The 6-Minute Challenge, Vol. 15!

Join us for our signature program since 2014, when artists, professionals, scholars and scientists of Czech or Slovak descent are challenged to introduce their talent, the subject of their work, project, research, or studies in a short presentation limited to six minutes. In English.
You will learn, laugh, and enjoy impressive performances!

Thursday, December 7, 2023
Moderated by Christopher Harwood


In our 15th edition, we will welcome the following presenters:
Matej Cíp (cimbalom player, student at Berklee NYC), Ilona Kohlová (graphic designer, artist), Aneta Kohoutová (Fulbright- ethics of public spaces), Jana Krupková (arts management & production), Pavel Liska (immersive artist), Barbora Lišková (event producer), Luboš Náprstek (luthier), Alicka Pistek (communications & emerging technology), Yvette Vašourková (Fulbright-architecture and public spaces), and Klára Zíková English (mezzo-soprano)

Free and open to the public. Suggested donation $5.
Seats are limited, on a first-come first-served basis.


Organized by the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU), New York Chapter with the support of BBLA.

Against Everything: The Brothers Topol and the Second Generation of Dissent 🗓

A TALK BY DANIEL W. PRATT, PhD, McGill University

November 16, 2023
Bohemian National Hall in Manhattan


This talk discusses two prominent figures of the Czech 1980s generation, brothers Jáchym and Filip Topol. Filip was the lead singer of Psí vojáci (Dog Soldiers), a legendary band that played its first concert for Havel himself. Jáchym became a popular author of stories and unconventional novels. He was also an editor of Revolver Revue, an underground periodical. His apartment was the site for numerous dissident happenings. Although both brothers became dissidents, and both signed Charter 77, they rejected the notion of a pre-political self and projected an almost nihilistic stance against everything.


When scholars discuss the story of dissent in Czechoslovakia, the conversation usually hovers around the usual suspects: Václav Havel, Ivan Klíma, Jaroslav Seifert, The Plastics, Ivan Martin Jirous, and Egon Bondy. This group, along with the great filmmakers of the Czech New Wave, all born between roughly 1930 and 1950, still constitute the basis of most discussions of Czech culture under Socialism. To a certain degree, their innovations, cultural value, and international appeal justify their position. What has received a great deal less scholarly attention, however, is the generation that came next, that had never known the relative freedom of the “Prague Spring” and grew up in the fallout of Charter 77. That generation, as exemplified by the Brothers Topol, and also including Vít Kremli?ka, Petr Placák, Anna Wágnerová, Jirí Hášek (JH Krchovský), and others, worked with different values, trying to position themselves not only against the Communist government but also against the previous generation of dissent.

Daniel W. Pratt is Assistant Professor of Slavic Culture at McGill University. He works on Czech, Polish, Russian, Austrian, and Hungarian literature and culture, and his interests include narratology, dissent, nationality studies, aesthetics, and the intersection of literature and philosophy. His current book projects are Against Narrative: Non-narrative Constructions of Temporality in Central Europe and Bruno Jasie?ski, Internationalist, and he has written on Czechoslovak dissident punk rock, Gombrowicz’s interactions with Gilles Delleuze, and the meaning of history in Central Europe, amongst other topics. For the Fall semester of 2023, he is the István Deák Visiting Assistant Professor of East Central European Studies at Columbia University

Jaroslav Josef Polívka, Frank Lloyd Wright, and New York

September 28, 2023, at 7 PM
Bohemian National Hall, Manhattan

A talk by Ladislav Jackson, PhD

The talk presented the lesser-known facts about the design and construction of the Guggenheim Museum between 1946 and 1949 when a Czech structural engineer, Jaroslav Josef Polívka, invented the iconic spiral diverging ramp without inner supporting pillars. Between 1946 and 1959, Polivka designed structural constructions for another eight of Frank Lloyd Wright’s projects. The speaker discussed Polivka’s unique influence on Frank Lloyd Wright’s work, specifically the Guggenheim Museum and Belmont Racetrack Pavillion in New York City.


