Thomas Masaryk, Czech politician and philosopher

Thomas Masaryk, Czech politician and philosopher

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Caption: Thomas Garignue Masaryk (1850-1937), Czech politician and philosopher. Masaryk was a Professor of Philosophy at Charles University in Prague, which was at the time part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He was active in politics, representing Czech parties in the governing Austrian Imperial Council. When the First World War broke out, he went into exile, organising for future Czech and Slovak independence in anticipation of the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In 1918, while still in New York, he was elected President of the Czechoslovak Republic (Czechoslovakia). He held this position until 1935, helping to establish it as a strong democracy. This photograph, dating from around 1919, is from the American National Red Cross photograph collection.

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