THOMAS G: MASARYK AND THE CROATS*
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Journal of Croatian Studies, XXVIII-XXIX, 1987-88 Annual Review of the Croatian Academy of America, Inc. New York, N.Y., Electronic edition by Studia Croatica, by permission. All rights reserved by the Croatian Academy of America.
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Tomaš G. Masaryk (1850-1937) was a very influential theoretician of the history of his country. He was partly successful in turning the Czechs away from romantic nationalism and in giving them a new ideology with roots in their own past.
In books such as The Meaning of Czech History (Česka otazka 1895), Jan Hus (1896), and Karel Havliček (1896), he outlined his philosophy of Czech history: for him the Hussite era was the pinnacle of the Czech past, and the Bohemian Brethren were the finest embodiment of the ideal of humanity. He considered the Czech national revival at the beginning of the nineteenth century a direct continuation of the Czech Reformation, and the modern Czech democracy the fulfilment of the Hussite tradition.
Masaryk, who began his career as professor of philosophy at Prague University by attacking the authenticity of the so-called Old Czech Manuscripts (forged chiefly by a poet Vaclav Hanka) and was effective (together with others) in demolishing this myth, in the process of time, when he became a politician and national leader, created many myths of his own!
To prove this point I will adduce the opinion of some respected Czech scholars.
Josef Kaizl (1854-1901), a former colleague of Masaryk in the Young Czech party, in his book Czech Thought (Česke myšlenky 1896), challenged Masaryk's views of Czech history. He argued that the Czech question was a national, not a religious problem. He emphasized that the "awakeners" of the early nineteenth century were liberals in the tradition of the French Enlightenment and not that of the Reformation. Even those who were Protestants (e.g. Jan Kollar, František Palacky and Pavel J. Šafarik) did not draw upon the Czech protestant tradition; they looked at the revival only in national and social terms.
From professional historians came even more serious objections to Masaryk's interpretations. One of the better known scholars, on account of his immense erudition, was Josef Pekař (1870-1937), who in his booklet Masaryk's Czech Philosophy (Masarykova česka filosofie, 1912; third edition, 1927) argued that the Czech national awakening was different from the Czech Reformation, that the ideal of humanity enunciated by Herder and accepted by František Palacky (1779-1876), the "father" of Czech historiography, had nothing to do with the Christian beliefs either of the Hussites or the Bohemian Brethren. Pekař regarded the Hussites as "enthusiasts", who, for the sake of their debatable opinions, went gladly to their death. He quoted Palacky who had written that during the Reformation the idea of faith and church was of the greatest significance, while for his contemporaries the most important concept was that of Czech nation. Pekař pointed out that Masaryk's beloved Hussites had accepted the feudal order and did not demand the emancipation of the serfs. Further, he denied that the outcome of the battle of the White Mountain (1620) should be explained by the moral decay of the Czech nation. Pekař repudiated Masaryk's philosophy of history as an artificial fabrication without support in reality and even in collision with it. Pekař concluded his attack against Masaryk's philosophy of the Czech nation by saying that he felt obliged to oppose Masaryk's mystical ideology and national mythology.
René Wellek (1903- ), one of the most competent critics of Masaryk's philosophy, who has remained a devoted admirer of the former Czech president, recognizes, however, that "Masaryk was not and did not pretend to be a professional historian doing research in archives ... Masaryk scarcely makes an effort to enter into the minds of bygone people, to reconstruct their outlook in its historical setting, for he does not care for the past in itself but mainly for the consciousness and conscience of his contemporaries and their descendants. The past for Masaryk must stay alive to shape the future".
The persistent theme of Masaryk's exhortations to his countrymen was that they should not be apathetic, that they should work and prove assiduous even in petty daily duties. He encouraged them to make their way in the contemporary world using both their muscles and brain.
In his book about Karel Havliček, a leading Czech political figure (1821-56), when he discussed the "essence of political realism", he said that it was not in the middle of two extremes, namely of radical agitation and conservative inertia; his realism (pragmatism, concretism) was continually moving forward. "When politics is founded on precise observation, on experience illuminated by reason, meaningful prediction becomes possible. He cited Havliček who had written: "In the past, men were read to die for honour and for good of their people; for the same goals we are ready to work and live".
By his realism Masaryk was able to instil in the mind of his countrymen a sense of duty and efficiency, which were the basis reasons why, especially during his presidency (1918-35), the Czechs became a forward moving nation.
Masaryk was first of all a moralist, preoccupied with the ethical and moral implications of history and his own teaching.
Already in his early writings, he had begun to discuss literature. His literary views he formulated in works such as Modern Man and Religion (Moderni človek a nabošenstvi, 1898) and Russia and Europa (Rusko a Evropa, 1913). In them he sharply criticized romanticism, subjectivism and titanism; he attacked Goethe's Faust and works of Nietzsche, de Musset and Zola. Although at first he was fascinated, later he was repelled by Dostoevsky, whom he considered an extreme romantic and mystic. Masaryk disliked the French romantics, in whose poetry he was shocked by symptoms of decadence.
He always praised the human and protestant spirit of the English letters. He had no interest for English poetry, and assaulted Lord Byron as an example of romantic titanism. He rejected novelists such as James Joyce and George Moore, who seemed to him essentially Catholic and decadent. On the contrary, he appreciated women writers like Charlotte and Emily Bronte, and Elisabeth B. Browning.
Masaryk definitely was not an esthete or literary critic. He was interested in letters only as a mirror of society. His rigid moralism and his lack of interest in problems of form led him often to erroneous judgments about some of the greatest writers.
However, the very bluntness with which he expressed his antiromantic and antidecadent views has greatly influenced many Czech critics and writers. There were also foreign students who accepted his ideas. They did not pay due attention to the deficiencies of his literary insight; they followed him for they respected him as their leader not only in the domain of politics, but also in those of philosophy, religion, sociology and even literary criticism.
The demonstration which occurred on October 16th, 1895, when a Hungarian flag was burnt by University students at Zagreb, is usually considered one of the turning points in Croatian history. This date marks a boundary line after which the political and cultural life of the Croatian nation would be gradually reoriented ("a new course"). One can say that at this date the Croats began to enter the twentieth century.
