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Stories of Czech-American WWII Veterans

Some of Iowa’s remaining World War II veterans plan to attend an event Thursday at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library that will feature their stories.


World War II historian Jiří Klůc, a doctoral student at Charles University in Prague, is traveling from the Czech Republic to capture first-hand oral histories of WWII veterans in Iowa.

His presentation, “Stories of Czech-Americans in WWII,” will take place from 5-6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 27, in the theater of the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, and will include stories of veterans gathered during his research. Last year, an estimated 1,200 WWII veterans were living in Iowa, with approximately 130 nationwide dying per day. Less than 1 percent of the 16.4 million Americans who served during World War II are still alive today.

Jim Gruntorad, board president of the Czech Heritage Foundation, said the project fulfills the Cedar Rapids-based nonprofit’s mission of preserving, celebrating and maintaining the rich culture of the Czech community for future generations.

“This is a rare opportunity to capture first-hand memories of some of our remaining WWII veterans, including those with Czech ancestry,” Gruntorad said. “The Czech Heritage Foundation fully supports preserving their stories, and acknowledging the contributions of Czech-Americans, during this singular project before the last of our Greatest Generation has passed.”

Klůc plans to begin interviews of area veterans this Wednesday, shortly after his arrival in Cedar Rapids, and hopes to meet other WWII veterans during his trip. Members of the media are invited to the museum before and during the presentation, which some of the veterans are expected to attend.

Cost: Free and open to the public.

Sponsored by: Czech Heritage Foundation


June 27
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
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