Prague Minos Guide

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19. - 20. století

Jan Masaryk

Czechoslovak Minister of Foreign Affairs
Info text

Jan Masaryk was the son of the first Czechoslovak president. At the beginning of the 20th century he studied in the USA and after returning to the Czech lands he joined the Eastern front where he was decorated. During the interwar period he was first the personal secretary of Edvard Benes before becoming Czechoslovak Ambassador in London in 1925.
He remained in England after resigning from his position in 1938 as a reaction to the occupation of the Sudetenland by the Nazis. During the war he was much involved in the government-in-exile

led by Benes and in the promotion of collective security rights. In 1945 he signed the UN charter in the name of Czechoslovakia and participated in peace talks.
He kept his office of Minister of Foreign Affairs even in the communist government after 1946. He was the only member of the Czechoslovak delegation who opposed Stalin in 1947. After the coup d’état in February 1948 he refused to resign and was soon found dead after falling from the window of his flat. It is assumed that he was murdered upon orders of the communists.


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