A Genuine Outpouring of Love and Appreciation for America.
Join The National WWII Museum Educational Travel Program on a tour of the Czech Republic, featuring one of the most touching modern-day tributes to the American armed forces in Europe: the Pilsen Liberation Festival. This annual event is marked by festive parades, moving commemorations, and serves as a reminder to both young and old residents of Pilsen to never forget the horrible period of Soviet oppression following World War II and during the Cold War.
- Exclusive Itinerary designed by The National WWII Museum and Dr. Alexandra Richie
- Presentations from the Museum’s digital collections, including video and oral histories
- Special access to sites not offered on other tours
- Full-time logistical Tour Manager
- Expert local guides
- Roundtrip Airport Transfers (when arriving and departing on scheduled group tour dates)
- Deluxe four and five-star accommodations throughout the journey
- Private, first-class, air-conditioned motor coach transportation
- Personal listening devices on all included touring
- Included gratuities to guides, drivers, porters and servers
- 8 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners, and 2 Receptions
- Beer, house wine, and soft drinks with included lunches and dinner
- Personalized luggage tags and name badge
- Additional pre and/or post-hotel nights
- Travel insurance
- Flight assistance
- Private transfers
Full Tour Itinerary
May 2, 2021 - Day 1
Arrival in Prague
Arrive in Vaclav Havel Airport Prague (PRG) and transfer to the Prague Paris Hotel. Enjoy free time this afternoon before this evening’s welcome dinner and tour preview with Dr. Alexan dra Richie.
Hotel Paris Prague (R, D)
May 3, 2021 - Day 2
Prague's Jewish History
Prague features one of the oldest Jewish communities in Europe with records of settlement dating back to the 10th Century. The influence of the Jewish community over the last 1,000 years has been tied to the tolerance of Prague’s leaders. During times of tolerance, Jews integrated into Prague society and held positions in commerce, politics, and the arts. During times of conflict, Jews faced expulsion or were compelled to take a side in various European conflicts. During World War II, the Nazis intended to liquidate Prague’s Jewish population while preserving its heritage as a “Museum of an Extinct Race.” During the tour today, uncover the legacy of the Jewish community in Prague with visits to the synagogues and the Jewish Museum.
Hotel Paris Prague (B)
May 4, 2021 - Day 3
On May 27, 1942, two Czech resistance fighters, Jan Kubiš and Jozef Gabčík, carried out a plot to assassinate Deputy Protector of Bohemia–Reinhard Heydrich. A bomb thrown by Gabčík wounded Heydrich, and the assassins fled the scene. Three weeks later, Nazi forces stormed the Cyril and Methodius Cathedral in search of Kubiš and Gabčík. A gun battle ensued killing 14 Germans before Gabčík committed suicide. Wounded in the fighting, Kubiš died upon arrival at a hospital. On your visit to the cathedral, view scars of the shootout and a museum in the crypt. Continue this afternoon on an optional tour focused on Prague’s role in the Thirty Years’ War.
Hotel Paris Prague (B, L, D)
May 5, 2021 - Day 4
Wonders of Prague
Two of the most awe-inspiring sites in Prague highlight the touring today. The Strahov Monastery’s Baroque library contains around 200,000 volumes from the 16th Century onward. Guests will be able to walk through the rooms on a private tour. The grandiose Prague Castle will complete the day’s touring. Dating to the 9th Century, the complex is the largest in the world at over 70,000 square meters. Through the centuries, it has been home to royalty of Bohemia and the leaders of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic.
Hotel Paris Prague (B, L)
May 6, 2021 - Day 5
Throughout the world, small collections of memorial sites remain in the state of destruction that resulted from World War II. For the Czech Republic, the destroyed town of Lidice is a reminder of the Nazi reprisals stemming from the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich. In June 1942, German forces killed every man in Lidice, deported every woman, and sent the children away. The town ceased to exist. After the war, the new Lidice was constructed next to the destruction. Over time, the Czechs built memorials and museums overlooking the old town. The route between the new and old Lidice is now lined with rows of Linden trees.
