John Lennon remembered in Prague

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This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.

Audio Transcript:

MARCO WERMAN: Give peace a chance, former Beatle John Lennon used to say. Even after Lennon's death in 1980 that message resonated in many parts of communist Eastern Europe.

JOHN LENNON: It's pretty hard because we're all violent inside. We're all Hitler inside and we're all Christ inside and it's just to try and work on the good bit of you.

WERMAN: We were reminded of that when we heard some tape gathered by our BBC colleagues. It comes from Prague in the Czech Republic or what used to be communist Czechoslovakia. There's a wall in Prague dedicated even now to John Lennon.

PHILLIP [PH] OSPICIO: I'm Phillip [PH] Ospicio and I used to come to this John Lennon wall in Prague in the �80s. After his death this place was chosen by a number of youth who put here candles, flowers, a picture of John Lennon and reminded also his songs by writing the lyrics and so on. This wall was actually kind of a door to another space � to a space of freedom, also love and peace. Simply those words that we can hear so often in the John Lennon songs. The authorities tried to eliminate this place. So they repainted many hundreds times the wall. They even put like posters on the wall with advertisements so the people can't write. But it hasn't helped. Of course there have been a lot of arrests of the people who have come to this place and even for putting a flower here or lighting a candle. The outlook of the wall has quite changed. At the beginnings those writings and pictures they were really kind of subtle and fragile. These days we can see that it is done actually often and not that much by I don't know like young Czechs but usually mainly by the tourists who come to see this place because they can find it in their guide books.

WERMAN: A little known 1974 number there from John Lennon called Old Dirt Road and memories of Lennon who is still relevant in Prague.