Sunday, 27 December 2009

House on Rybalkova

This road, which marks the boundary between Prague 2 and Prague 10, is named after the Russian tank commander Pavel Semjonovich Rybalko, whose Red Army division played such a significant role in the liberation of Kharkov, Prague and ultimately Berlin. It's always interesting to note street and station names that have been allowed to retain their associations with the old regime, and this is one of them. But then Marshal Rybalko, who died suddenly in 1948, is quite rightly considered a hero.

The story of the final days of the war is completely fascinating, and anyone who would be interested in helping me put together a movie proposal is welcome to get in touch.

Effectively, Prague found itself in a vacuum in May 1945, and even though General Patton and his US forces were closer than the Red Army (who had been engaged in liberating the concentration camps), they would not aid the Prague uprising because of the pre-agreed demarcation of what was to become known as the 'Iron Curtain'. With no help from East or West for five days, 3000 Praguers lost their lives in bitter street fighting against the rump German army.

A recent occupant of this street is one of the jazz legends of Prague, Jiří Stivín, the baroque flautist, whose daughter is a well known film actress. Stivin - known for his trademark flat cap and impish sense of humour - has played alongside Dizzy Gillespie, US presidents Bush Snr and Clinton, and in many film soundtracks, as well as giving numerous concerts in Prague and Paris.

The snow-capped wall in the foreground - as regular readers might have guessed - is that of the Havlíčkovy Sady park (see this blog, passim).


Tulsa Gentleman said...

Your photos are good, your history lessons are even better. I wish you the best for 2010.

Leif Hagen said...

What a fantastic building! Wonderful architectural details~!

karl said...

There's Alan's War/La Guerre d'Alan by Emmanuel Guibert, which could be inspiring.

Alex Went said...

Thanks Karl - I'll look it up straightaway!

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