Weekend Slideshow: Old Photos of Czechs

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

When I was in Prague last May, I stopped by a used bookstore just a few blocks from my hotel. Toward the back of the store, I found stacks of what had to be hundreds of old photos. I got a little mesmerized looking through them. I probably spend more than an hour there, and found myself wondering about what happened to the people in the pictures. A few appear to be professionally taken, but most look like family photos. The owner of the bookshop said he started buying photo albums at what I gathered were yard sales, or the Czech equivalent of estate sales (there was a bit of a language barrier). He sold the photos for about 25 cents each, so I picked out a couple dozen that I found interesting.

Once I got home, I wasn’t really sure what to do with them. So I’ve had them scanned, and figure I’ll share them with you. Maybe if these float around the Internet a bit, someone might recognize a face or two, and give us some history about who we’re looking at.

Click twice on the slideshow to view at full-screen.

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8 Responses to “Weekend Slideshow: Old Photos of Czechs”

  1. #1 |  Jim March | 

    Get a pic of one of ‘em on a trampoline.

    You’ll have a bounced Czech.

  2. #2 |  Warren | 

    Are you sure pic six isn’t the baby photo of a well-known libertarian blogger based in Nashville?

  3. #3 |  CharlesWT | 

    A number of the adults look like they were malnourished growing up.

  4. #4 |  Jenn | 

    Sure wish I could better make out the billboard in picture three.

  5. #5 |  Mattocracy | 

    My great grandparents came from Czech side of Czechoslovakia. I didn’t see any pictures of people who look familiar though.

  6. #6 |  divadab | 

    The sad likelihood is that most of these pictures are of people who are now dead, and whose families have dispersed or died out. The chaos of WW2 uprooted millions of people and set them in motion away from their ancestral homes and traditional ways, leaving behind only archaeological evidence like these photos.

    FOr example, if any of these photos are of ethnic Germans, it is virtually certain that their families no longer live in Czech territory, having been relieved of their property and sent packing in 1945-46 along with the rest of their compatriots who found themselves in territory no longer German.

  7. #7 |  maybelogics | 

    Beautiful! My favorite is of the woman reading the newspaper to her dog.
    And totally I want to ride a cow.

  8. #8 |  Fred Williams | 

    Picture #3 was taken on Vaclavske Namesti (Wenceslas Square). You can see the National Museum in the background. Interwar period?

    Picture #17 looks like Young Pioneers, post war…maybe 50s?

    Picture #20, probably Croatian vacation…almost certainly not Czech Republic.

    Picture #21, Czech lion with Slovak cross…but no red star on top. Interwar period?

    Best,

    Fred

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