Ladislav Jackson (formerly Zikmund-Lender) is a visual arts and architecture historian. Since 2018, he has been an assistant professor at the Department of History and Theory of Art, Faculty of Fine Arts, Brno University of Technology (VUT Brno), where he teaches global and local 20th-Century Art courses and critical theory (feminist, queer, and critical race studies). His research focuses on 20th-century architecture and design; and gender and queer studies in art history. In 2016, he was a Fulbright scholar University of California in Berkeley. Jackson also curates exhibitions on architecture and design and wrote, edited, or co-edited about twenty books, including Hotel Praha (2019), Villas and Family Houses in Hradec Králové (2020), Myth of an Architect: Jan Kot?ra 150 (2021), The Church of the Divine Heart: 1928?1932 (2022) and his latest Philosopher of Structures: Architect and Engineer Jaroslav J. Polívka (1886–1960). He is an executive director of the Society for Queer Memory in Prague.

This event was organized by the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU) in New York with the support of the Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association.

Czech History in Brooklyn

June 4, 2023, at 11 am
First Unitarian Congregational Society
119-120 Pierrepont St. @ Monroe St.
Brooklyn Heights, NYC

We joined the First Unitarian Congregational Society in Brooklyn to commemorate the 100th anniversary celebration of the Flower Communion ceremony introduced in 1923 by Dr. Norbert Capek, founder of Czech Unitaria in Prague. It was the home church of Charlotte Garrigue Masaryk (1850-1923), the Brooklyn-born First Lady of newly formed Czechoslovakia in 1918. Both her husband, Tomáš Masaryk, and her son Jan spoke from this church’s pulpit. Charlotte Garrigue Masaryk was instrumental in developing close ties of this church with the Czechoslovak Unitaria. The ninth reverend of this Brooklyn church, John Howland Lathrop, headed a relief program in Czechoslovakia following World War II. You can find some memorabilia and photos in the church. A glass window depicting Jan Hus was donated by Alice Masaryk.

We were joined by Mr. Scott Fredrick, a great grandson of Norbert Capek!

The full-service streaming on Facebook.

15:40 Singing the hymn Mother Spirit by Norbert Capek
34:52 Rev.Meagan Henry about Norbert Capek
1:25:00 Singing a Czech folk song Aj lucka, lucka , in Czech!

In Czech
Story of the Flower Communion made in 1993 for Radio Free Europe by Suzanna Pakesova Halsey. She added images to the original audio-only recording.

(Czech) Photography of the New Millennium

Photography of the New Millennium
An illustrated talk and book presentation
by Marian Beneš, Ph.D., MQEP

Tuesday, May 23, 2023, at 7 PM
Bohemian National Hall, 3rd Floor
321 E 73 St, Manhattan

The award-winning Czech photographer and educator Marian Beneš will present his photographic work, including the fascinating images of the Bohemian National Hall renovation and the portraits of Czech compatriots living in New York City. He will also offer historical insight into the beginnings of digital photography and its specifics in the Czech Republic. We will learn about his collaboration with Prof. Miroslav Vojt?chovský, the doyen of Czech photography, and their work with students as reflected in his new book Photography of the New Millennium: From Technical Mutations to the Poetics of Authorial Creation. For this book, he received in 2022 the prestigious Best Publisher Title prize in the FEP European Photo Book Award competition in Rome.

Moderated by Christopher Harwood, PhD


Marian Beneš is a photographer, university educator, curator, juror, a holder of the Master Qualified European Photographer title (MQEP) awarded by the Federation of European Professional Photographers.
He is a Head of the Studio of Photography and Audio-Visual Arts at the University of Creative Communication in Prague and a vice-president of the Association of Professional Photographers of the Czech Republic. He also teaches at the Institute of Creative Photography at Silesian University. He graduated from the Film Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and received his doctorate from the Faculty of Art and Design at J. E. Purkyn? University. As a Fulbright scholar, he studied at the International Center of Photography in New York City. His work includes digital photography for communication campaigns, advertising, editorials, and exhibitions. His award-winning photography has been widely exhibited and is included in the collections of private collectors, galleries, and institutions.


MARCH 22, 2023, at 7pm
Bohemian National Hall, Manhattan

Scholars, scientists, artists, and professionals of Czech or Slovak descent are challenged to introduce the subject of their work, project, research or studies in a short presentation limited to six minutes. A signature program of SVU, New York Chapte, since 2014. In English.

Moderated by Christopher Harwood

Presenters: Jaroslav Bendl (Assistant Professor, Icahn School of Medicine – bioinformatics), Jaroslav Borovicka (Associate Professor, New York University – economics), Viktor Dvorak (counselor, EU delegation to the United Nations), Eva Giannone (Baker and Energy natural medicine consultant), Tomas Jamnik (violoncellist, Fulbright Scholar), Eva Jamnikova (violinist), Michala Metzler (Founder OYA New Earth), Irena Michalcik (OCR athlete and educator), and Pavel Semerak (Bohemian National Hall renovation manager.)


