The Prague Trail for Peace and Non-Violent Resistance
(Prague Peace Trail)

The Prague Trail for Peace and Non-Violent Resistance runs through places connected to the lives of people who, without violence, have defended life and human rights against dehumanizing evil, fear and indifference. The Peace Trail is a tourist trail of a kind. It has a beginning and an end, can be walked is a single day (20 km) with the option of taking public transport.

The pacifist must also know that there is no peace without freedom. Přemysl Pitter
True peace is not merely the absence of negative force - tension, confusion or war; it is the presence of some positive force - justice, goodwill and brotherhood …Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. Martin Luther King jr.
{"lat": 50.0837292, "lng": 14.4617703} {"lat": 50.0867625, "lng": 14.4526889} {"lat": 50.0836750, "lng": 14.4473778} {"lat": 50.0793481, "lng": 14.4369772} {"lat": 50.0758958, "lng": 14.4371636} {"lat": 50.0624092, "lng": 14.4224931} {"lat": 50.0688894, "lng": 14.4244911} {"lat": 50.0751789, "lng": 14.4140394} {"lat": 50.0861039, "lng": 14.4067661} {"lat": 50.0896469, "lng": 14.4038761} {"lat": 50.0891947, "lng": 14.3978261} {"lat": 50.0943439, "lng": 14.4152967} {"lat": 50.0972133, "lng": 14.4309167} {"lat": 50.0966817, "lng": 14.4323419} {"lat": 50.0878575, "lng": 14.4216200} {"lat": 50.0863875, "lng": 14.4239431} {"lat": 50.0835625, "lng": 14.4354864} {"lat": 50.0857625, "lng": 14.3517750}

The Prague Trail for Peace and Non-Violent Resistance runs through places linked to the lives of people who, without violence, defended life and human rights against dehumanizing evil, fear and indifference. The trail commemorates people that deserve respect and admiration, and whose actions and attitudes inspire.

The Peace Trail is a tourist trail of a kind. It has a beginning and an end, can be walked in a single day (20 km), with the option of taking public transport. It starts in Milíčův dům in Žižkov which is connected to the life of Přemysl Pitter, a social reformer and rescuer of children, leads to Vinohrady and to the Jedlička Institute in Vyšehrad, and from there turns via Albertov to Rašínovo nábřeží – where Olga and Václav Havel lived – then crosses to the other bank of the Vltava River. Through Kampa and Malá Strana it leads to Prague Castle and then via Letná to the Old Town and ends at platform 1 in Prague’s main station where we remember Doreen Warriner, Nicholas Winton and other activists from the winter of 1938-1939. There are seventeen stops on the trail; from Prague Castle you may take a tram to visit Břevnov cemetery.

The trail links places with personalities and events. Each stop is accompanied by short texts and references to further literature. We provide the exact addresses, information on how to get to the venues by public transport, how to follow the trail and details of the distances between sites. You may also navigate using your smartphone.

How were the places selected?

In autumn 2016, the public were asked to nominate places related to personalities and events: we created a press release, put it on the www.kvakeri.cz website, sent it to CTK (Czech Press Agency) and other selected media, asked friends and promoted the project through social media. From the suggestions received and our own nominations, we arrived at a selection of 18 sites based on the following criteria:

The first was the person’s testament of hope, their non-violent resistance to acts of evil, fear and indifference. We looked at the way in which these people were peacemakers. Peace and nonviolence do not imply the sanctioning of the status quo in the name of passivity, obedience and avoidance of action, but an active attitude stemming from the claim of one’s own dignity to defend the freedom and quality of one’s own life and the freedom and quality of other people’s lives. In this sense, “there is no peace without freedom”.

The second determining criterion was the connection of personalities to Prague and the walkability of the trail. The third was to find an ethnic, political, gender and religious balance, and to ensure that the trail makes the most of the beauty of the urban landscape through which it passes. And one last criterion was applied - all the personalities whose legacies make up the Peace Trail must have lived been alive in the 20th century.

