MN Conference 1999
Czech  and  Slovak   America : Quo Vadis?

Organized by the

Czechoslovak  Society  of   Arts  and  Sciences (SVU)

in cooperation with the

Center for Austrian Studies, College of Liberal Arts
Department of Educational Policy and Administration
College of Education and Human Development
Fulbright Association of Minnesota
Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs and its
Center for Nations in Transition and its International Fellows Program
Imigration History Research Center
Minnesota International Center
Office of International Programs
MTS Systems Corporation and Pharma Nutrients

on the Occasion of the Visit of

Vaclav  Havel, President of the Czech Republic

University of Minnesota Medical School
2nd Floor Auditorium 2-470
516 Delaware St. SE, Minneapolis, MN

April 24-26, 1999

A  Word  from  SVU   President

The Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences, generally known under its acronym SVU, commemorated last year forty years of its existence. Since its inception in 1958, the Society has grown into a respected international organization with chapters in major cities around the world.  It was organized at the initiative of Czech and Slovak intellectuals abroad, at the time when the communist regime in Czechoslovakia had repudiated the country's historical traditions and suppressed free expression. For some thirty years, until the end of the communist era, the SVU provided a forum for free development of Czechoslovak culture in exile and made the world aware of the Czech and Slovak cultural traditions which date back more than a millennium.

Following the Velvet Revolution, when the communist world finally crumbled, SVU has become a bridge between the Czech and Slovak professionals and those in other countries, helping to integrate the intellectual life of these two nations into the mainstream of world science, arts and letters, from which they were separated by political barriers for so long.

The Society, however, also has responsibilities toward  its members abroad, particularly in America, where the bulk of its membership live. It is in this spirit that we hold this special conference on "Czech and Slovak America: Quo Vadis?" in Minneapolis, MN, the cradle of Czech and Slovak life in the US.  The aim of the conference is to explore the questions of historic settlements and present-day communities of immigrants of former Czechoslovakia, preservation of their cultural identity and heritage and mutual relations with the Czech and Slovak Republics.

A special panel is devoted to human rights in the Czech and Slovak Republics from the external as well as internal point of view. There is also a Business Forum comprised of top executives addressing the questions of trade and business opportunities in both republics. Furthermore, there is a journalist panel with the participation of newspapermen from both sides of the Atlantic and a panel comprised of the younger set discussing their perspectives in viewing the new millennium.

The active participants include not only academics, but also businessmen, students and chief officers of our communities and their organizations in the US and Canada, as well as official spokesmen of the Czech and Slovak Republics.

This extraordinary happening and truly pivotal event of the year should greatly  strengthen the mutual bond of the Czech and Slovak communities in America and their ties with their old country. It is hoped that it will also aid in our joint efforts to preserve our cultural identity and heritage in America.

Miloslav Rechcigl, Jr.
SVU President

Saturday, April 24, 1999
8:30 a.m.
    Auditorium 2-470 Phillips Wangensteen  Bldg.

Words of Welcome from Robert Bruininks, Executive Vice President and Provost,
University of Minnesota
Official Opening by Miloslav Rechcigl, President of SVU
Remarks by Josef Mestenhauser, Conference Coordinator

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon
    Section  I. A. Czech and Slovak Organizations in America Past and Present:
    Presidential Symposium
    Miloslav Rechcigl, Presiding
    Auditorium 2-470 Phillips Wangensteen Bldg.

Deborah Zeman -  CSA Fraternal Life since 1854
Paul. C. Lebloch - The American Sokol Organization (ASO)
Howard  Leshikar - Changing Nature of Fraternal Benefit Societies 
John Richard - Eighty Two Years of the Czechoslovak National Council of America (CNCA)
Miloslav Rechcigl - Forty Years of SVU: An Inspiring Vision and Amaranthine Goals
Mojmir Povolny - Council of Free Czechoslovakia: Before and After 1989
Jan Hird Pokorny - Fifty Years of the American Fund of Czechoslovak Relief (Refugees)
Rev. Michael G. Rokos - The Bohemian National Cemetery (and the Czech and Slovak Heritage Association of Maryland ) - Keeping in Touch with Home, 1884-1999
Phillip M. Kasik American Friends of the Czech Republic, the National Advocacy and Support Organization for the Czech Republic
Nada Humlova - Czech and Slovak Association of Canada
Rev. Vojtech Vit - National Alliance of Czech Catholics
Rev. Msgr. Petr Esterka - Pastoral Work Among the Czech Catholics in USA, Canada and Australia

