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Letter in Observance of the 34th Anniversary of the Independence of Czechoslovakia.

October 25, 1952

[Released October 25, 1952. Dated October 24, 1952]

Dear Dr. Zenkl:

You have asked on behalf of the Council of Free Czechoslovakia that October twenty eighth of this year, the traditional Independence Day of Czechoslovakia, be remembered with words of encouragement to the suffering millions in your homeland who are faithful disciples of democracy.

The American Government and people note that this thirty-fourth anniversary of independence, formerly a national holiday, will pass unrecognized by the Government of Czechoslovakia for the first time since the Republic's founding. Even before such a departure the communists sought to subvert the day's meaning by attributing the success of the Czechoslovak independence movement of 1918 to the Soviet October Revolution of the preceding year. This patent deceit, so typical of the communist falsification of history, could not have impressed the great majority of the people of Czechoslovakia who are fully conscious of the close collaboration of Woodrow Wilson and Thomas G. Masaryk, the founder of the Republic, and the role played by the Allied Powers in its establishment.

The dark night of communist enslavement, bringing the loss of freedom, civil rights and human dignity, the corruption of the cultural heritage of the Czechs and Slovaks, and the repression of religious life, now unhappily covers your land. Yet this anniversary continues to symbolize the historic devotion of the people of Czechoslovakia to democratic and humanist ideals and the mutual bonds of friendship between them and the people of the United States. The twenty-eighth of October this year will be revered, however silently, by the forces of democracy inside Czechoslovakia who look forward to the day when their free institutions will be restored and the nightmare of communist dictatorship and exploitation be lifted from their land.

Outside, in the free world, this day will be commemorated with even more meaning than in the past, not only for its historic importance, but in token of the deep concern and sympathy with which the Government and people of the United States and all free countries look upon the present plight of the people of Czechoslovakia. With other nations we are now in the midst of a great effort to build the common strength of all in the face of the Soviet menace. We are seeing to it that the people of Czechoslovakia are made aware of this joint effort and purpose, so that they may take heart and remain firm in these trying times, assured that the cause of truth and freedom will prevail.

Very sincerely yours,


[Dr. Petr Zenkl, President, Executive Committee, Council of Free Czechoslovakia, 2051 Park Road, N.W., Washington, D.C.]

Harry S. Truman, Letter in Observance of the 34th Anniversary of the Independence of Czechoslovakia. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/230931

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