Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Born in Prague, he was the son of the diplomat Tomas Masaryk who would become the first President of Czechoslovakia, and the American born Charlotte Garrigue. Masaryk was educated in Prague and also in the US. He returned home in 1913 and served in the Austro-Hungarian army during WWI. He joined the diplomatic service and he became chargé d'affaires to the USA in 1919, a post he held until 1922. In 1925 he was created Ambassador to Britain. His father resigned as President in 1935 and died two years later, he was succeeded by Edvard Benes.
In September 1938 the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia was occupied by German forces and Masaryk resigned as Ambassador in protest, although he remained in London. Other government members including Benes also resigned. In March 1939 Germany occupied the remaining Czech lands, and a puppet Slovak state was established. When a Czech government in exile was established in Britain in 1940, Masaryk was made Foreign Minister. He regularly made broadcasts to occupied Czechoslovakia through the BBC during the war.
Masaryk remained Foreign Minister following the liberation of Czechoslovakia as part of the multi-party National Front government. The Communists under Klement Gottwald saw their position strengthened after the 1946 elections but Masaryk stayed on as Foreign Minister. He was concerned with retaining the friendship of the Soviet Union, but was dismayed by the veto they put on Czechoslovakian participation in the Marshall Plan. In February 1948 the majority of the non-Communist cabinet members resigned hoping to force new elections, but instead a Communist government under Gottwald was formed. Masaryk remained Foreign Minister, although he was apparently uncertain about his decision.
In March 1948 Masaryk was found dead in the courtyard of the Foreign Ministry below his bathroom window. The initial investigation concluded that he committed suicide by jumping out of the window, although many are convinced that he was pushed. The conclusion of death by suicide was reaffirmed by an investigation taken in 1968 during Prague Spring and in the early 1990's after the fall of the Berlin Wall. However, in the beginning of 2004 police concluded that he was murdered by his opponents, and that he did not commit suicide as was ruled initially: His death was therefore the third of Defenestrations of Prague. Regardless, the circumstances of Masaryk's death are still rather obscure.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details