Visual Diary of Visits to Czechoslovakia inc Prague and Lidice – 1957-1964

These photographs, a selection from a visual diary of visits to Czechoslovakia in the 1950s and 1960s, which exist in a traditional leather album, came into our possession about a decade ago. The pictures were a gift from Stoke-on-Trent-based local historian Fred Hughes. Unfortunately, a close inspection of the photos and/or the folder gives no clue as to who compiled the album, took the photos, or what year or years the photographs span.

What we have is a selection of photographs from a tour or tours of Czechoslovakia, mostly featuring images from a commemorative event at Lidice but also some from Prague, Kladno, and other places. Several of the photos feature Dr Barnett Stross, but do you recognise other characters? The artist Ruskin Spear, who took Dr Stross’s portrait, makes an appearance, as do socialist Julius Jacobs and the so-called “gravedigger of democracy” of Czechoslovakia, Zdeněk Fierlinger.

The pictures certainly capture the gravitas of the mid-20th century Lidice commemorative events, showing their international dimension and the busyness of the day with its heavy attendance and speakers’ grandstand. They could imply the event is marking a special anniversary. The originals were donated to the Lidice community several years ago.

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