By H. Gordon Skilling
The e-book examines the heritage of Czechoslovakia within the seventy years because its founding by means of T.G.Masaryk. It analyses the profound alterations which happened in the course of the First Republic, the Nazi profession, postwar liberation and communist rule, together with either the Stalinist years, the Prague Spring of 1968 and the following interval of normalization to 1988.
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Extra info for Czechoslovakia 1918–88: Seventy Years from Independence
Shanafelt describes the core of the Austrian dilemma: Any real concession to the Slavs to keep them within the Empire threatened immediately to drive the Austrian Germans out of it, and only the closest tie to the German Reich still kept them loyal at all. But that very connection completed the alienation of the Slavs and thus accentuated the process of inner dissolution. 41 Shanafelt finds that the 'impossible situation' created for AustriaHungary by the alliance was decisively aggravated in the final phase of the war.
35 More than 800 Imperial German university professors sent an open letter to the German university in Prague, promising to stand by their Austrian brothers until the hateful ordinances were repealed. 36 The Badeni government collapsed. In 1899 the complaints of the German Ambassador Philip Eulenburg helped persuade Francis Joseph to force the resignation of Premier Thun who again tried to enhance the status of Czech by revised language ordinances. 37 The haughtiness and hostility of the Imperial German harassment is illustrated by Theodor Mommsen's open letter of 31 October 1897.
We also know that the serenity is deceptive. Scratch the surface of this harmonious image, and you will easily detect conflicts and paradoxes. In his later years Masaryk assumed a dominating position in his country; and yet in his public activities before the war he was never able to assemble a large following. In a big party he was an outsider; his own party was a minuscule, almost exclusive society. As a philosopher he aimed at creating a unified world view, based on the sciences; yet many of his theories, especially those applied to Czech history, were controversial and divisive, and were opposed by scientifically-minded historians.