Czech Republic / Monument
The Thank You America Memorial in Pilsen, Czech Republic, was erected in honour of the US forces that liberated Pilsen in May 1945. The monument was renovated in May 2018 and it consists of two columns with inscriptions in both Czech and English.
One witness recalls: "I had bought red and white carnations and went to lay them at the memorial. Suddenly, a lorry appeared and several uniformed National Security officers got out. Pointing their guns at us, they shouted at us to disperse us. During the night that followed, trucks came. They took all the bouquets, the flags and even the monument and threw them in the rubbish.
In his anecdotes from 1945, another witness expresses his gratitude to the American liberators: "We always wanted to be everywhere at once. We couldn't miss the slightest opportunity. But the Yankees were fantastic. We quickly adopted a few American words as we chatted: "hellow, boys", "choowing gum", "please", "choko", "Jeep", "ou kay", "senk you", etc. We also admired their music and the way they spoke, and we imitated their dances. The Yankees were the first to teach me dance steps. We tried to copy their frenzied boogie-woogie moves and we grew up faster thanks to their presence. They used to come to our place, in particular to taste our famous dish based on pork, quenelles and cabbage, and we were delighted to spend time with them. They left us their photos, addresses and lots of other gifts.
One resident also remembers the dance evenings: "The Americans organised dances in the street. They would close off part of the road with four Jeeps and pull out electric cables for the lights, creating a floodlit dance floor. A friend and I climbed into a car to watch the soldiers dancing with young women. We were ten at the time. My poor parents were looking for me. After that, my father argued with me like never before.
Americká 818/2, 301 00 Plzeň 3