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon
    I. B. The Media and Communications:
    Impact on Relations with the Czech and Slovak Republics
    Tomas Klvana, Presiding
    Room 2530 Moos Tower

Josef Brozek  - Fighting with a Pen - 1943-1944 
Vera Rollerova - Polistopadove Ceskoslovensko. Ceskoslovenska republika v odrazu exiloveho tisku (Post-November Czechoslovakia. The Czechoslovak Republic as Reflected in the Exile Press
Robert J. White - American Perceptions of Central Europe
Jeremy Iggers - Defending Press Freedoms: What Czech, Slovak and American
Journalism Can Learn from Each Other
Petr Bisek - A Survival of the Czech-American Periodical in the Next Millennium
Tomas Klvana - The Totalitarian in US : How the Past Reaches the Present and Prevents a Meaningful Discourse
Eva Strizovska - Devet let zkusenosti z komunikace mezi Cechy ve svete, zejmena z Ameriky (Nine Years of Experience of the Communication with Czechs
Abroad, especially in the US)
Patric Dale - Havel-Political Communications in the Czech Republic
Thomas Hasler - The Czech Republic Hasn't Begun to Exploit the Potential of the Web   

1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    II. A.  Historic Settlements and Present Day  Communities
    Miloslav Rechcigl, Presiding
    Auditorium 2-470 Phillips Wangensteen Bldg.

Ivan Dubovicky - Causes and Patterns of Czech and Slovak Immigration to America
Thomas W. Hrncirik - Czech Settlements in America
Eva Slezak and Michael Rokos - The Enduring Czech Presence in Maryland, 350 Plus Years
Bryan Tomasovich  - The Czech and Slovak Experience in Wisconsin:  A New Generation Faces Americanization
Lawrence C. Cerny - Czechs of Cleveland
Roger H. Kolar - The State of Czech-Texas
Joe T. Vosoba  - Heart of Europe Transplanted to the Heart of America - The Czech Revival in            Nebraska
James Sazevich and Mary Halbert - Building for the Future in Bohemian Squatterdom
Donald Pafko - Early History and Settlement of Slovaks in Minneapolis and the Environs
Elaine. Benda - Czechs in Oklahoma
Jarmila Mikulasova Vogel - Czech and Slovak Cultural Heritage in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Kathryn Betlach Dankowski - The Grapes Were Gold

1:00 p.m. - 4:00 noon
   II. B. Human Rights in the Czech and Slovak Republics:
   Perceptions from Abroad and Reality
Josef Mestenhauser, Presiding
Room 2-530 Moos Tower

Petr Pithart - The Functioning of the Czech Legal System and the Problems of Law Enforcement 
Stephen Feinstein - Jiri Sozansky: Czech Artist: The Uses of the Holocaust and Ghetto Terezin in the Czech Human Rights and Anti-Communist Movement, 1969-1992
William Duna - History of Persecution of the Gypsies: How it Originated and Continues to this Day
Ann Sutherland - History of the Roma and the Current Situation in the Czech and Slovak Republics
Gwen Willems - Human Rights Education and the Roma in the Czech Republic
Ann Marie Schultz - Barriers the Roma Face Today in the Czech Republic and Possible Solutions
Karel Velan  - Needed: An Objective, Problem-Solving Approach to Integration of Gypsies into the Czech Republic as Full Citizens
Jack Randler - Czech Republic: The Next Generation of Human Rights Protection

Sunday, April 25, 1999
8:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon 

    III. A. Preserving Cultural Identity and Heritage
    Anton Novacky, Presiding
    Auditorium 2-470 Phillips Wangensteen Bldg.

Sharon Sargent - Vstipeni jsme v narodu. We Are Implanted  in This Nation.
The KJZT and the Creation of Czech Texas
John Rocarek - Business of Preserving Czech and Slovak Historical Landmarks
Zdenek Hruban - Archives of Czechs and Slovaks Abroad at the University of Chicago
David Muhlena - The Czech Legacy in the State of Iowa
Jan H. Pokorny - Preserving Our Cultural Heritage - The New York Experience
Joel Wurl - Documenting Czech America History and Culture: The University of Minnesota's Immigration History Research Center
Miroslav Musil - Known, Less Known and Unknown Markers Related to Historical
Slovak-American Personalities and their Future
John Krondl - National Bohemian Hall
Deborah Zeman- Czechoslovak Heritage Museum - Past and Present
Ruth Davis- Recording and Documenting the Czechoslovak Jewish Historic Experience
Marie P.  Dolansky - Promoting Czechoslovak Music in America - Why and How
Jan Vicar - Echoes of Czech Music in America

8:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon
    III. B. Relations with Czech and Slovak  Republics
    Josef Mestenhauser, Presiding
    Room 2-530 Moos Tower

Martin Palous - The Current Position of the Czech Republic Toward Czech Americans
Petr Pithart - Czech and Slovak Republics: How to Overcome Provincialism
Frantisek Mezihorak - Glosses: Gratitude and Memories
John Luknic - Search for Meaning in Post-Communist World 
Petr Zuna- Traditions of the Czech Technical Universities in the Context of Globalization
Otto Ulc - Disharmonious Relationships: Some Causes and Eventual Remedies
Jan Sammer - To Renew Morality of the Czech Nation through the Restitution of Private Property
Mojmir Povolny, President, Czech and Slovak Solidarity Council
Jaromir Slapota - President, Czechoslovak Foreign Institute, Prague

1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
     IV. A.  Business Forum: Trade with Czech Republic
in Cooperation with the Czech-North American Chamber of Commerce
Karel Velan, Presiding
Auditorium 2-470 Phillips Wangensteen Bld.

Lubomir Novotny - The Newly Established Czech-North American Chamber of Commerce in Atlants
Petr Gandalovic - The Latest Developments in Czech Economy
Martin Jahn - Investment Climate in the Czech Republic: CzechInvest's Survey of Foreign Manufacturing Investments in CR and New Government Incentives
Robert J. Koran - How to Attract US Strategic Investors  in View of the Current Czech Economy
George Tesar - Development of Czech Trade with U.S. Firms: Problems and Issues
Petr Chadraba - The Role of Czech Government and the Czech Emigre Community to Advance the Development of the Czech Economy
Peter Rafaeli - Development of Small Business - the Backbone of a Strong Economy
Jiri Tesar - "Junior Achievement"
Karel Velan - The Restructuring of the Czech Industry and Opportunities to North American Investors

1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
        IV. B. The Perspective of the Young in Viewing the New Millennium
Vera Kovacovic, Presiding
Room 2-530 Moos Tower

Pavel Bocek - Research Report: The Need for Cooperation between Medical
Infrastructure Here and in the Czech Republic
Marisa Schleis: Czech Identity in Face of Globalization
Ivan Tkac - Perspectives of the Research and Science in Slovakia
Edward Valla: Thoughts on US Foreign Policy for the New Millennium
Vera Kovacovic - Small Nations: The Importance of Global Perspective
Anna Vysoka - Need for New Teaching Methods as Tools for Shift in Thinking
Bruce Berglund - An Outsider Looking In: A Non-Czech American and Czech History
Renata Polaskova: Role of Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations

Jiri Hruska
Sharon Sargent
Martin Hrnciar
Bryan Tomasovich
Amy Burton

Special  SVU   Events

SVU General Assembly Meeting

Saturday, April 24,  5:00 p.m., 2nd Floor Auditorium 2-470,
Phillips-Wangensteen Building, University of Minnesota Medical School, 516
Delaware St. SE, Minneapolis

SVU Reception and Banquet

Saturday, April 24, 1999, 6:30 p.m., University of University of Minnesota
Campus Club, Coffman Memorial Union, 300 Washington Ave. South, Minneapolis

President Havel's Visit - Associated Activities

In addition to the SVU Conference Czech and Slovak America: Quo Vadis?', the twenty-hour visit by President Havel to Minnesota has generated other "official" and "unofficial" activities. The two official activities are, first, the "Havel Civil Society Symposium" to be held at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, April 26, 1999 at Macalester College Field House. The President will receive honorary degrees from Macalester College and the University of St. Thomas, and will deliver a major speech on "Toward a Civil Society". The second official activity is the Czech Welcome Party for the President, "Our Heritage - Our Gift to the Future" jointly organized by SVU, the Czech and Slovak Sokol Minnesota, and the Czechoslovak Genealogical Society International. It will be held also on Monday, April 26, 1999 at 1:00 sharp at the University of St Thomas. Participants who registered for the SVU Conference and requested tickets to either or both of these events will find them in their conference packets.