Vlasta Burian, (Liberec April 9, 1891 - January 31, 1962 Prague), also known as the King of Comedians (“Král komiků”), was a Czech stage actor, director, singer, theatre director, athlete, businessman, film actor, writer, and mime impersonator, who due to his unbridled spontaneity and the need to be everywhere first, worked himself between the real stars of Czech film and theatre. During his life, he played a plethora of roles and was the author of numerous screenplays and books.
Vlasta Burian enjoyed sports through all of his life and as young he played soccer for Sparta. However his passion for the theatre was greater. Burian played in several supporting roles, while simultaneously performed in various cabarets, where he soon became an audience darling. During the First World War he deserted with his pianist friend and preformed in villages. After his arrest he played in the military band.
After the war Burian took comic roles in several respectable theatres, but he still focused mainly on cabarets. Soon he had to establish his own theatre - nobody wanted to hire him, because he couldn’t manage his performances!
His acting was based on improvisation, dark and affectionate humour and satire. He was able to portray a variety of roles and characters of all sorts of jobs. The film studio was his element and he did not recognize the authority of the director (only one director, his friend Frič, could tame him a little). Many of his films have been criticized for being a one-man movies, where other actors are just shadows that can not compete with Burian.
Vlasta Burian was one of the most popular actors of the First Czechoslovak Republic. He lent his name and face to series of advertisements for companies like Baťa shoes or bonbons Burianky. He loved fast cars, hunting, army and wearing an uniform (he was member of Czechoslovak Army).
After the second world war, he was unjustly accused of collaboration (even though Burian sometimes during his performances subtly mocked Nazis and risked being arrested). He was persecuted by the communist regime and was forbidden to play. After lifting the ban Burian had been in very poor health, but that didn’t stop him from playing, not to mention that later he had to play simply to make a living. In 1953 he was fluked from the theatre and continued to play in numerous variety shows. His humour and comic were still at a good level, but they have already lost a substantial portion of explosion and personality, which did not hesitate to admit even Burian himself. He played his last performance with severe pneumonia (and eventually died of a pulmonary embolism). He was rehabilitated from all false accusations in 1994.
The popularity of Vlasta Burian continues till today and he is still winning the poll for the best comedian and television frequently rebroadcasts many of his films. (x)
Quick history: Munich agreement and the Second Republic
On 23rd September 1938 the new Czechoslovak government announced military mobilization and two days later rejected Hitler’s demands to give up Czechoslovak borderland. On 26th September Chamberlain sent his negotiators to Berlin, followed by a letter that said "you can get everything important without war and without delay".
From the left to the right: British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, French Prime Minsiter Édouard Daladier, German Führer Adolf Hitler, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, and Italian Foreign Minister Count Gian Galeazzo Ciano pictured before signing the Munich Agreement.
Afterwards Hitler gave approval to the meeting of representatives of Germany, Italy, Great Britain and France - the last two actual “allies” of Czechoslovakia (especially France), which is why the whole thing got the nickname “Munich Betrayal”. On 29th September 1938 all representatives agreed that Czechoslovakia has 10 days to cede the border territory inhabited by Germans (“Sudetenland”) to Germany. Despite being present in Munich at the moment, no Czechoslovak representatives were invited for this deal. That’s why the titles of Czech newspapers the next day said: “about us without us” (o nás bez nás). By the way this term is well known even now and is used at times when decisions are made abroad about our country without considering our opinion.On 30th September Czechoslovak government accepted the Munich Agreement. This meant the end of the First Czechoslovak Republic.
The acceptance of Munich Agreement had large impact on the country. Germany occupying the borderlands also meant the 40% loss of industrial enterprises, paralysis of the traffic, and taking over Czechoslovak border fortifications (which were of course build against Germany itself). The Munich Agreement however had a addition about „other minorities“, not long after followed by Viennese arbitration where Slovakia lost 20% of its land to Hungary. Poland too joined the territorial claims on Czechoslovakia and took Těšín (Czesyn).
Sudeten Germans destroying border poles. Sudetenland was officially added to the Reich. Second picture: Czech refugees moving to the inland from their confiscated homes.
Soon president Beneš abdicated and flew to Great Britain. The new president was elected Emil Hácha.
The Second Republic (1938 - 1939)
Truncated Czechoslovakia existed only briefly. The official title was changed to Czecho-Slovak Republic and Slovaks got their much desired autonomy. The Slovak nationalist party HSĽS, headed after the death of Andrej Hlinka by Jozef Tiso, was also gaining on influence.
After the occupation of the border prevailed among Czechs large scepticism and depression, often referred to as “the loss of national backbone.” In public were mostly seen careerists and the right wing. New conservative agrarian government tried to reconcile with Germany while seeking to preserve the Republic. All Czech parties were merged into two and democracy was slowly dying out. During this time also started the persecution of the Jews.
