This weekend’s centenary celebrations in the Czech Republic will have particular resonance for Charlotta Kotik, given that her great-grandfather Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk founded Czechoslovakia and served for almost two decades as the country’s first president. I spoke to her at the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, where she is a special guest.
Czechs have only one president instantly recognizable by his initials: TGM for Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. He was an icon of the newly-independent Czechoslovakia from 1918 to 1935. Venerated by most, denigrated only by some, he has always remained a powerful symbol of the Czech democratic state. I recently met with Charlotta Kotik, the great-granddaughter of the first Czechoslovak president, to talk about her family heritage.