The list of All Nominations

Alena Dernerová, Libor Michálek, František Kriegel, Jan Hus, Růžena Vacková, Rudolf Jedlička, Bernard Bolzano, Přemysl Pitter and Olga Fierzová, Doreen Warriner, Nicholas Winton, Josef Hofbauer, Bertha von Suttner, Iniciativa Hlavák (a refugee support group), Czech Team helping in the Balkan’s during the migrant crisis in 2015, Ferdinand Peroutka, Karel Čapek a T. G. Masaryk, Milena Hübschmannová, Rudolf Dzurko, Elena Lacková, Jan Bouchal, St. Wenceslas, Milena Jesenská, Anastáz Opasek, Jan Patočka, Marta Kubišová, Milada Horáková, Jan Ámos Comenius, Francesco Petrarca, John Lennon Wall, Student Movements (1939 – now); Václav Havel, Olga Havlová, Charter 77, Jaroslav Vrchlický, Karel Havlíček Borovský, Jakub Polák, PragueVision (Institute for Sustainable Security) and PNND (Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament), Roman Smetana, František Lízna, George of Poděbrady, Albert Schweitzer, Lenka Reinerová, Petr Ginz, Josef Vavroušek, Pavel Kropáček, Meister Eckhart, Petr Chelčický, Ernest Denis, Alice Herzová-Sommerová, W. A. Mozart, Erazim Kohák, Martin Buber, Jan Palach, Jan Zajíc, Evžen Plocek, Karel Kryl, Vladimír Boudník, Jan Opletal, kardinál Tomášek, František Bakule, Jaroslava Moserová, Hana Greenfield, Františka Plamínková.

Authorship

The project was initiated by Czech Quakers (www.kvakeri.cz) and inspired by other similar European projects (www.discoverpeace.eu).
Texts © Ondřej Skovajsa
Concept © Arne Springorum, Pavel Marušinec, Ondřej Skovajsa
Photography © Ondřej Skovajsa (unless otherwise stated)
Web design © Juraj Príkopa
Translation © Liz Coling, Ondřej Skovajsa

Funding and Alfred Bader

The project was funded by Czech Quakers (www.kvakeri.cz) with support from Bader Philanthropies (www.bader.org). Alfred Bader was born in 1924 in Vienna. As a fourteen-year-old boy he was rescued from Nazi oppression – his father was of Jewish origin – and went by Kindertransport to London where he lived with a Quaker family for two years. Alfred Bader later became a successful chemist and co-founded the Sigma Chemical Corporation. He now lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and through his foundation has supported educational projects for many years, including several in the Czech Republic.

Next steps

In addition to the digital format, we want to create a low-cost paper map and if property owners agree, plan to mark specific sites with links to the project’s website.

Walk the Trail with the Author

If you are interested in walking the trail together with the author, write to ondrej@praguepeacetrail.org. The minimum time for a guided walk is two hours.

Support the Project and its future development



Contact

Please send questions and suggestions to: ondrej@praguepeacetrail.org

But we must never forget that there is something within human nature that can respond to goodness, that man is not totally depraved; to put it in theological terms, the image of God is never totally done. And so, the individuals who believe in this movement and who believe in nonviolence and our struggle in the South, somehow believe that even the worst segregationist can become an integrationist. Now sometimes it is hard to believe that this is what this movement says, and it believes it firmly, that there is something within human nature that can be changed, and this stands at the top of the whole philosophy of the student movement and the philosophy of nonviolence. Martin Luther King jr., 1961
s there not a sort of blood shed when the conscience is wounded? Through this wound a man’s real manhood and immortality flow out, and he bleeds to an everlasting death. I see this blood flowing now. Henry David Thoreau, 1849
Thus an attitude that turns away from abstract political visions of the future toward concrete human beings and ways of defending them effectively in the here and now is quite naturally accompanied by an intensified antipathy to all forms of violence carried out in the name of a better future, and by a profound belief that a future secured by violence might actually be worse than what exists now; in other words, the future would be fatally stigmatized by the very means used to secure it. At the same time, this attitude is not to be mistaken for political conservatism or political moderation. The "dissident" movements do not shy away from the idea of violent political overthrow because the idea seems too radical, but on the contrary, because it does not seem radical enough. Václav Havel, (1978, translated by Paul Wilson)