasler songs, while those present gladly joined him.
And all, as a whole, got up and put in their donation toward the above - mentioned memorial.
Now there’s nothing more for me to do but to ask all our people in the world to give a donation for the memorial not only according to their financial means but also according to what their heart tells them to do.
Help support the Karel Hasler project the Hasler was the composer of the song “Ta Nase Pisnicka Ceska”, which has become a second Czech national anthem.Eva Strizovska
Please send your donation to our representative (please write his/her name on the check) or use our bank account (see page 48). Also please let us know whether your name appear on the list of "Pisnickar" sponsors will be printed in Czech Dialogue.
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