Ivan Rollinger

Pilsen is free, Pilsen is free! Long live freedom, long live our allies! I declare to all citizens of the Czechoslovakian Republic that the 16th Armored Division are on náměstí Republiky (the main city square) in Pilsen!’, broadcasted Dr. Karel Šindler over the radio waves on the momentous day of the 6th of May 1945.

As of 1990, the city of Pilsen has indisputably been the most American city in Europe as of the commencement of the traditional liberation celebrations, continuing onward with today’s Liberation Festival. As a technical school student, I first experienced the liberation of Pilsen during the days of the revolution in 1989 and more so one year later during the spectacular Pilsen liberation celebrations, where we were able to meet with veterans of the war, their families and honoured guests for the first time after many years.

I have dedicated the last 30 years of my life to items related to the US military and their explorations, including souvenirs and objects of importance belonging to the region. Even today I fondly remember my grandmother from Žinkovy who led me to this life-long hobby, not only with her recantation of the liberation, but also with her dance of the Boogie-Woogie while cooking. The citizens of Pilsen never forgot their liberators and remind themselves of what happened that day with an array of historical monuments of both the liberators and the casualties of the 2nd World War. For that reason, don’t forget to visit Patton Memorial Pilsen while touring the city. The museum, which is open all year round, will guide you through the gripping story of the liberation of the west side of the Czech Republic in 1945.

Whether Ivan’s in uniform or in regular work attire, his storytelling is sure to pull you right into the thick of it. When visiting Patton Memorial Pilsen, one of the exhibition’s creators and excellent tour guides, Ivan, will have no problem taking you back in time to the period when the war ended in Europe.