Thank you, America! Memorial

Thank you, America! Memorial

Americká Street, Pilsen, Czech Republic
Keywords for this place of interest
Fighting Liberation Victory and defeat
Liberation Route Europe

Thank you, America! Memorial

The Thank you, America! memorial was erected in 1995 after the fall of the communist regime. The official story in the communist era was that Czechoslovakia had been liberated by the Russians. However, a foundation stone in honour of the U.S. Army appeared in 1948 and people showered it with flowers.

A contemporary witness reminisces: “I bought red and white carnations and laid them at the memorial. Suddenly, a lorry appeared and several National Security Corps officers in uniforms got out. Pointing guns, they shouted at us to disperse. Then, during the night, lorries came and took all bouquets, flags and even the foundation stone away to some rubbish heap.”

Another witness shares his stories from 1945, expressing gratitude to the U.S. liberators: “We boys always had to be everywhere. We couldn´t miss a place or an occasion. But the Yankees were fantastic. We soon picked up conversational ‘American’: ‘hellow, boys’, ‘choowing gum’, ‘please’, ‘choko’, ‘jeep’, ‘ou kay’, ‘senk you’, etc. We admired their music and imitated their dance styles. The Yankees were the first to teach me dance steps. We tried to copy their wild boogie-woogie moves and grew up faster with them around. They came to visit our families, tasting our ‘pork-dumpling-cabbage’, while we enjoyed their company. They left us their photos, home addresses and many other gifts.”

Another witness recalls the dance parties. “The Americans threw a dance party right on the street. They closed off part of the road with four jeeps and strung electric wires for lights, creating a lit dance floor. A friend of mine and I climbed onto a car and watched the soldiers dance with young ladies. We were ten-year-old girls. My poor parents were looking for me. Afterwards, my dad gave me the only thrashing in my life.”

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Americká Street, Pilsen, Czech Republic

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