Organized by the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU), New York Chapter.


Bedrich Feuerstein: Prague-Paris-Tokyo and New York

An illustrated talk by Helena Capkova, PhD

Tuesday, FEBRUARY 28, 2023, at 7 pm
Bohemian National Hall
321 E 73 St, New York



Bedrich Feuerstein was an influential member of the Czechoslovak and European avant-garde of the interwar period. He was a cosmopolitan figure, always on the move seeking inspiration and inspiring the rich network of his collaborators. He spent two years at the Perrets’ atelier in Paris and four years working with Antonín Raymond in Japan. The key project of his career developed for Raymond was the St. Luke’s Hospital in Tokyo. As a part of the design process, Feuerstein visited the US and studied the most progressive hospitals, such as the Presbyterian and Mt. Sinai in New York. The talk will introduce Feuerstein’s rich and diverse design work focusing on his American research trip and its outcomes.

HELENA CAPKOVÁ, PhD, is a Czech Tokyo/Kyoto-based curator, researcher, and art history professor at Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto. She studied transnational visual culture and Japanese studies in Prague and London. As a PhD candidate, she collaborated on international and interdisciplinary research projects such as Forgotten Japonisme (2007-2010) and later Enchanted Modernities: Theosophy, Modernism, and the Arts, c.1875-1960 (2013-2015). Since 2010, she has published and lectured extensively about the specific nature of Japanese modernism and avant-garde, which she considers an inherent part of art history, traditionally perceived as Western. Her publications on this topic include ” Believe in socialism!: Architect Bedrich Feuerstein and His Perspective on Modern Japan and Architecture (2016) and “Careless Shell “– Transnational exploration of Czechoslovak and Japanese Surrealisme (2015). In 2017, she designed a series about architect Antonin Raymond at the Tokyo Czech Center. The successful series led to the book Antonín Raymond in Japan (1948–1976), which she edited with architect K. Kitazawa.

In 2022, Dr. Capková curated an extensive exhibition, Bedrich Feuerstein, Architect: Prague-Paris-Tokyo and New York, at the National Technical Museum in Prague. There will be a few copies of the catalog available for sale at the event. Catalogs are also available online from the National Technical Museum:

A recording of Dr. Capková’s 2021 SVU NY Zoom talk about another important Czech architect Antonin Raymond is available on SVU NY YouTube Channel.

This event is organized by the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU), New York Chapter, with the support of the Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association (BBLA).

Texas Czech Legacy Project

Preserving the Czech Language around the World

An illustrated talk by Lida Cope, PhD
Sunday, January 22 at 3 PM (EST)


Linguistics professor Lida Cope talks about her efforts to document a dying dialect of Czech Moravians who started arriving in Texas in the second half of the 19th century, about Svatava Pírková Jakobson, who gathered a unique archive of folklore from immigrants in New York City’s “Czech village,” Texas, and elsewhere, and about the challenges in promoting and preserving Czech language, culture, and identity in the English-speaking world.

Lida Cope is a professor of applied linguistics at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. Her areas of expertise include first language attrition, language contact and diaspora, and language documentation. Her research examines the questions of language, culture, and identity in historically Czech Moravian communities in Texas. Dr. Cope directs the Texas Czech Legacy Project, housed at the University of Texas at Austin, whose main objective is to build an open-access corpus of Texas Czech speech. Her publications include a comprehensive overview of Czech communities around the world Language loss: Czech in the diaspora (co-authored with Robert Dittmann of Charles University, BRILL 2020) and Taking Stock and Looking Forward: Documenting a diasporic variety of Czech in Texas (Naše ?e? [Our Speech] 2021).



DECEMBER 14 at 7 pm
Bohemian National Hall in Manhattan

Since 2014, this signature program of SVU NY has challenged scholars, scientists, students, artists, and professionals of Czech and Slovak descent to introduce their work, project, or subject of their research or studies in a short presentation limited to six minutes. In English.
Moderated by Christopher Harwood, Ph.D., Columbia University

Organized by the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU/NY), New York chapter, in association with the Consulate General of the Slovak Republic, and with the support of the Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association (BBLA).

