Czech Heritage Partnership
A 501 (C) 3 not for profit Iowa Corporation
Proudly Presents a Blockbuster Double Event
Protivin Community Center
103 S. Main St. - Protivin, IA
Admission $10.00            Veterans $5.00
Doors open at 4:00 PM for Beverage and Food Service*
Preliminary Event – Film (45 min) Feature Event – Live Performance (90 min)
5:00 PM
The Accidental Army
6:00 PM
The Mushroom Picker

This is the true story of the Czechoslovak Legion. In the middle of WWI, with victory still in doubt, tens of thousands of Czech and Slovak POW’s switched sides…to become The Czechoslovak Legion, an Allied army fighting in revolutionary Russia for a country of their own.

Caught up in the Russian Revolution, they fought their way home halfway around the world, capturing the Trans-Siberian railway, half the Czar’s gold and the heart of a new nation – Czechoslovakia. Fifty years of Communism tried to erase their brave story from history, but it is time to tell their tale … “the most amazing story ever heard.”

The most amazing quality of the documentary is the hundreds of awesome photographs from the Russian Civil War in Siberia that make up a priceless collection.

In this one man play Patrick Dewane tells the story of his grandfather, Matt Konop, a man whose seemingly goofy CB handle during the 1970’s – “The Mushroom Picker” - was really a clue to his incredible story as a WWII Czech-American soldier fighting in the forests of his family’s ancient homeland.

In May, 1945 the Czechs hailed him as their liberator. But in America, his story faded away…until now. Omaha Beach. The Battle of the Bulge. The Liberation of Czechoslovakia. Matt Konop was in the middle of some of the greatest events of the 20th century. Yet his story remained a secret for decades. Then a string of coincidences led his grandson to discover his jaw-dropping story. Told with vintage photos, movie clips and great joy.

“I am so very pleased to see this unique story of personal heroism and collective freedom told for a modern audience. Not only is it an amazing adventure, it offers important lessons for today. Through their courage and will to survive, the Czechoslovak Legionnaires proved that a people yearning to choose their own destiny could overcome incredible odds.
Madeleine Korbel Albright
United States Secretary of State
“The Mushroom Picker” is extraordinary. We feel privileged to have been able to bring Patrick Dewane to the Notre Dame campus. Through Patrick’s good fortune in discovering the remnants of his past, we are reminded that we are not isolated individuals in this world, but are tied to everyone who came before us. I would recommend the play to anyone.”
A. James McAdams, Ph.D.
Dir. Nanovic Institute of International Studies, University of Notre Dame
*Beverage and food service provided by Group 5, Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Protivin, IA. All profits accrue to the parish for general use. Menu includes: Czech and domestic Beer (priced separately), plate lunch BBQ Pork or Maid Rite, beans, chips, pie and ice cream $6.50 also available as A LA CARTE – Sandwich $3.00, Pie $1.50, a la Mode $3.00, coffee and milk $0.50