SASW Appoints Virginia Sorkin to its Board

The Slovak American Society of Washington (SASW) is pleased to announce the appointment of Virginia Sorkin to its board of directors.  Ms. Sorkin, the holder of two masters degrees, will fill the seat of Ludo Hintos who resigned recently. Virginia Sorkin most recently worked in information technology at the Library of Congress. She also managed the National Digital Library Visitors Center.

Ms. Sorkin said she was pleased to join the board and will focus her efforts on membership and scholarship fundraising.  She is a member of the American Association of University Women, the Brandeis National Committee and The Transition Network.  She hopes to develop some joint activities with these groups.

The SASW Board urges its members and other interested parties to consider running for the board at its October membership meeting to be held at the Slovak Embassy.  Three seats of the nine member board will be up for election, including the seat held by Ms. Sorkin.  One or two other seats may be open.

Interested parties should make their interest known to the SASW Board (info@dcslovaks.org).  The board meets monthly and would be pleased to host interested parties at one of its board meeting.

Book Talk: Manufacturing a Socialist Modernity (2/23/2017)

socialist-modernity

Kimberly_Zarecor_web

February 23, 2017
Embassy of the Czech Republic
3900 Spring of Freedom St., NW
Washington, DC
6:00 PM

Professor Kimberly Zarecor of Iowa State University will give a talk on her recent book, Manufacturing a Socialist Modernity: Housing in Czechoslovakia, 1945-1960.

Eastern European prefabricated housing blocks are often vilified as the visible manifestations of everything that was wrong with state socialism. For many inside and outside the region, the uniformity of these buildings became symbols of the dullness and drudgery of everyday life. Manufacturing a Socialist Modernity complicates this common perception. Analyzing the cultural, intellectual, and professional debates surrounding the construction of mass housing in early postwar Czechoslovakia, Zarecor shows that these housing blocks served an essential function in the planned economy and reflected an interwar aesthetic, derived from constructivism and functionalism, that carried forward into the 1950s.

With a focus on prefabricated and standardized housing built from 1945 to 1960, Zarecor offers broad and innovative insights into the country’s transition from capitalism to state socialism. She demonstrates that during this shift, architects and engineers consistently strove to meet the needs of Czechs and Slovaks despite challenging economic conditions, a lack of material resources, and manufacturing and technological limitations. In the process, architects were asked to put aside their individual creative aspirations and transform themselves into technicians and industrial producers.

Manufacturing a Socialist Modernity is the first comprehensive history of architectural practice and the emergence of prefabricated housing in the Eastern Bloc. Through discussions of individual architects and projects, as well as building typologies, professional associations, and institutional organization, it opens a rare window into the cultural and economic life of Eastern Europe during the early postwar period.

RSVP by February 22 to https://booktalkwithkimberly.eventbrite.com

Please Note: No bags or suitcases allowed at the Czech Embassy. Only small purses are permitted, but will be checked at the door. You must pass through security for entrance. RSVP confirmation and photo ID required. Doors open at 5:30 pm and close at 6:15 pm.

Manufacturing a Socialist Modernity is available through AmazonSmile. Please click on the link below whenever you shop on Amazon and you’ll help support the SASW.

https://smile.amazon.com/ch/52-1906440

Contributions to the SASW will only be made on purchases through the AmazonSmile website.

2017 SASW Speakers’ Series

The SASW is proud to announce its 2017 Speakers’ Series. Since 2003, the SASW has hosted a diverse range of speakers ranging from policy experts, academics, genealogists, folklorists, diplomats, authors and historians on Slovak-related topics. 

February 23rd – Dr. Kimberly Zarecor will talk about her recent book, Manufacturing a Socialist Modernity: Housing in Czechoslovakia, 1945-1960.

April (TBA) – Dr. Elaine Rusinko will give a talk on “Andy Warhol: The Carpatho-Rusyn King of American Pop Art.”

June (TBA) – Dr. Charles Sabatos will discuss the classic historical novel, Out Of This Furnace, which tells the tale of a Slovak/Rusyn family in Braddock, PA.

October 21st – Dr. Paul Hinlicky will give a talk on “Lutheranism in Slovakia: From the Reformation to Samuel Stefan Osusky.”

Further details will be provided closer to the scheduled date of the event.

The books, Manufacturing a Socialist Modernity and Out Of This Furnace, are available for purchase through AmazonSmile. Please click on the link below whenever you shop on Amazon and you’ll help support the SASW.

https://smile.amazon.com/ch/52-1906440

Contributions to the SASW will only be made on purchases through the AmazonSmile website.

Eugene Cernan Passes at 82: Last Man to Walk on the Moon

Eugene Cernan, Slovak-American and the last man to walk on the moon, died on January 16, 2017.

Cernan flew into space three times and twice to the moon. He also holds the distinction of being the second American to walk in space and the last human to leave his footprints on the lunar surface.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement after Cernan’s death, “Truly, America has lost a patriot and pioneer who helped shape our country’s bold ambitions to do things that humankind had never before achieved.”

