The 100th anniversary of the revolution bringing the Bolsheviks and Vladimir Lenin to power in Russia is being marked with discussions and exhibitions in the Czech Republic. Although the events preceded the creation of a separate and independent Czechoslovakia around a year later, Czechs and Slovaks were very much caught up in what was happening.
Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek and Israeli Ambassador to the Czech Republic David Meron on Thursday opened an exhibition recalling the contribution of Czechoslovakia’s first president, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, and his son, Jan, who later became foreign minister, to the creation of the State of Israel. I spoke with Ambassador Meron during the exhibition launch at Černín Palace and first asked how the idea for such an exhibition arose.
Czech foreign minister Lubomír Zaorálek and the Israeli ambassador to the
Czech Republic David Meron have launched an exhibition recalling the
contribution of Czechoslovakia’s first president, Tomáš Garrigue
Masaryk, and his son, Jan, to the creation of Israel.
Meron recalled president Masaryk’s visit to the then Palestine in 1927. The Czech foreign minister said many Israelis today remember the contribution Czechoslovakia made to the founding of the new state in 1948 by deliveries of arms.
The communist regime had mistakenly hoped a communist style regime would evolve in the new Jewish state.
The Czech National Museum is preparing a major joint exhibition with the
Slovak National Museum to mark the centenary in 2018 of the foundation of
Czechoslovakia, the news site iDnes.cz reported. The exhibition will open
in Bratislava before transferring to Prague in October.
The show will focus on Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk and other important figures in Czechoslovakia’s foundation but will also feature the stories of ordinary citizens.
The joint exhibition will be just one of a number of events in 2018 marking not only the centenary of Czechoslovakia but also the 50th anniversary of the Soviet-led invasion and 25 years since the formation of the independent Czech Republic.
A relationship starting up between a married woman in her mid-forties and a widower approaching 80 might still raise eyebrows even in these modern Viagra times. But in 1920’s Czechoslovakia when the man was the iconic president of the country, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk (TGM) it would clearly have done much more than that.
Czechs abroad have always been an integral part of the nation’s identity, but in the years of communism this bond was broken. The cultural and political life of Czech emigrés and exiles, especially in the West, came to be seen as a threat. Nearly three decades after the fall of communism, something of this suspicion still remains, and in the Czech Republic it is surprising how little we know about the Czech diaspora and their contribution both to their host countries and to the idea of what it means to be Czech. The historian and political scientist
Eighty years ago this week, Czechoslovakia’s first president Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk died at the age of eighty-seven. He had led the country from its independence in 1918 for the next seventeen years, enjoying immense popularity throughout that time. Masaryk was known widely as the “President Liberator” and “Father of the Nation”, but although this popularity often slipped into hero-worship, he remained a lifelong democrat and humanist, in stark contrast with many of the world leaders emerging in the 1920s and 1930s. His values are reflected in several
Czechs are marking 80 years since the death of Czechoslovakia’s first
president T. G. Masaryk.
Masaryk had great merit in bringing about the establishment of an independent state of Czechs and Slovaks after WWI and as the country’s first president laid down the foundations of democracy.
Dubbed the Father of the Nation, Masaryk was a much loved and respected politician and is revered to this day.
Events are being held around the country to mark the anniversary of his death.
The main commemorative event will take place on Hradčany Square in Prague beneath the statue of Czechoslovakia’s first president.
The National Museum has opened an exhibition titled The phenomenon Masaryk and a remembrance act will also take place at Lány Chateau where the president spent much of his time.
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