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Czech soldiers and public pay homage to WW II fallen heroes

This week, throughout the Czech Republic, citizens and soldiers are celebrating the 73rd anniversary of the liberation of Czechoslovakia and Victory Day in Europe, and paying tribute to war heroes, American soldiers and the Red Army who advanced from the east and west to bring freedom to the country’s population after enduring five years of war.

Minister of Defence Karla Slechtova, accompanied by Chief of the General Staff Lieutenant General Ales Opata, greeting the military units lined up at the Vitkov Honour Court
Minister of Defence Karla Slechtova, accompanied by Chief of the General Staff Lieutenant General Ales Opata, greeting the military units lined up at the Vitkov Honour Court

Ceremony in Prague

The main memorial ceremony to mark the day when the victorious armies arrived was held at the Vitkov National Memorial in Prague on the 8th May. Other celebrations commemorating the end of WW II were also held at various Czech cities.

The Vitkov ceremony was attended by the President of the Czech Republic, Milos Zeman, the most senior representatives from the Ministry of Defence, the Czech Armed Forces and the country.

Minister of Defence Karla Slechtova handed out military awards to nine individuals who significantly contributed to the defence of the Czech Republic.

Generals appointed by the Czech President

As part of the Victory Day celebrations, President Zeman appointed two generals to higher ranks and two colonels to the rank of general as follows:

  • Brigadier General Jaromir Alan, Director of the Capability Planning Division, was appointed Major General.
  • Brigadier General Ivo Strecha, Director of the Force Development Division, was appointed Major General.
  • Colonel Miroslav Hlavac, Deputy Chief of the General Staff - Chief of Staff, was appointed Brigadier General.
  • Colonel Pavel Chovancik, Deputy Chief of the Military Police, was appointed Brigadier General.

The ceremony was held at Prague Castle, the seat of the Czech President.

Minister Slechtova at the Liberation Festival in Pilsen

Minister Slechtova, accompanied by the Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Major General Jaroslav Kocian, attended the Liberation Festival in Pilsen to mark the 73rd anniversary of the liberation of western Bohemia by units from the 3rd United States Army led by General George Patton.

Minister Slechtova laid a wreath at the Thank You America Memorial in Pilsen and paid tribute to seven native Pilseners who served with the British Royal Air Force and lost their lives in air battles during WW II.

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By Nuala Casey and Oldrich Holecek


May 11, 2018


Photo Gallery
  • Minister of Defence Karla Slechtova, accompanied by Chief of the General Staff Lieutenant General Ales Opata, greeting the military units lined up at the Vitkov Honour Court Minister of Defence Karla Slechtova, accompanied by Chief of the General Staff Lieutenant General Ales Opata, greeting the military units lined up at the Vitkov Honour Court Minister of Defence Karla…
  • President of the Czech Republic and Supreme Commander of the Czech Armed Forces Milos Zeman receiving a welcome address from the Commander of the line infantry, Colonel Milan Virt President of the Czech Republic and Supreme Commander of the Czech Armed Forces Milos Zeman receiving a welcome address from the Commander of the line infantry, Colonel Milan Virt President of the Czech Republic and…
  • Minister Slechtova and General Opata laying a wreath in an act of reverence Minister Slechtova and General Opata laying a wreath in an act of reverence Minister Slechtova and General…
  • President Milos Zeman appointing Generals at Prague Castle President Milos Zeman appointing Generals at Prague Castle President Milos Zeman appointing…
  • To celebrate the 73rd anniversary of the end of WW II, Minister Slechtova decorated nine eminent individuals with military awards for bravery during the war To celebrate the 73rd anniversary of the end of WW II, Minister Slechtova decorated nine eminent individuals with military awards for bravery during the war To celebrate the 73rd anniversary…
  • Lieutenant General Ales Opata and Minister Slechtova with the Generals at Prague Castle Lieutenant General Ales Opata and Minister Slechtova with the Generals at Prague Castle Lieutenant General Ales Opata and…
  • Minister Slechtova and President Zeman with the newly appointed Generals at Prague Castle Minister Slechtova and President Zeman with the newly appointed Generals at Prague Castle Minister Slechtova and President…
  • Minister Slechtova laying a wreath at the Thank You America Memorial in Pilsen (6th May) Minister Slechtova laying a wreath at the Thank You America Memorial in Pilsen (6th May) Minister Slechtova laying a wreath…
  • Minister Slechtova paying tribute to the Czech RAF airmen, the natives from Pilsen, who lost their lives during battle Minister Slechtova paying tribute to the Czech RAF airmen, the natives from Pilsen, who lost their lives during battle Minister Slechtova paying tribute…
  • Minister Slechtova with veterans at the unveiling of the RAF Memorial to the Czech airmen from Pilsen Minister Slechtova with veterans at the unveiling of the RAF Memorial to the Czech airmen from Pilsen Minister Slechtova with veterans at…