The Transfer of the Sudeten Germans: A Study of Czech-German Relations, 1933-1962

By Radomír Luža | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 9 The Czechoslovak Political Movement Abroad and the Preparations for International Recognition of the Republic

The primary aim of the Czechoslovak liberation movement abroad during the first war years was to achieve international recognition of the Czechoslovak Republic within its pre-Munich frontiers. The problems inherent in securing this objective were of major concern to the exile movement. The constitution of the Czechoslovak Army and the creation of the state machinery presented many difficulties which the outbreak of war had put into increasingly sharp focus. Beneš, whose popularity at home was unmatched as a symbol of national unity, had to cope with both the cool attitude of the British government and the hostility of the French cabinet.1. The power of the Munich appeasers still predominated in both capitals. The Czechoslovak exile movement itself faced much jockeying for position and a shifting of personalities and political groups, and it was only gradually that a more complete degree of unity developed. It was not until after the fall of France that Great Britain recognized the provisional

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1.
The book by R. H. Bruce Lockhart, Comes the Reckoning, and his article, "The Second Exile of Eduard Beneš," Slavonic and East European Review, XXVIII ( November 1949), 39-50, present a fair description of the British attitude toward Beneš and the Czechs. (See also Beneš, Memoirs, pp. 81 ff.) Bruce Lockhart was liaison officer of the Foreign Office and later on the British representative with the provisional Czechoslovak government. A useful although somewhat biased survey of the political situation in regard to the Czechoslovak exiles up to the outbreak of World War II was given by Křen ( Do emigrace).

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