Liberation Festival Pilsen
The liberation of Czechoslovakia by allied troops on May 1945 ended up the Second World War fighting in Europe. Most of the Czech area was occupied by the Soviet army, the bulk of western Bohemia was occupied by the U.S. 3rd Army led by General George Patton. On May 4, General Dwight Eisenhower ordered to advance in the heart of Czechoslovakia, which began key american operations in Czech. On May 6, soldiers with a white star came to Pilsen and it became the last place where the path of allied troops through European continent ended up. Memory of fighting or dead Americans was forgoten and even belittled and any official celebration marking the arrival of the U.S. army in Pilsen have been unthinkable before 1989.
Every May since 1990, Plzeň goes notionally back to 1945. Liberation festival is held here and people from all over the world come here to celebrate the liberation by the US Army with the inhabitants of the town, military veterans and their families together. Participation of veterans whose annual visits tend to be full of emotions, was until recently basis of the upcoming program. The number of veterans decreases by time. Only individuals who can undertake a difficult journey to the Czech republic despite their health conditions have remained. That´s why the city of Pilsen tries to move the liberation festival to the next level, which would ensure the continuity of the liberation festival, the preservation of tradition, the memory of the crucial moments of history and especially strenghtening of the current freedom.
The Liberation Festival program is divided into several parts. These are a regulary reccuring events, f.e. convoy of historical military vehicals, memorial meetings at WWII memorials or discussion with veterans. Sectional projects of individual clubs of military history offer new and interesting conception of history associated with the presentation of contemporary military equipment, weapons and military activities. Some of the projects go beyond the borders of individual years and continuously continues. The festival program also contains atractive innovations that will attract new visitors and offers a program for the whole family.