Khuen-Hedervary, a Magyar Count, who had already for twelve years (since 1883) ruthlessly governed Croatia-Slavonia as its Ban (civil governor, viceroy), thought the time was propitious to invite Franz Joseph, the Austro-Hungarian Emperor, to Zagreb where he could see for himself subjugated and magyarised Croatia. Khuen with his advisers believed that the moment was well chosen.
The strongest party in opposition, the Party of Rights (nationalistic), just then, a year before its founder Ante Starčević died (1896), had split into two antagonistic factions. One of them expected the recognition of Croatian national rights through the Viennese Court on the basis of the trialist solution, and therefore it was ready to cooperate with Vienna (Josip Frank); the other faction, having lost every hope that the Croatian question was being comprehended either by Austrians or Magyars, started slowly to orient itself toward closer cooperation with the Serbian component, sincerely believing that in the future all the South Slavs would be united on equal terms (Fran Folnegović).
But all these and other political parties did not mean very much: they did not represent more than a tiny fragment of the Croatian population; they were made up of people the majority of whom for different reasons could not, at least for a long time, remain in the opposition.
No one troubled about the large Croatian peasant masses (85% of the total population), who lived in most primitive and precarious economic conditions. It was not difficult for all sorts of "agents" to convince these toiling masses that the best solution for them was to emigrate to the United States or elsewhere. As soon as they departed, the foreign element started to immigrate, especially into Slavonia, the richest Croatian province, and eventually took the key positions in agriculture and national economy.
Life was equally precarious for the steadily growing Croatian intelligentsia. If they wished to compete for a limited number of governmental positions, knowledge of the Magyar language was a prerequisite; moreover, they were supposed to keep far away from any opposition party.
To darken the picture even more, the fight between the Croatian majority and the Serbian minority was reaching a climax: the Serbs, for the sake of good positions and certain religious privileges, were a most reliable tool in the hands of Khuen-Hedervary. Not a single Serbian deputy was in the ranks of the opposition. The Croats, on the other hand, under the influence of the nationalistic, pan-Croatian ideas of the uncompromising Starčević, did not show any willingness to recognize the Serbian minority as such. When these Orthodox dared to hang up the Serbian flag, the Croats burned it. Thus, the Illyrian idea (either Yugoslav or Panslavic) with regard to the Slavic brotherhood seemed a long forgotten utopia. The governor skilfully played with and exploited this bitter animosity among these two linguistically related and often intermingled South Slavic nations.
Khuen-Hedervary was sure that the Emperor, who had always shown a strong liking for him, would be impressed by the results of his shrewd and unscrupulous policy. How could he think otherwise? Even the most liberal newspaper, Obzor, the organ around which gathered the dispersed forces of the Yugoslav idea, greeted Franz Joseph by printing on its first page this odious title: "Ave Caesar". From where was the reaction against this brutal and arrogant tyranny to come? From the intellectuals? Many of them were passing through one of those low tides. On this autumn day for the Croatian patriots (there were still many of them!) even the sun must have lost its shining aspect and vital force.
But, all tyrants never know how far they can go; they never sense the real undercurrents. Their biggest mistake is their belief that if they succeed in subduing the parents they automatically have at their disposal the souls of the children.
In retaliation for their demonstration, the authorities first imprisoned and then expelled a large number of students from Zagreb University. As they retained the right to study at some other university, they moved to Prague, Vienna and Munich.
These central-European cultural centers played a decisive role in modern Croatian culture. Since Vienna and Munich were then under the strong influence of French artistic currents, Croatian students thus came, indirectly, into close contact with various movements then predominant in Paris. Antun G. Matoš (1873-1914 was the only man of letters who had direct contact with the French capital because he lived there for five years (1899-1904). During the preceding realist period, when Russian literary influence was predominant, two significant Croatian novelists, August Šenoa and Eugen Kumičić (who lived in Paris for more than one year 1875-77), did their best to attract the Croatian intelligentsia toward France.
The largest group among these expelled students went to Prague, where they fell under the powerful influence of Thomas G. Masaryk. From him they learned to be "realists". Masaryk emphasized the study of life and of present-day conditions; he rejected l'art pour l'art, decadence, mysticism, unhistorical glorification of the past. On the basis of solid work he planned to lay a real foundation for national awakening and progress.
The Croatian students, who had come to Prague as confirmed political romanticists and in a short time became convinced realists started in January of 1897 to publish their own magazine Hrvatska misao-Croatian Thought (which the following year changed its name into Novo Doba-New Times.
The real driving force behind this publication was Stjepan Radić (1871-1928), who had lived in Prague before and spoke Czech fluently. Radić was the most important member of the Zagreb anti-Magyar demonstration and the main instigator of the influx of so many students to Prague. Hrvatska misao bore the indelible stamp of Radić's creative power. Much later Radić wrote: "Here (in Hrvatska Misao) for the first time I expressed all my political and social ideas". The group around Hrvatska Misao declared that the dogma of Croatian state rights conflicted with the national rights of the Croats. The majority of them were obviously fervent disciples of Masaryk.
Though the influence of Thomas Masaryk on Croats, as on other South Slavs, between 1895-1918, was a potent stimulus for their independence and later union, though many politicians and sociologists returned home from Prague, no significant literary figure, with the exception of Milan Marjanović (1879-1955) whose quantity of work grew at the expense of its quality, was produced by this "realist" school. From Vienna, on the other hand, a more artistic though less realistic wind blew. The greatest single influence upon the Croatian "modernists" was exercised by Hermann Bahr (1863-1934), the Austrian critic, playwright and prose-writer. If not the originator, Bahr was at any rate the indicator of almost every literary movement between 1890 and 1920.
Since I speak about Croatian literature during the "Moderna" period, I should not forget at least to mention that some of the best writers (such as Ivo Vojnović, Vladimir Nazor and Milan Begović) were born in the territory of Dalmatia and received a beneficial influence from Italian letters. Some Scandinavian (Ibsen, Björnson and Brandes) and Polish writers were well known and imitated at that time.
After the violent anti-Magyar demonstrations, which took place at Zagreb in 1903, Khuen-Hedervary was replaced as the governor of Croatia. Two years later (1905) was formed the Croato-Serbian Coalition, whose most dynamic and daring politician was Frano Supilo (1870-1917), a journalist first stationed in Dubrovnik and then in Rijeka. The Austro-Hungarian authorities did everything to discredit the Coalition and eliminate Supilo, who had established cordial relations with Masaryk.