Ivana Andersen (visual art), Katerina Dvorakova Mankova  (photography), Eva Giannone  (baking and Energy USA, natural medicine), Roman Lewkowicz (folk dance Limboracik), Katerina Lu (ballroom dance), Jakub Mihalik, PhD (Fulbright Scholar at New York University – Philosophy), Michal Racyn (Fulbright PhD student at Columbia University – Slavic Studies), René Georg Vasicek (creative writing & experimental writer), and Otto Zizak, Jr.  (restaurateur, musician, farmer, generalist).


Free and open to the public.
Suggested donation of $5.00
Seating is limited.
Click here for the program notes with speakers’ bios.


Last year’s edition of The 6-Minute Challenge, Vol. 12 in 2021, is available on our YouTube Channel.

FOREMOST CZECH DEMOCRAT: Vojtech Náprstek (1826-1884) 🗓

Sunday, NOVEMBER 13 at 4 pm on ZOOM!

Dr. Michael Schouten will provide an overview of the fascinating life and times of his ancestor, Vojtech Náprstek, who is affectionally known as “nejvetší ceský democrat” (foremost Czech democrat).

Register here to receive the ZOOM link

Jan Šejbl of the Náprstek Museum in Prague will address its current exhibitions.

Born in 1826, Vojta Naprstek came of age when Czechs were reasserting their national identity after 200 years of Austrian oppression. Exiled to the United States for his role in the 1848 Revolution, he spent ten years living on the American Frontier, heavily influenced by America’s progressive thinking and democratic values. Upon his return to Prague, he made numerous contributions to the Czech National Revival (národní obrození) as a philanthropist, politician, and innovator. Notable examples still endure today include the Naprstek Museum of Asian, African, and Native American Art (now part of the National Museum), the American Ladies Club, and the Naprstek Library.
Surrounded by colorful, influential, and dynamic personalities, Vojtech Naprstek’s life is entertaining, informative, and historically significant.

This event will celebrate the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution on November 17, 1989, and a return to democracy in Czechoslovakia.

Michael Schouten was raised in New York but has settled in Scotland after receiving a Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Edinburgh. He has a longstanding interest in Vojtech Naprstek’s life and has previously delivered a similar presentation to the Edinburgh Czech Society. He is related to Vojta Naprstek through Vojtech’s Grandfather.

Wikipedia on Vojtech Naprstek
Vojtech Náprstek

SVU New York and Jitro Choir from Hradec Králové team up to send help to Ukraine

In June 2022, SVU New York helped to organize an outstanding concert of the Czech girls’ choir Jitro at Merkin Hall in Kaufman Music Center in NYC. Their repertoire consisted of classical Czech and international songs, sacred music, and contemporary Czech compositions. Together with Jitro’s choirmaster, Jiri Skopal, we decided to donate all concert proceeds to a concrete project helping people in war-torn Ukraine. Our board member, Vera Dvorak, suggested a grassroots initiative of volunteers delivering essential food and toiletries to a Byzantine Catholic parish in Khust, Zakarpattia Oblast – a former part of Czechoslovakia – run by Ms. Rybová from Strelice near Brno and by the priest Myroslav Barnychko. The food is distributed under his supervision to refugees staying in local gyms and parish halls where they found temporary asylum.

It has been eight months (!) since Russia attacked Ukraine and the help coming in is clearly weakening – though it’s just as needed now as at the beginning of the war. On the same day we sent our gift of $530 (13.500 in CZK), the volunteers set out already on their 19th trip with a small truck and a pickup loaded with food.

For more information, please read here (in Czech).

You can contribute directly to Pavla Rybova’s account. It is a small private initiative and they do not have a separate account.

Czech Bank account:Pavla Rybová 670100-2207448813 / 6210 mBank
Pavla Rybová
tel. 607 546 197

vera Dvorak and Jitro in NYC
Jitro in Merkin Hall
Food delivery to Chust- Ukraine
Help in Chust

Czech Political Prisoners

Book talk by Jana Kopelent-Rehak: Recovering Face: Czech Political Prisoners and The Politics of Joking
October 30, 2022 on ZOOM


Dr. Jana Kopelent-Rehak presented two of her books, Recovering Face: Czech Political Prisoners and The Politics of Joking. She discussed stories of men and women who survived concentration camps under the Communist regime and how the post-totalitarian state and society are coming to reconciliation with crimes. Then, she explored how humor, used as political expression, can provide a powerful critique, a non-violent form of political protest a space for restoring human dignity.