Hotel Paris Prague (B, L)
May 7, 2021 - Day 6
The Theresienstadt Concentration Camp primarily housed Jews from Bohemia, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany, and later was a transfer point to the death camps in Poland. The fortress was constructed in 1790 to protect the area from Prussian invasions. During World War II, the Nazis took advantage of the walled fortress to convert it to a concentration camp. To the outside world, the Nazis presented Theresienstadt as a model for Jewish resettlement. Propaganda films showed Jews living a comfortable life under the protection of the Third Reich with art and cultural activities available to all. Included in the films was the children’s opera Brundibár, written in 1938 and first performed by child inmates of the camp.
Hotel Paris Prague (B, L)
May 8, 2021 - Day 7
Pilsen Liberation Festival 2021
May 8, 2021: Drive to Pilsen this morning to take part in the activities of the Liberation Festival. The Liberation of Pilsen in 1945 is a significant moment in the memory of the Czech Republic. The 3rd Army entered western Czechoslovakia in May 1945 and proceeded to liberate the city of Pilsen. This small sliver of territory in the Bohemia region became the sole Czech territory liberated by American forces. From 1948-1989, the communist government of Czechoslovakia squashed any pro-American demonstrations, but the citizens of Pilsen did not forget their liberation. In 1990, the first Liberation festival brought forth a wave of pro-American sentiment that has continued every year.
Courtyard Marriott Pilsen (B)
May 9, 2021 - Day 8
Convoy of Liberty Parade
On the tour’s second day of the Pilsen Liberation Festival, experience the military parade. For the better part of a week, the locals in Pilsen have paid tribute to the United States, and the parade is the capstone event. This evening, a farewell dinner will recall the highlights of the tour and pay tribute to our Czech hosts.
Courtyard Marriott Pilsen (B, D)
May 10, 2021 - Day 9
Bid farewell to the Czech Republic this morning and transfer to Vaclav Havel Airport Prague for individual flights back to the United States.
Alexandra Richie, DPhil
Alexandra Richie is a historian of Germany as well as Central and Eastern Europe, with a specialization in defense and security issues. She completed her B.A. (Hons) in Political Science at the University of Victoria and went on to study at St. Antony’s College, Oxford, where she wrote her doctoral thesis, The Political Manipulation of History in East and West Germany.
Richie is also the author of Faust’s Metropolis: A History of Berlin, which was named one of the top ten books of the year by American Publisher’s Weekly. Her latest book, Warsaw 1944, won the Newsweek Teresa Torańska Prize for best non-fiction book of 2014 and the Kazimierz Moczarski Prize for Best History Book in 2015.
She has contributed to many articles, documentaries, radio, and television programs, and serves on the Presidential Counselors at The National WWII Museum. She is also a member of the Senate at the Collegium Civitas University in Warsaw, Poland, and the Władysław Bartoszewski co-chair of History and International Studies at the Collegium Civitas. Dr. Richie is a favorite of Museum travelers and has hosted dozens of tours with The National WWII Museum to destinations in Germany, Poland, along the Elbe, and in the Baltic.
Hotel Paris Prague
Built in 1904 by renowned architect Jan Vejrych, the Hotel Paris Prague is now recognized as a historical monument and a five-star luxury hotel. Ideally situated in Prague’s Old Town, the hotel is just a short walk from iconic sites, such as the Wenceslas Square, Charles Bridge, and the Prague Astronomical Clock. With two onsite restaurants and a full-service spa, the hotel provides a calm environment in the midst of the historic city. Each of the 86 rooms in Hotel Paris Prague is a sanctuary in itself, with soundproof walls, complimentary Wifi, flat-screen televisions, soaking tubs, slippers, and robes. The rooms are thoughtfully furnished in the Art Nouveau style to match the stunning exterior of the hotel.
Courtyard Marriott Pilsen
Equipped with stunning views of Pilsen’s city center, the Courtyard Marriott is highly-regarded as one of Pilsen’s premier modern luxury hotels. The friendly hotel staff is available around the clock to assist with whatever you need, from laundry service to bike rentals. With a plethora of breweries, restaurants, and activities nearby, previous guests have given the hotel’s location an A+ rating. Connect with family and friends back home using the hotel’s complimentary Wifi. Start your day of touring with an impressive breakfast buffet, and end the day with clean, plush bedding and other modern amenities available in each room.