Hitler still wanted the whole Czechoslovakia but he was bound by agreements with the Allies to not invade. Hitler then realized that if Czechoslovakia ceases to exist he won’t break any deals while taking it. He used long-standing disagreements between Czechs and Slovaks to break the country from the inside without lifting even single gun.
Jozef Tiso, previously nominated for president of the autonomous Slovak government, was invited to Berlin where he was under pressure forced to choose between Hungarian occupation or declaring "independence". That’s why on 14th March 1939 was declared the independent Slovak state.
Tiso (first picture) was threatened with Hungarian invasion, although later Hungary attacked Slovakia anyway. Hácha (second picture) was threatened with bombing of Prague, which wasn’t even possible with the weather that day.
After Slovakia’s declaration of independence Czechoslovakia stopped existing. President Emil Hácha was invited to Berlin day after Tiso where he under similar pressure (Hácha even collapsed during this meeting) signed that Czech lands accept the protection of the Reich. The whole thing is pretty ironic if you realize that Germany was the very country Czechoslovakia was arming itself against in the years before.
On March 15 1939 at 6 o’clock in the morning began occupation of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia. That was the end of the Second Republic.You’ll see what this “protection” really meant in the next post.
Wow I really love your blog and appreciate the amount of effort you have put into the posts! Thank you it is very educational! Do you know of any blogs similar to yours but about different countries through the world?
Thank you so much!
I’m actually trying to find similar blogs as well so if my followers have some to add (even if it’s about country that’s already on the list) please be so kind and share it with us :)
September 30, 1938: The Munich Agreement cedes the Sudetenland to Nazi Germany.
The Munich Agreement, signed just after 1:00 AM on September 30, is remembered as one of the most spectacular examples of the failure of appeasement. Naturally, Neville Chamberlain was a signer.
Under the threat of war, Czechoslovakia was forced to annex a border region of their country called the Sudetenland, mostly inhabited by ethnic Germans. The occupation of the Sudetenland by the Germany army (and evacuation of Czechoslovakians) was scheduled to be complete by October 10. This Czechoslovakian government did not have any say in the annexation, as only Germany, the U.K., France, and Italy were present at the conference.
The same day, after Chamberlain returned from Munich, he delivered his famous (and deliciously ironic) “peace for our time” speech.
(Czech: Sv. Václav, Den české státnosti)
The day when whole nation remembers the main patron of Czechs - Saint Wenceslas (Czech: Svatý Václav). He was one of the early Přemyslid dukes of Bohemia. Václav ruled until his death on September 28, 935 when he was murdered by his younger brother Boleslav. He is also the first Czech ruler to suffer a martyr’s death, creating many legends afterwards. Saint Václav’s tradition has played a very important role in the emancipation of the Czech state and the Přemyslid dynasty in Christian Europe. His relics are buried in St. Vitus cathedral.
The statue of Saint Wenceslas on St. Wenceslas square where many important events of Czech history took place.
Reality: One of the longest squares in Prague is named after this historical figure. The statue of Saint Wenceslas ast the top of the square is a popular meeting point. Mases in the name of St Wenceslas are also said.
We might not know how Václav looked when he was in rule but we surely know how he looks now.
Saint Wenceslas | Svatý Václav
Saint Wenceslas is one of the most popular Czech saints, patron saint of the Czech lands, martyr and figure whose tradition has played a very important role in the emancipation of the Czech state and the Přemyslid dynasty in Christian Europe.
In addition to the work of the Saxon chronicler Widukind of Corvey historians derive their knowledge of Duke* Václav primarily from numerous legends.
Václav was born in Prague sometime around 907. He was raised in hillfort Budeč by his grandmother - wife or first documented Czech king Bořivoj I - Ludmila. Here he received an unusual education.
According to legends, Václav was unusually well educated for his time. He was reportedly taught in Old Slavonic language, Latin and perhaps even Greek by Slavic priests and his grandmother Ludmila. This statement is due to the prevailing illiteracy of European rulers during this period rather unlikely. It is therefore possible that the authors of the legend - the monks, bestowed Václav’s person with characteristics that have been requested from nuns. The image of a monk on the throne seems to some contemporary historians greatly distorted. So back to the facts…
I love your blog I’m a Czech and you capture the essence of my home land perfectly I always feel wonder when I open my blog an see your post thanks you for posting such wonderful pictures of my home (^~^)/
ááá to si snad ani nezasloužím ale děkuju, jsem ráda, že se líbí :)
- 4 (1-inch-thick) slices Edam, Gouda or Swiss Cheese
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup bread crumbs
- 1 large beaten egg
- oil or shortening for frying
- Sprinkle cheese with salt, if desired. Dredge slices in flour, then in beaten egg, and finally in bread crumbs, making sure the cheese slices are completely covered.
- Fry quickly in hot oil or shortening until golden brown. Serve immediately.