Baron Aloys Aehrenthal, the Austrian Minister of foreign affairs, thinking that the time was opportune, announced (in 1901) that Bosnia and Herzegovina, the two provinces which had been "occupied" since 1878, were formally "annexed". Though at first seemed that this act could provoke an international conflict, all the major powers gradually acquiesced in the "fait accompli". Only Serbia was ready to resist, but soon realized that she alone was not equal to Austrian might.
As he had done previously (1892-93) by critizing Benjamin Kallay, the governor of Bosnia and Herzegovina, so even now, in the Viennese parliament, Masaryk attacked the annexation and predicted that it could mean the beginning of the end of the Austrian monarchy. He said this with the best intentions, for he still accepted the dictum of Palacky who had said that "if Austria did not exist, it would been necessary to create her".
Though the war was avoided, Austria was widely considered an usurper. In order to justify his action, Aehrenthal tried to prove that his government had acted in self-defense, because there was a "conspiracy" of the Serbs in Croatia whose final goal was it disintegration. He sent his agents to Croatia, who found many alleged plotters. In March of 1909 a process was instituted against them in Zagreb. Judges known for their servility were chosen; only hostile witnesses were allowed to give testimony.
Pupils of Masaryk, his former students or those who admire him on account of his teaching and deeds, informed him of the travesty of justice in Zagreb. They asked him to come, watch the trial and do what he could for the innocent accused. At first he was reluctant, but when they appealed to his love of truth and his chivalry, he came. In Zagreb he found R. W. Seton-Watson, the famous English historian, who was also observing the trial. They became friends and some years later contributed much towards the disintegration of the Empire.
Returning to Vienna, Masaryk in the parliament accuse Aehrenthal, together with the ban of Croatia, baron Rauch, for their brutal behaviour in Croatia. He told how the witnesses were prevented from giving their testimony and how lies were fabricated.
Thereupon Masaryk was labelled an "agent provocateur" and a traitor to his government. However, the brave professor was successful for a retrial was ordered.
While the process in Zagreb was still going on, a new affair erupted. An article appeared in Neue Freie Presse (March 24, 1909), written by Professor H. Friedjung (1851-1920), entitled "Austria, Hungary and Serbia". In it Serbia was accused of interfering in the internal affairs of Austria. Friedjung wrote that he had the documents to justify his accusation. The Serbs and Croats denied having any knowledge of such documents and charged Friedjung for libel in a Viennese court. The trial opened on December 9th, 1909.
Supilo went to Prague and informed Masaryk that the documents were forgeries and that behind them stood Count J. Forgach, the Austrian ambassador in Belgrade. Many of the accused were Masaryk's former students or followers. So he went to Belgrade to investigate the facts. Among other things, he found that Božo Marković, the president of the club Slovenski Jug, who supposedly was chairing an important revolutionary meeting, had been in Germany at that time. Masaryk returned to Vienna as a witness for the accused. He proved to the court that the Slovenski Jug was no secret organization since its basic aim was purely cultural. As regards the documents he showed on the basis of the linguistic evidence that they were spurious. Aehrenthal was finally obliged to recognize that the reasons which he had given for the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina were sheer lies, and that both trials (in Zagreb and Vienna) lacked any legal foundation.
A.G. Matoš then wrote that Masaryk by his courageous and methodic intervention had not only saved many deputies from being treated as national traitors, but had also revealed to the entire world an unbelievable spectacle: Austria, a supposedly civilized and lawful state, was persecuting her innocent citizens. Milada Paulova believes that Masaryk, after being deeply involved in the explosive South Slavic problems, and becoming convinced that the Austrians and Magyars were unwilling to accept the democratic principles and the reorganization of the state in which the Slavs would be equal partners gradually espoused revolutionary ideas for the overthrow of the decrepit government.
Hermann Bahr in Austria, Guglielmo Ferrero in Italy, R. W. Seton-Watson and Henry W. Steed, the London Times correspondent, these men of integrity and international reputation, were shocked by the behaviour of the Austrian officials.
Stjepan Radić (1871-1928), during his student years in Prague gradually adopted and propagated Masaryk's ideas. He was also interested in learning the Czech language and the Czech way of thinking. His daily companion was František Hlavaček, who later became a Czech publicist and politician; Radić taught him Croatian and with him he improved his Czech. When the students expelled from Zagreb began to publish (in January of 1897) their periodical Hrvatska misao, the spiritus movens behind it was Radić. Hlavaček was present at their meetings and discussions of which direction they should take. Though they wanted to follow their beloved teacher (Masaryk), the situation in Croatian lands being different from that in Bohemia and Moravia, they tried to adapt his general principles to their concrete circumstances. Therefore I agree with Ivo Banac who says that "the sources of Radić 's inspiration were partly his own practical experience and partly Czech political theory, which he acquired as a result of intermittent studies in Prague".
Radić had fallen in love (in 1894) with a Czech teacher Marija Dvořak with whom he established a regular correspondence. In his letter of January, 1897, in which he communicated to her his intention of going to Paris, he mentioned that two days earlier (on Jan. 5), together with other five Croats and Hlavaček, he had been at Masaryk's place for three hours. Masaryk was pleased to hear that Radić intended to study in Paris. The host listened to Radić's views and agreed with most of them. In spite of the opposition of Marija's parents that she should not marry Radić, whom they considered a dreamer often in conflict with the authorities, they were wed (in 1898).
In July of 1899 Radić returned from Paris to Prague, hoping that the secret police would not find him there. He lived in the neighbourhood of Masaryk with whom he became friend. They disagreed however in two important respects: Masaryk was then interested in the Jewish question, and Radić suggested to him that he, as a born Slovak, with his international authority, should rather intervene in favour of his countrymen. Further, Radić writes that, while he preferred the pro-Russian orientation of Czech politics, Masaryk was closer to the German.
Motivated by a burning desire to see his native country finally freed, and shocked by the social injustice under which his dear peasants lived, Stjepan Radić, together with his brother Antun (1868-1919), in 1904, initiated a movement to organize the large Croatian masses. At the beginning the response was far from encouraging, but thanks to the assiduous work of both brothers and the somewhat more favourable conditions which prevailed after the first world war, Radić became the undisputed leader of the Croatian nation as a whole. One could safely say that only with this movement of Radić did the Croats become united into a single block and thus were able to withstand external pressure. Radić was also successful in teaching the peasantry that their future rested in their own hands, that the state should exist and function primarily for their benefit because they constituted the vast majority of the nation.