The books are available for purchase online.
Czech Political Prisoners: Recovering Face: Rehak, Jana Kopelentova: 9780739176344: Books
Published by Lexington Books (December 14, 2012)
ISBN 978-0739176344
192 page

The Politics of Joking: Anthropological Engagements – 1st Edition
ISBN 9781138314054
Published by Routledge (November 5, 2018)
206 Pages

Kopelent Rehak books

From Jewelry to Sound Recording

A talk by Filip Šír, National Museum in Prague

Friday, SEPTEMBER 30 at 7 pm
Bohemian National Hall, Cinema
321 E 73 Str, Manhattan

Etiketa cylinder

Free and open to the public
Suggested donation of $5.00

Wearing a face mask is recommended.


Filip Šír will present the story of Edward (Ed) Jedlicka, a Czech jeweler and watchmaker who emigrated to the United States in 1895 and settled in the Czech neighborhood on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Jedlicka was a man of many interests and talents. He created a silver branch of a linden tree, which in 1901 was presented by an association of sixty Czech societies to the famous Czech violinist and composer Jan Kubelik, when he performed for the first time at Bohemian National Hall in New York City.

lipova vetev
Jedlicka was passionate about emerging photography and sound recording technologies and was the first to use them to document the Czech community’s rich cultural life in New York City. He took photographs of Alphonse Mucha’s studio and the Bohemian National Hall, among others. In 1903, he registered his label Ed.Jedlicka and produced over five hundred two-minute brown wax cylinder recordings of Czech songs and stories.

In 2019, the University of Iowa received a donation of Jedlicka’s brown wax cylinders. Several cylinders pre-date the label registration or are the only copy of a particular title, making them exceedingly rare.

Now, come hear recordings made 120 years ago just two blocks from the Bohemian National Hall!

filip sir

Filip Šír is an expert sound archivist at the National Museum in Prague and the principal researcher for the New Phonograph: Listening to the History of Sound project, which studies early Czech sound recordings in the Czech Republic and the USA. He received his degree in Library Sciences from Charles University and is a member of the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA). In 2016, he received the INFORUM 2016 Prize for the Virtual National Phonotheque project. In 2017, with Gabriel Gössel, he was awarded the ARSC Certificate of Merit for his contribution to the Recorded Sound in Czech Lands research project. He conducted research at libraries worldwide and lectured at Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library at Harvard University, New York University, and elsewhere. He also conducted a two-day workshop at Fonoteca Nacional de México. He will be joining us on his way from the international IASA conference in Mexico, where he presented a paper on Voskovec&Werich, Transatlantic Battlefront: Czech Comedians Fight Hitler in the Shortwave Trenches.


A screening of the animated autobiography Drawn from Memory (56min) by the Czech American award-winning animator Paul Fierlinger. With voices of Jan Triska, Václav Havel and Miloš Forman. The program also included a short video with an introduction by Paul Fierlinger and an overview of his work, More Vivid than this Morning’s News.

Thursday, JUNE 16 at 7 PM
Bohemian National Hall, 3rd floor
321 E 73 St, Manhattan


This event was part of the “Ticket to the New World” multimedia project of the Czech National Trust curated by Czech photographer Eva Heyd in 2018 in Prague. Eva Heyd presented her book Ticket to the New World / Lístek do Nového sveta presenting sixteen accomplished Czech émigrés, 1938-1939, who found refuge in the USA. The book is available online:

PAUL FIERLINGER, born in 1936 in Japan, is an award-winning Czech American animator. His father, Jan Fierlinger, was a Czechoslovak diplomat, and his uncle,,Zdenek Fierlinger, an infamous prominent communist apparatchik (1948 -1968). Paul spent the WWII years in Vermont, where his busy parents left him in foster care. Later, back in postwar Czechoslovakia, they “parked” him in a boarding school in Podebrady. Here, his schoolmates were Miloš Forman, Ivan Passer and Václav Havel. Paul later captured his dramatic young life with its twists and turns in his feature biopic animated film Drawn from Memory.

Fierlinger established himself in 1958 as Czechoslovakia’s first independent producer of animated films. In 1967, he escaped from Czechoslovakia and eventually arrived back in the USA. He introduced himself to the American public with a black and white emotional film Prague 68′ Summer of Tanks, with authentic footage from the August 1968 occupation of Prague shot by his Czechoslovak colleagues. His personal experiences as an immigrant, traveling through various countries, were reflected in a 1978, fifteen-minute-long praise to America titled Rainbowland. Fierlinger triumphed in 1980 with It’s So Nice to Have a Wolf Around the House, for which he received many awards, including an Academy Award nomination for the best animated short film.

