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The life and times of Slavonice, as seen through the evolution of its community centre

In the 14th century, Slavonice was the most important city in the border triangle of Bohemia, Moravia, and Austria. Trade and handcraft come into full bloom, and especially the craft of linen weaving thrived. Its prosperity can be seen in the numerous town houses in the renaissance style. Some 99% of the inhabitants spoke German as well as Czech in 1910, while after World War I Czechs moved into the area in greater numbers.

There was a lively cultural life at that time in Slavonice. In 1932 the German-speaking citizens established a cultural centre, known as ‘the German House’. It served as a meeting place where movies were also screened. The ‘German House Association’ was disbanded in 1943 during the German occupation, and the building became property of the city. Nazi propaganda films were then screened there.

After the arrival of the Red Army in 1945, the ‘German House’ lost its name, and Russian soldiers spent their free time there. In 1979 a new cultural centre was founded, and starting in 1984 the former ‘German House’ came to be used as a cinema. But then it was eventually closed for planned renovations.

In the 1990s new ideas cropped up for possible uses of the former ‘German House’. These were consolidated in 2013 with the opening of a cultural centre, which assumed the title ‘Community Centre of Slavonice’.

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