Many Czechs today consider the First Czechoslovak Republic a golden age in the turbulent 20th century. The country, which existed between the two world wars, is seen as the first free state of Czechs and Slovaks after centuries of Austrian rule, and one of Europe’s few democratic states of the time. But its reality, its values and conflicts often escape the popular understanding of the era. One of the First Republic’s outstanding personalities was the army general and writer Rudolf Medek who embodied some of the values of the time. In this edition
Sunday is the 70th anniversary of the death of the renowned soldier and writer Rudolf Medek. Medek was an officer in the Czechoslovak Legions in Russia during World War I, and became well known thanks to his stories set against that backdrop. He fought in the Battle of Zborov in 1917 and later negotiated with both the Russians and the Western Allies before organising the return of the legionnaires to the newly founded Czechoslovakia. His novels were banned by both the Nazis and the Communists.