What had been Radić's relations with Masaryk at the end of the Austrian empire and until his assassination in the Belgrade parliament by Puniša Radić, a Serbian deputy? It is not easy to answer this question, because there exists only fragmentary and indirect information. However, it is clear that the former friends had gone in different directions as regards the centralism of their respective states; while the Croatian leader was wondering what had happened to Masaryk's previously proclaimed democratic ideas, the first president of a newly created state, though in general very reserved, spoke about Radić in deprecatory terms.
After it became clear that Austria would not survive, Svetozar Pribićević (1875-1936), a Serb and the leader of the Croato-Serbian coalition, was arbitrarily placing the destiny of Croatia in the hands of the Belgrade government, without any respect for her long established autonomy. Radić became scared witnessing how from one centralism his nation was being pushed towards another one; he tried to avoid this either by his public statements or by begging the leaders of the western world to mediate so that Serbian soldiers would not behave brutally in Croatia. He suggested to the National Council that a delegate should be sent to Masaryk, who was already acting as the president of Czechoslovakia, so that he could inform the allied governments and particularly president Wilson what was going on in the new kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.[
Jere Jareb quotes the articles of Ivan Pernar (1948) and Radić's widow (1957) in which they claim that Radić himself went to Prague at the end of November (1918) to describe to the Czech government the situation in his homeland. It seems (what is hardly believable and is contrary to Maček's assertion) that at this moment Radić was suggesting to the Czech government that Austria should not be abolished but modernized so that her Slavic majority would finally enjoy its full national and personal rights. According to Pernar, Masaryk accused Radić of being an Austrophile Marija Radić informs that, while Radić was still in Prague and violent demonstrations had erupted in Zagreb, her husband was accused to fomenting them.
In his autobiography Radić writes that, toward the end of 1918, he had sent to Masaryk two deputies of his Peasant party with documents to inform him that after the first of December, the date when the new kingdom was solemnly proclaimed, inhuman beatings of peasants had begun in Croatia, especially in the district of Bjelovar; they were punished because they had declared themselves "republicans" or had read Dom (the organ of his party). Masaryk promised to intervene so that the beatings should stop but he added that otherwise he would not mix in the internal al fairs of Yugoslavia. Radić complains that immediately afterwards the foreign newspapers published an official denial that peasants had been beaten in Croatia.
During his stay in Geneva (January-September, 1915), Masaryk was requested by the young Yugoslav students to write the Preface to their booklet L'Unité yougoslave (The Yugoslav Unity, Paris 1915); he gladly accepted this invitation. In his Introduction he stressed that all Slavs, citizens of the Austro-Hungarian empire (Poles, Czechs and South Slavs), did not enjoy equal rights. In their pangermanic programme (the "Drang nach Osten"), the Austrian authorities saw in the South Slavs an obstacle to their expansion Therefore the Serbs had been attacked, but they and the Montenegrins were courageously resisting the aggressor. Once the war would be over, Masaryk encouraged all Yugoslav students to return to their country, which was devastated, and to rebuild it by becoming good administrators, businessmen, industrialists and engineers. He urged them to make ready for those important assignments.
This appeal for "Yugoslav unity" was written in the middle of 1915, in Geneva, where there existed a Serbian press Bureau and a journal "La Serbie". Masaryk did not enter into polemics carefully avoided taking a position in controversial issues such as e.g. a centralist or federal arrangement of the future Yugoslav state. During the ensuing years, however, most probably for various reasons - his contact with some Serbian diplomats abroad and also Serbia's initial success in military operations coupled with his own programme as to how the Czech and Slovak lands should be arranged - Masaryk was gradually leaning to give Serbia a preponderant role.
To corroborate this point one should compare his Preface to the mentioned brochure with his book The New Europe (1918) and his Memoirs (1925).
The first was written during his journey between Russian Siberia and the Pacific to Washington (in October of 1918). It was first published in English and French (1918) and then in Czech (1920) and German (1922).
I quote some fragments from the English translation: "The Serbians in Serbia and Montenegro showed in their fight against the Turks for the defence of liberty a wonderful perseverance and ability ... Up to now the Jugoslavs more than any other nation suffered from being separated into many parts. Ecclesiastically, too, the nation is not united, there are Orthodox parts (Serbia), Catholic (Croatians and Slovenes, but there are Catholic Serbians in Ragusa) and Mohammedan (national consciousness - Serbia - is awakening only in recent days), but consciousness of nationality and a desire for unification does not suffer thereby".
If one compares the English and French editions with those in Czech and German, he would notice that in the first two, when the author mentioned "the Serbians in Serbia and Montenegro", he did not include Dubrovnik as Serbian while in the two later redactions Dubrovnik is mentioned twice: first it is identified as "Serbian", together with Serbia and Montenegro, and at the end, where the author considered it a propos to emphasize that there were "Catholic Serbians in Ragusa".
Moreover, it was incorrect to praise only the Serbs for their fight against the Turks. While they were defeated at Kosovo (1389) and resumed their resistance only at the beginning of the nineteenth century, on the contrary, the Croats continued their patriotic and Christian struggle even after their defeat at Krbava (1492); together with the Magyars and Austrians, they were for long centuries a bastion of Christianity against the infidels.
If the Croats who read Masaryk's book the New Europe did not like it for the reasons mentioned, they were even more astonished by his Memoirs; they were wondering in which direction this supposedly religious and "democratic" president was moving. I will quote certain controversial passages from their excellent English translation by H.W. Steed (The Making of a State - Memoirs and Observations, 1914-1918, New York 1969).
In its second chapter, entitled "Roma aeterna", when he speaks about his work in Rome and mentions many South Slav politicians, he was displeased to notice the dissension between the Croatian and Serbian representatives and comments: "The Serbian Minister (Ljuba Mihailovitch) strongly favoured unity in good understanding with the Croats; yet it seemed to me that man: Croats were over-insistent upon the superiority of their culture and forgot that what mattered chiefly then and in the whole war was military and political leadership. As my Southern Slav friend knew, I thought their unity should be achieved under the political leadership of Serbia, and imagined it as a result of a consistent any gradual unification of the Southern Slav Lands, each of which had its own culture and administrative peculiarities".
