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Josef Kalvoda
1980 Slavic Review: Interdisciplinary Quarterly of Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies  
149) has printed a "review" of my book, Czechoslovakia's Role in Soviet Strategy, by Edward Taborsky, former secretary of the late Dr. Edward Benes, the second president of Czechoslovakia, who made a reputation for himself as propagandist, the art of which he practiced already during World War I. Professor Taborsky has selected four statements out of context and claims that these are examples of "unjust assessments" and my "anti-Benes bias." Since the Editor has sent my response to the charges
more » ... ack to me with a request to shorten it, I have to urge the reader to read the "quotes" in their context and to look up the documentations in the book. The documents speak for themselves and not for the author. The source of the first "quote" is a U.S. government document. The whole sentence reads: "While the Polish government was in favor of the Allied invasion of the Balkans and established contacts with the Hungarians and Rumanians desiring to surrender their countries to the Western Allies, Benes was opposed to the Anglo-American occupation of Central Europe and the Balkans." Biddle, the U.S. representative in London, suggested that "the Czech source may be the instrument of Russian propaganda," since the views expressed corresponded with that of Stalin. (See Czechoslovkia's Role in Soviet Strategy, note 41, p. 320.) The second "quote" is contained in the following sentence: "Had the Anglo-Americans occupied the area of Central Europe, Benes would have had to resign at the end of the war, as he had promised to do, and the peoples living in former Czechoslovakia, the Czechs, Slovaks, Germans, Hungarians, Ruthenians and Poles would have had an opportunity to express their views on what kind of political and economic system they wanted to have." The source here is a British government document containing portions of Benes's own memorandum to the British government of April 18, 1941, in which he had promised to "after the war at once submit to the regulation of a democratic Czechoslovak Constitution." The British rejection of Benes's theory of continuity of his presidency, the issues of state boundaries and Sudeten Germans, and so forth have been discussed in detail in my book (see pp. 116-25). The documentation is very extensive and includes a secret British document declassified only in the 1970s. The third "quote" refers to Benes's own "Memoirs," in which he mistakenly writes that at Teheran "Poland and Czechoslovakia, Rumania, Hungary and Yugoslavia were placed in the Soviet [war] Zone." He writes, furthermore, "I therefore regarded the Teheran Conference as a great success and I moulded all my further discussions in Moscow as well as my later ones in London and our negotiations with the Americans to fit the results of Teheran. This also covered the advance of the Soviet Army into Central Europe and on to our territory which I regarded as a certainty.
doi:10.1017/s0037677900099034 fatcat:gdax4h5xq5hixn4s3akzdhi4xy