Fierlinger became a steady provider of many TV commercials and sales films for US Healthcare (now Aetna), winning various international awards. Together with his wife Sandra, they developed a small series of interstitials for Nickelodeon called Amby & Dexter: The Way of Silent, a Sesame Street series called Alice Kadeezenberry, and a twenty-minute film of children’s songs for the Children’s Book of the Month Club called Playtime.

In 2001, Fierlinger created a half-hour PBS special called Still Life with Animated Dogs, a film about dogs and other things of a divine nature. He also made an animation series for Oxygen Network, Drawn from Life, two-minute films that feature real-life women’s voices and simple stories. The Fierlinger’s own production of My Dog Tulip, based on the book of the same title by British author J. R. Ackerley, featured the voice talents of Christopher Plummer, the late Lynn Redgrave, and Isabella Rossellini.

Since founding his animation studio in 1971 in Philadelphia, PA, Paul has authored over 700 projects. Many of his films received considerable recognition, such as Fellowship in the Arts (1997), two Grands Prix at the Ottawa International Animation Festival (2000 and 2004), Peabody Award (2001), First Prize at the 2002 Zagreb World Festival of Animated Films (2002), a nomination at Annecy International Animated Film Festival (2009) and other prestigious awards.

Paul Fierlinger about his life

Animated films by Paul and Sandra Fierlinger
For a private demo of Drawn from Memory, please contact:

This event was produced by the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU), New York Chapter, to accompany the “Ticket to the New World” exhibition at the Bohemian National Hall, NYC, curated by Czech photographer Eva Heyd for the Czech National Trust. In association with the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation/ Rehearsal for Truth Festival, and the Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association (BBLA).

A Woman to Remember: Marie Provazníková (1890-1991)

A tribute to a visionary innovator in international women’s gymnastics.

Sunday, APRIL 10, 2022, at 2 PM (EST) on ZOOM

PART 1:LIFE IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA (1890-1948)(63 min.)

PART 2: LIFE IN EXILE (1948-1991) will be available later. We are seeking funding for its processing and editing.

Join artist Anna VA Polesny (granddaughter) and playwright Petr Dudek, in conversation with historians, colleagues, family members, and friends, remembering and celebrating the life and work of MARIE PROVAZNÍKOVÁ.

A visionary innovator in international women’s gymnastics, progressive Czechoslovak Sokol* leader and powerful proponent of women’s rights, Provazníková received the French Legion of Honor for her work. When President of the Women’s Technical Committee of the International Gymnastics Federation, she led the Czechoslovak gymnastic team to a gold medal at the 1948 London Olympics and became one of the first political defectors at the games. A victim of the Cold War, Provazníková continued dedicating her life to democracy and the survival of Sokol ideals, tirelessly working in the United States until her death at the age of 100.

MP young Slet

*Sokol celebrates its 160th anniversary this year!

Sokol (falcon): a gymnastic society founded in Prague in 1862 with the goal of utilizing a system of gymnastics training that would 1) develop sound minds in sound bodies, 2) motivate the Czech people to revive a personal and national consciousness and 3) enhance the concepts of democracy, brotherhood, equality, liberty and civic responsibility.

Sokol was founded on the philosophy that physically fit, mentally alert and culturally developed people can make a nation strong. The word “sokol” translates to “falcon” and is symbolic of the Sokol ideals: Courage, Strength, Endurance, Fraternalism, Love of democratic principles, and Pride in the country

Anna Polesny Bartoli and Petr Dudek

SPEAKERS include historians Harry Blutstein, PhD, Cold War Olympics, Jean Dusek,Václav Sotola, The Struggles, and Development of the Women’s Sokol Movement as Illustrated by the Life of Marie Provaznikova (1996), Robert Tomanek, PhD, Czech Immigrants and the Sokol Movement (2021); Milan Kocourek, BBC reporter at the 1982 slet in Vienna, Jean Hruby, American Sokol president, Norma Zabka, Sokol NY president emeritus and U.S. Gymnastics Hall of Fame member, Katerina Pohlova and Martin Klement, Sokol archivists in Prague, Jitka Zobal Ratner, MD, Sokol summer camp participant and family members Zuzka Polesny Eggena, MD, granddaughter, and Alex Schay, great-grandson.


Organized by Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU), New York Chapter, in collaboration with Czech Sokol (Ceska obec sokolská) with the support of the Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association (BBLA) in New York.