In the fifth chapter, when he deals with Pan-Slavism and the Russian anarchy of 1917, Masaryk speaks also about Fran Supilo (1870-1917), who in Petrograd had discovered that the Allies Powers intended soon to sign a treaty with the Italians, promising them a greater part of Dalmatia if only they switched their alliance from Germany and Austria. Not only Supilo but also all other Croat were disgusted both with the Russians who did not care about them since they were not Orthodox, and with the western democracies which were ready to sacrifice the vital territory of Croatia for their own military interests. Masaryk first comments: "Undoubtedly, the Treaty of London was inimical to the unification of the Southern Slav Lands and corresponded rather to the Great Serbia programme", and then without any shame recognizes: "Though Supilo was right, I did not agree with the agitation by which he set Petrograd not only against himself but against the Croats, while intensifying the antagonism between them and Serbia". It means, though Supilo was right, he should have accepted quietly without any protests, in order not to displease the Russians and Serbians, that Dalmatia would be absorbed by the Italians who were there a tiny minority. Masaryk too was invoking a double standard when the cause of the Czechs and their allies was in question, national and human rights were sacred, otherwise he demonstrates at times an irritation that others should claim the same privileges.
In the middle of his Memoirs, when he discusses at length the Czech cooperation with the Yugoslavs, Masaryk reveals several of his basic views and limitations. Thus, discussing events at the beginning of 1918, he writes: "Despite the temporary reverses suffered by Serbia in the field, I looked upon her as the centre of the Southern Slav world and, what counted most, as its political and military centre. The Croats had assuredly their own special rights ... This, however, did not preclude the recognition of Serbia as the political point of crystallization."
He says again that he did not like the terms of the Treaty of London (April 26, 1915) but continues by saying that: "Italy had her irredentist aspirations, and it was natural that she should invoke her historical rights (!) and should claim union with the minorities of Italians beyond her borders. His reaction was quite different when Austria invoked her historical rights on the Czech lands and pointed out that there were many Germans among the Czech inhabitants. No wonder that "many a Croat and Slovene looked upon him as excessively pro-Italian and pro-Serb"!
Throughout his Memoirs Masaryk showed a great respect for Ante Trumbić (1864-1938), a leading figure in Croatian political life and the president of the Yugoslav committee. However, though always moderate and calm, Trumbić did not approve of Masaryk's support for Pašić's centralist views and openly expressed his displeasure. Masaryk writes: "Even Dr. Trumbitch came under the influence of unjustified suspicions, and taxed us (the Czechs) with selfishness during the discussions on the Declaration of Corfu".
The rest of Masaryk's Memoirs was written in the same spirit, and therefore I do not see any purpose in quoting him further.
There is however one question which should be at least touched upon, namely "the corridor" between Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. It is not clear who had initiated it, what justifications for it were given, and how it was abandoned. Though Masaryk says that "the idea of a corridor between Slovakia and Croatia interested the Southern Slavs in Rome", that he thought it should be discussed but Trumbić "was reserved and wished it to be left to the Czechs", on the contrary, Trumbić in his Diary (which was published by D. Šepić) expressly affirms that Masaryk told him of the plan for the Czech-Yugoslav corridor and insisted that "Bohemia and Yugoslavia must most certainly be linked together, territorially". F. Lukas, who spoke with Trumbić about this corridor before he died (in 1938), wrote that Trumbić remained opposed to this Czech initiative even later, at the Peace conference at Versailles, arguing that it was not just to include in it 600,000 Germans for the sake of 70,000 Slavs. He insisted that the idea of the corridor was contrary to the principle of self-determination in the name of which their respective states were created. It seem that Trumbić had displeased Masaryk and Beneš, who thereafter became cold toward him. There is no doubt that Masaryk was deeply involved with it, because on the map of the Central Europe which was presented to the Allies, and on which the corridor was delineated, there was also a note in Masaryk's handwriting.
The sculptor Ivan Meštrović (1885-1962) had been friendly with Masaryk from the years when they both lived in exile (1914-18). When in 1924 Meštrović was invited to portray Masaryk he gladly accepted this request. Meštrović had several long conversations with the Czech president and his daughter Alice. Both of them disliked Radić and his Czech wife; they were probably influenced by their previous guest, King Alexander of Yugoslavia and were afraid seeing the similarity between the Slovak and Croatian demands for decentralized government. I will summarize Meštrović's recollections. Masaryk did not like Nikola Pašić, the Premier of Yugoslavia and criticized his methods. He accused both him and Radić for the bad situation in the country. He considered Radić a confused and unrealistic politician, and his wife an impossible woman.
Alice Masaryk said that the most responsible for all those troubles was Radić. To prove her point she pointed to his "separatism". She was enchanted with the powerful Serbian army. 
However, they reproached the Serbian politicians for imposing the Constitution which was not in agreement with the Corfu Declaration (July, 1917).
Meštrović replied that he did not know Radić personally and did not appreciate certain of his maneuvres, nevertheless, one should not forget that the entire Croatian nation stood with him. This was less due to Radić's demagogy than to the brutal behaviour of the centralized government.
In the course of later conversations, Masaryk said that, though Radić seemed confused and excessive in his demands, this did not justify the attitude of Belgrade toward the Croats. He recognized that the Czechs had hoped that the Serbs would be "debalkanised", but it seemed that the entire country would be "balkanised under their influence". If the Czechs had obtained a common border with the Croats, perhaps they could have interfered in this mess. He insisted that he liked Croats and Serbs equally; perhaps he respected the Serbs more on account of their army and reputation for bravery. However, he did not approve the behaviour of the Serbian officials toward the Croats. He did not blame only the prime minister Pašić but also King Alexander, whom he found uncultured and undemocratic, a typical product of military mentality.
Since Meštrović had a penetrating eye for the psyche of his interlocutors, I find interesting certain of his observations on Masaryk himself:
When Ivan Lorković (1876-1926), a prominent member of the Croato-Serbian Coalition, came to Rome in 1914 with a memorandum how to break the Austrian empire and preserve the continuation of Croatian statehood, Masaryk was sceptical about this plan. He did not believe that England and France would accept the idea of the total abrogation of the Empire, and therefore he was in favour of a confederate state. He himself had prepared a note, which he transmitted to Seton-Watson, in which he suggested that the Slavs, namely Czechs, Croats and Slovenes, should become equal partners with the Germans and Magyars.