Cernan piloted the Gemini 9 mission in June 1966 and logged more than two hours outside the orbiting capsule. In May 1969, he was the lunar module pilot of Apollo 10, which descended to within eight nautical miles of the moon’s surface. He concluded his historic space exploration career as commander of Apollo 17, the last human mission to the moon in December 1972. En route to the moon, the crew captured an iconic photo of the home planet, popularly known as the “Blue Marble” photo.

As he left the lunar surface, Cernan said, “America’s challenge of today has forged man’s destiny of tomorrow. As we leave the moon and Taurus-Littrow, we leave as we came, and, God willing, we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind.”

Cernan retired from the U.S. Navy and ended his NASA career in 1976. He went into private business and served as television commentator for early flights of the space shuttle.

Cernan was born in Chicago on March 14, 1934. He graduated from Proviso Township High School in Maywood, IL, and received a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University in 1956. He earned a M.S. degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA.

Cernan is survived by his wife, Jan Nanna Cernan, his daughter and son-in-law, Tracy Cernan Woolie and Marion Woolie, step-daughters Kelly Nanna Taff and husband, Michael, and Danielle Nanna Ellis and nine grandchildren.

Source: NASA

Support the SASW through AmazonSmile

The Slovak American Society of Washington (SASW) is now a participant in AmazonSmile, a program sponsored by Amazon to support 501(c)(3) public charitable organizations. For each dollar you spend through AmazonSmile, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible purchases to the SASW.

Those who have Amazon.com accounts can use them on the AmazonSmile website and will access to their shopping cart, Wish List, wedding or baby registries as well as their account settings.

Please click on the link below to do your holiday shopping on Amazon and help support the SASW. Contributions to the SASW will only be made on purchases through the AmazonSmile website.

https://smile.amazon.com/ch/52-1906440

War hero Imrich Gablech passes away at 101

General Imrich Gablech passed away on December 16th and the age of 101. Gablech joined the RAF in 1941 and flew with the 312th Czechoslovak Squadron. Like many Czechoslovak pilots who flew with the RAF, he was persecuted by the communist regime and forced into manual labor after he returned home after the war.

Please click the link below to the Memory of Nations (“Pamet Naroda”) website to read more about his amazing story.

http://www.pametnaroda.cz/witness/index/id/1238

UČITEĽKA (“The Teacher”), showing at the AFI Silver Theater on December 17th

ucitelka-film-posterUČITEĽKA (“The Teacher”)

AFI Silver Theater
8633 Colesville Road
Silver Spring, MD
Saturday, December 17th at 7:30 pm

In this sharp and funny takedown of totalitarianism, the arrival of a new teacher at a Bratislava school in 1983 sparks a moral dilemma. As the highest-ranking Communist official in town, Mrs. Drazděchová (Zuzana Mauréry) has power, and she is unafraid to wield it, blackmailing her students and their parents to cater to her every whim, from picking up groceries to smuggling cakes into Siberia. But the tide begins to turn when a few brave parents decide to speak up. A universal parable and a taut morality tale grappling with a recent Communist past, this is a smart and acerbic satire with heart. Best Actress (Zuzana Mauréry), 2016 Karlovy Vary Film Festival; Official Selection, 2016 Busan, Tokyo, Warsaw and Dubai film festivals. Director Jan Hřebejk; Screenplay Petr Jarchovský; Producer Tibor Búza, Zuzana Mistríková, Ľubica Orechovská. Slovakia/Czech Republic, 2016, color, 102 min, DCP. In Slovak with English subtitles. NOT RATED

http://silver.afi.com/Browsing/Movies/Details/m-0100001107

Svätý Mikuláš (St. Nicholas) Party

mikulas5sPlease join us on Sunday, December 4th, to celebrate the tradition of Svätý Mikuláš at the Slovak Embassy from 2:00-5:00 pm. We will have a delicious Slovak buffet dinner prepared by the Slovak Embassy Chef, live music by Orchester Praževica, a silent auction for City University, and of course a visit from Svätý Mikuláš.

In 2016, the SASW funded five scholarships for City University students, and we would like to surpass that number in 2017.  This year, thanks to a generous anonymous donor, proceeds from our book sales, silent auction, and your donations will be matched dollar for dollar up to a total of $1,500.

The ticket prices for this year’s party are as follows:img6

$30.00 – SASW Individual Member (One adult + children)

$40.00 – Individual Non-member (One adult + children)

$50.00 – SASW Family Membership (Two adults + children)

$70.00 – Family Non-member (Two adults + children)

Those attending with small children should bring one small gift per child (wrapped and clearly labeled with the child’s name) to receive from Svätý Mikuláš. Drop off gifts at the front table, as you enter. Please encourage your child to learn a short poem or song, in Slovak or English, to present to Svätý Mikuláš, as is the Slovak custom.

Please send an email to info@dcslovaks.org to receive a reservation form. Your prepaid reservation is due at 6 pm on Wednesday, November 30th. Mail your reservation form and check made payable to the SASW, to the following address:

SASW

P.O. Box 2502

Springfield, VA 22152-2502