Děčín is a town located in the northern part of the Czech Republic. Decin (called Tetschen in German) was settled by the Slavic tribe of Decane in the 9th century, thus it’s believed this is how it got its name.
Děčín it is located in the Ústí nad Labem Region in the north of the Czech Republic. It is the largest municipality and administrative seat of the Děčín District.
The following is a postcard showing the German name of the square that was simply called Tržní, meaning Market until it was renamed Masarykovo náměstí or Masaryk Square.
Before the First World War , the square was called “Market”, because there were craft and farmers markets. These markets were also visited several times during his stays in the Saxon village of Žandov by later President T. G. Masaryk.
He was there when he heard the news of the declaration of the First World War.
From 1938 to 1945 it was one of the municipalities in Sudetenland, then controlled by Nazi Germany.
We can see in the image below, from a 1941 postcard, that it was Adolf Hitler Square for a while.
I’m disgusted that in the above angle, the statue seems to be raising her arm in a salute to Adolf. Ah, the many subtle uses of propaganda and how things can be manipulated to serve ones own purpose.
In the above image, the statue seems to want to hold onto something. The past? Better times? Who knows…
The square is surrounded by burgher houses, which are built mainly in the style of the Northern Renaissance.
Ornate portals reflected the wealth of wealthy burghers of that time.
In the 1960s , the north side of the Wernerovský house was destroyed. The Gothic Madonna , which adorned its façade, was (thankfully) preserved and is stored in the district museum.
As a result of the demolition after 1960 and other inappropriate interventions at the time of “normalization” wanting a central urban space, the square was severely disrupted.
It appears our lady of the fountain is gone.
You can see that by sharing these old postcards we are allowed a peek into some curious things that were quite typical for the 1950s in Czechoslovakia. The main town square is suddenly named for Marshal Stalin.
Yes, that Stalin.
Many (okay, most) of the streets, squares, factories and worker brigades were named after him. Almost all if I am to offer full disclosure. That was the nature of the C.S.S.R.
How bland the square has become.
Popular places in Czech towns that had existed for hundreds, if not thousands of years suddenly got their names changed after this tyrant during the dark times of communist rule. As the following postcards exhibit, everything was owned by the state monopoly, including Orbis edition – the state monopolist publisher.
We see namesti J V Stalina, Stalinovo namesti (or Stalin square). We see namesti marsala Rybalka (or marshal Rybalkov square).
We even see one that comes pre-printed with a postage stamp of Klement Gotttwald (that rat-bastard Czechoslovak communist politician, who was the leader of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia from 1929 until his death in 1953–titled as General Secretary until 1945 and as Chairman from 1945 to 1953. He was the first leader of Communist Czechoslovakia from 1948 to 1953. ). Klement Gottwald suffered from alcoholism and chronic venereal disease and died soon after his return from Stalin’s funeral.
How can someone rename Masarykovo náměstí (after our Father, T.G. Masaryk) and call it Stalin Square? Yes, these are the things that still have the power to turn the stomachs of Czechs, especially Czechs who had to flee and lived in exile.
Let’s close with a few more recent images of what’s today known as Masaryk Square in Děčín.
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