Ten years had elapsed. Now, in 1924, he was glad, as the respected president of his land, that events had turned much better that he had once expected.
While he was making his bust, both from his conversation and physical features, Meštrović concluded that he was in the presence of a "gentle fanatic, but nevertheless a fanatic with a typical Slavic and Slovak stubborness. He had succeeded in subjugating it, but it was present in his subconsciousness. In spite of his broad culture, he was as doctrinaire as a fanatic protestant pastor".
His own daughter, Alice, informed Meštrović that her father had fixed ideas about certain (e.g. Slovak) questions, and that it was better to avoid discussion of them.
Though Masaryk had a typically Slavic heart and soul, nevertheless, he had become a convinced "realist". This was apparent even when he spoke about the Russian and Czech writers. Those features which are usually called Slavic became inaccessible to him, more exactly he was afraid of them. He looked at them with the same repugnance as did West Europeans. He avoided everything which seemed to him mystical or metaphysical: he saw it as sick daydreaming.
During the eight days which he spent with Masaryk, Meštrovič felt that he was in the presence of an honest individual who was always guided by his own principles.
Thus, for example, when king Alexander expressed his wish that Masaryk should visit him in Belgrade without stopping at Zagreb, Masaryk refused this suggestion. He replied to the autocrat that he would not go to Yugoslavia if he could not visit his friends wherever they were. Meštrović comments that Masaryk replied as a man whose democratic conscience and human feelings were stronger than any diplomatic considerations. He did not believe that a country was free so long as the human rights and dignity of its citizens were not protected.
In those years when Czechoslovakia was undergoing one of the most difficult periods in her history, namely when Masaryk was dead and his country was dismembered by Hitler's orders, there appeared in the Croatian press and periodicals quite opposite appraisals of the late President and his degree of responsibility for the tragic events:
While some (like e.g. M. Ćurčin) praised Masaryk as a kind of a superman, if not a divinity, the nationalists (e.g. F. Lukas) intensified their attacks against him and his successor, and a moderate group (e.g. Lupis-Vukić), though pro-Yugoslav and admirers to a degree of Czechoslovakia, reproached those supposed "democrats" for not being willing or able to solve two crucial problems: those of the Slovaks and the Sudeten Germans. There was also a resentment among the Catholics, about a half of the population, that Masaryk as a president continued his bitter Hussite propaganda, treating them as spiritual slaves and unpatriotic. He was unable to distinguish between what he was allowed to remark on as a professor and what, as a president of the entire nation, he should do and say.
Nova Evropa (Zagreb), the periodical which was edited during the interwar years by M. Ćurčin (1880-1960), on several occasions printed eulogies of Masaryk "the leader" (1922, 1934). Now when was dead "the greatest contemporary European", a man who "cared about his people and democracy in general", who had been "a defender of truth and justice", he was proclaimed by Ćurčin as a symbol of unity not only of the Czechs but also other nations. He was a "real prophet" and accepted as such. He had been "our common leader and teacher". Masaryk, like Abraham Lincoln, writes Ćurčin, had strenuously worked to bring all citizens together.
Hrvatska revija, the organ of the nationalists, had never shown any enthusiasm for the President living at the Hradčany. After the assassination of Stjepan Radić and the subsequent proclamation of dictatorship by king Alexander, when even the mild and humane Vladimir Maček had been thrown into jail, the Croatian patriots were disturbed at seeing the continuation of close collaboration between Prague and Belgrade: However, toward the end of the thirties, when Croatian national unity was stronger and the centralists, seeing that Yugoslavia could be attacked by the Nazis and fascists, were ready to make concessions, there was much greater freedom of expression. In those favourable circumstances, Filip Lukas, the president of Matica hrvatska, the most important Croatian cultural organization, intensified his attacks against the late President and E. Bene?, his successor. He asked his countrymen why so many squares and streets had been named in Masaryk's honour. He did not see any reason for this excess of flattery. However, Lukas has certainly exaggerated in saying that Masaryk "hated" the Croats on account of their catholicism and their unwillingness to be "unified". Lukas obviously did not make the necessary distinction between personal convictions, which are often tied with prejudices, and pure hatred. Masaryk was a human being and like the majority of mortals, he had his foibles and antipathies!
It seems to me that I. F. Lupis-Vukić was more objective than Ćurčin and Lukas. In Nova Evropa, a year later than Ćurčin, he openly analysed the tragic events in Czechoslovakia and at the same time pointed out both Masaryk's undeniable achievements and failures.
Ivan F. Lupis-Vukić (1876-1960), a publicist who had lived for many years in America and later became a deputy in the Dalmatian Diet, gave three reasons for the collapse of the Czech republic:
First of all, the Czechs should have realized that they were given at Versailles three million Sudeten Germans, not because they had a right to incorporate them on the basis of their historical and natural frontier, but rather to make Germany smaller and less dangerous to France. Once those Germans had become them citizens, political wisdom required that the Prague government should guarantee to them such national and financial privileges which would eliminate later the attractive appeal of the third Reich.
Second, they should have respected their agreement with the Slovaks representatives, signed at Pittsburgh (June 30, 1918), and not behave in such a way that the Slovaks felt that they were not "liberated" but had simply changed masters: previously they had been oppressed by the Magyars and now by the "Slavic brothers".
Third, the Czechs lived in an illusion that nothing could happen to them because they had reliable allies, such as France and England, not foreseeing that those two western powers would abandon them at the critical moment (by the Munich agreement, Sept. 30, 1938), when they thought that this was required by their interests.
I believe that Lupis-Vukić, though a devoted friend of the Czech people and much grieved by their tragedy, rightly pointed to the basic reasons why Czechoslovakia, well organized and enjoying international prestige, collapsed so easily - that there was no trace of rebellion at home nor outrage abroad.
Lupis-Vukić did not mention the religions tension to which Masaryk himself contributed. Throughout his Memoirs Masaryk attacked the Catholics and their hierarchy. Thus when he speaks about France and her writers, he contends that they were indulging in "morbid and perverse sexualism", because they were under the influence of Catholicism. I will cite some excerpts from a section entitled "Our relation to Catholicism":
"Our Reformation fortified our nationality as never before. While Catholicism predominated, Germanisation went on and the Hussite movement saved us from it ...
In endeavouring to raise the level of morality, the Reformation strengthened our national character ...
Notwithstanding the Battle of the White Mountains and its sequel, Catholicism failed to take deep root among us. It was addicted to violence, its leaders were alien in blood and in creed - especially the Jesuits, who are alien even today - and, with few exceptions, its hierarchy was German and Hapsburgian, not Czech ...
The facts that the Reformation affected us profoundly ... and that the fight for religion and morality formed for four centuries the main substance of our history, prove that our Reformation arose from and responded to national character".
I will conclude these remarks about Masaryk and his relations with the Croats by referring to an article written in this postwar period, by the late professor Jaroslav Šidak (1903-86), the best Yugoslav historian of Czech origin. In it he summarized his views about Masaryk, this renowned professor and skilful politician, who remains even today dear to the Czechs. However, Šidak writes that Masaryk "exaggerated" when he accused the Austrian officials of falsifying the documents in the Friedjung process, that Radić already in 1900 had begun to criticize him for his "realism" and neglect of the Croatian question, and that he had viewed Serbia as the "leader and centre" of unified Yugoslavia.
In those separate segments of my presentation, I tried to be true to my sources and historical changes, which influenced the attitude not only of the masses, but also of their leaders.
I hope that Masaryk's portrait comes out as an acceptable human being, more humanist than Christian and stubborn in his convictions. He should not be placed on a pedestal of infallibility, but he stands above dirty politics. He dedicated his great talent and enormous energy to the benefit of his people! If the Czechs even today (in their own way) resist foreign oppression, to a great extent they are inspired by the example of this militant professor, who did not have his head in the clouds, but was mostly grounded in reality.
He died peacefully, aware that he had acted in accordance with his conscience and that the interests of his nation were dearer to him than his own.
However, we wish that the leaders of present and future generations, in contrast to Masaryk, would continue the struggle for universal democracy, so that all nations (including Croatia) may one day enjoy freedom.
* This paper was presented at the 20th National Convention of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies held in Honolulu, Hawaii November 18-21, 1988.
 René Wellek, in Columbia Dictionary of Modern European Literature, ed. W. Edgerton, New York 1980, p. 520.
 J. Pekař, Masarykova česka filosofie, Prague 1927, p. 31.
 Idem, p. 44.
 R. Wellek, Introduction to Masaryk, The Meaning of Czech History, New York 1974, p. XXII and XVII. - A young Czech historian, R.H. Pospišil (1952- ), in his doctoral dissertation, Great Truths and Small Lies: Tomaš G. Masaryk and his Critics, 1886-1926 (Bloomington, Indiana, 1983) writes in its Preface: "Many of Masaryk's views, especially those about religion and his interpretation of Czech history, diverged significantly from those of most of the Czech intellectual establishment. Moreover, Masaryk's frequent disregard for scholarly method, and the frequent tautology of his arguments, made him an object of scorn among Czech intellectuals, including many of his former pupils and followers. By 1914, Masaryk was no longer being taken seriously in Czech politics and academia. Finally, his critics charged that Masaryk frequently distorted facts in order to support his preconceived arguments, that is, that he championed the truth only when it suited his purposes" (p. VII).
 Masaryk, The Meaning of Czech History, p. 141.
 Idem, p. 142.
 R. Wellek, "Masaryk's Philosophy", Essays on Czech Literature, The Hague 1963, p. 70.
 Josip Horvat, Stranke kod Hrvata i njihova ideologija, Belgrade 1939, pp. 56-64; Vaso Bogdanov, Historija političkih stranaka u Hrvatskoj, Zagreb 1958, pp. 760-66.
 Rudold Horvat, Najnovije doba hrvatske povijesti, Zagreb 1906, p. 292, estimates that less than 2% of the population were able to vote.
 The long period of depression in the whole of European agriculture from 1873 to 1895 profoundly affected the economic and social structure of Croatia. On this and many other correlated problems there is an excellent summary in Milan Marjanović's "Introduction" to the first volume of his Hrvatska Moderna, I, Zagreb 1951, pp. 9-21, with notes on pp. 55-60. The most penetrating analysis in English about the Croatian peasants and their miserable standard of living is to be found in Jozo Tomaševich, Peasants, Politics, and Economic Change in Yugoslavia, Stanford 1955, passim.
 Toward the end of the nineteenth century the Croatian emigration to the United States took such extreme proportions that it became a national and social problem. As regards the number of Croats who settled in the USA there exist quite different opinions: while some believe that they numbered up to one million, others are more conservative and estimate their number at about a half million. On this topic there are numerous studies; among the most recent and best are those by Većeslav Holjevac, Hrvati izvan domovine, Zagreb 1967, and George Prpich, The Croatian Immigrants in America, New York 1971.
 See a quite objective study by a Serbian historian Vaso Bogdanov, "Začeci nesporazuma između Hrvata i Srba", in his book, Živa prošlost, Zagreb 1957, pp. 11-17.
 About Khuen-Hedervary and his regime cf. Oscar Jaszi, The Dissolution of the Habsburg Monarchy, Chicago, 1929, pp. 370-71; R. W. Seton-Watson, Absolutism in Croatia, London 1912, p. 4.
 "The political historians of the world recorded the fact that Croatia was so dissatisfied with her relations with Hungary that the youth of the University had expressed their discontent by the burning of the Hungarian flag in the presence of the Emperor himself" (Stjepan Radić, in Current History, October 1928, p. 90) See also Vlatko Maček, In the Struggle for Freedom, New York, 1957, pp. 33-34.
 Dragutin Prohaska, "Uticaj T.G. Masaryka na modernu jugoslovenski kulturu", T.G. Masaryk - Zbornik, Beograd-Praha, 1927, pp. 102-168. About the Yugoslav students in Prague see Irena Gantar Godina, Masaryk in Masarykovsty pri Slovencih, Ljubljana 1987, p. 22-32.
 The most interesting articles from these two periodicals were reprinted in M. Marjanović, Hrvatska Moderna, I, Zagreb 1951. How strong was Masaryk's impact on these young people is evidenced, for example, in the article about Croatian literature written by Milan Šarić (1881-1913) in which he claims that it is one'; duty not to die stupidly but rather to live, and to fight not with rhetoric but with the brain and in accordance with systematic and pragmatic principles!
 In his autobiography, published in Current History, October 1928, no. 1, p. 91.
 See in Columbia Dictionary of Modern European Literature, 2nd ed. New York 1980, p. 44.
 There are many good books and studies about the Croatian Moderna. Besides Marjanović's Hrvatska Moderna, I-II, Zagreb 1951, one should consult also Panorama hrvatske književnosti XX. stoljeća, Zagreb 1965, p. 7-260; Nevenka Košutić, "Evropski okviri hrvatske Modern", in Hrvatska književnost prema evropskim književnostima, Zagreb 1970, pp. 345-64; Miroslav Sicel, Književnost Moderne, Zagreb 1982; Ivo Frangeš, Povijest hrvatske književnosti, Zagreb 1987, pp. 227-83.
 Vaso Bogdanov, "Friedjungov proces", Enciklopedija Jugoslavije, III Zagreb 1958, 406-408; also his Introduction to Supilo, Politika u Hrvatskoj, Zagreb 1953.
 R. W. Seton-Watson, The Southern Slav Question, London 1913. See also an excellent Introduction to his Correspondence by his sons, Hugh and Christopher in R.W. Seton-Watson and the Yugoslavs: Correspondence 1906-1941, vol. I-I Zagreb 1976.
 Victor Cohen, Life and Times of Masaryk, London 1941, p. 127.
 Božidar Marković, "Masaryk i Jugoslaveni", T. G. Masaryk - Zbornik, Beograd-Praha, 1927, pp. 28-35. In this book is to be found a photo which the accused Serbs at the Zagreb trial sent to Masaryk; they call themselves "the fighters for progressive and free thought in Croatia"!
 A. G. Matoš, "Hrvatska i uhode" (1910), in Misli i pogledi AG Matoša, ed. M. Ujević, Zagreb 1955, p. 339.
 See Jaroslav Šidak, in Enciklopedija Jugoslavije, III (1984), 229.
 D. Prohaska, in T.G. Masaryk - Zbornik, p. 197.
 Ivo Banac, The National Question in Yugoslavia: Origins, History, Politics, Ithaca 1984, p. 96.
 B. Krizman, Korespondencija S. Radića, I, Zagreb 1972, 238.
 Idem, 31.
 He defended a Jew Leopold Hillsner who was accused of committing a ritual murder (see V. Cohen, Life and Times of Mosaryk, p. 98-103).
 S. Radić, Politički spisi, ed. Z. Kulundžić, Zagreb 1971, p. 67.
 B. Krizman, Korespondencija S. Radića, I, 67.
 J. Jareb, Pola stoljeća hrvatske politike, Buenos Aires 1960, p. 20.
 V. Maček, In the Struggle for Freedom, New York 1957, p. 68-69.
 "Predsjednik Masaryk mi je obečao da će se zauzeti kod beogradske vlad da batinjanja prestanu, ali da se inače ne može miješati u naše unutrašnje poslove" (S. Radić, Politički spisi, p. 90-91).
 L'Unité yougoslave, "Preface", p. V-IX.
 T. G. Masaryk, The New Europe - The Slav Standpoint, London 1918, p. 59.
 T.G. Masaryk, The Making of a State - Memoirs and Observations, 1914-18.
 Idem, 146-47.
 ldem, 225.
 Ibidem. - S. Radič had pointed out, in his speech to the Croatian National Council (on November 24, 1918) that Masaryk was contradicting himself: he who had become famous by opposing "historical rights", invoked them when they suited his interests or arguments (S. Radić, Politički spisi, Zagreb 1971, p. 328).
 Idem, 226.
 Idem, 55.
 D. Šepič, "Trumbićev Dnevnik", Historijski pregled, V-1959, no. 2, 168-75.
 Z. Zeman, The Masaryks - The Making of Czechoslovakia, London 1976 p. 72-73; Karel Pichlik, Zahranični odboj 1914-18 bez legend, Praha 1968, p. 107.
 F. Lukas, "Masaryk prema Hrvatima", Hrvatska revija XI (1938), 574-81 was reprinted in his book, Hrvatski narod i hrvatska državna misao, Zagreb 1944 p. 229-240.
 Masaryk's map of the future Czech state with the corridor is reproduced in Lukas' book, between pp. 228 and 229.
 Ivan Meštrović, Uspomene na političke ljude i događaje, Buenos Aires 1961.
 Idem, 173.
 Idem, 174.
 "Ali je skoro cio hrvatski narod uz Radića" (Ibidem).
 Idem, 177.
 Idem, 47.
 "Bio je ćovjekoljubivi fanatik, ali ipak fanatik, sa slovačkom i slavenskom tvrdoglavosti. On ju je doduše ukrotio, vladao je njome, ali je ona bila u podsvijesti. Uza svu svoju široku kulturu, Masaryk je imao nešto doktrinamo suha, kao kakav zagrišeni protestantski pastor" (Idem, 174).
 Idem, 175.
 "Bježao je od svega što mu je izgledalo mistično ili metafizičko, kao od nekog boležljivog sanjarenja" (Idem, 178).
 Idem, 177
 M. Ćurčin, in Nova Evropa, 1937, p. 273-74.
 In a conversation with Ivan Krajač, when he declared himself in favor of Great Serbia, and Krajač asked him what would then happen with Croatia, Masaryk supposedly replied that she should "disappear together with Austria." (Hrvatska revija, 1938, no. 1, 562). Lukas from it concludes that Masaryk hated the Croats (Hrvatski narod i hrvatska državna misao, p. 238).
 I.F. Lupis-Vukić, "Čemu nas uči sudbina Cehoslovačke", Nova Evropa, 1938, no. 11, 345-51.
 T.G. Masaryk, The Making of a State, p. 112.
 Idem, 432-34. - I find revealing chapter IV in Pospišil's dissertation (Great Truths and Small Lies) because it proves that Masaryk used "all available means to destroy Catholic influence".
 J. Šidak, in Enciklopedija Jugoslavije, vol. VI (1965), 35.