1947 Bohus Benes : Stalin Benes Czechoslovakia Refuses Participation In Marshall Plan
- Publication date
The Editor's Mail Box CZECHOSLOVAKIA.
To The San Francisco Examiner
Since Russia’s refusal to permit certain small nations to attend the
Paris Conference on the Marshall Plan, a distinct anxiety was expressed
by many public men and by the press in general, because no exception was
made by Russia for the state of Czecho-Slovakia at least.
I think and I hope, that you will agree, that the American people are entitled to clarification in this matter. In the opinion of many the state of Czechoslovakia found itself twice already in its short national existence not only on the winning" side, but on the right side, assisted by circumstances of a blind fortune plus the shrewdest political manipulations and clever propaganda.
Today this same Czechoslovakia finds itself on the opposite side of the "right" side, but not because fortune deserted, which persistently and in comprehensibly offered itself to that state for over a quarter century, but Czechoslovakia finds itself on the wrong side, as the inevitable result of the policies adopted and persistently followed by Doctor Benes and his government after the disintegration of Czechoslovakia.
This is the policy of opportunism, the policy of selfishness and of greed. It was one thing to profess and advertise democracy and practice tyranny at home and still retain the confidence and friendship of England and America, the two nations not yet permeated by hatred and suspicion and it is another matter to influence by in intrigue and to use the so gained power and prestige of the Soviet Union in order to satisfy utterly selfish aims to the total ruin of another country and then "not to follow" the path laid out and to snub the "eastern" kind of democracy in the hope, that eventually there will be a way found to masquerade with the more “profitable" brand of western democracy. The plain fact is, that the game" so successfully and so long played by Czechoslovakia is ended!
It may be unfortunate and tragic for the people of Czechoslovakia, but this time Doctor Benes "truly" has to choose and stick to his choice. One thing western democracy can and should learn from Communism and that is "steadfast loyalty to principle."
I have before me an editorial of The Examiner, written on August 19, 1943, titled: "President Benes Bows to Moscow." It is not the first time, when events actually happening reminds one of the clear fore sight of The Examiner and of Its accurate judgment of men, who sometimes are instrumental in bringing forth regrettable events. President Benes of Czechoslovakia is directly responsible for the "present" relationship existing between his country and that of the Soviet Union and he "greatly" helped Hungary also to its present fate.
When Doctor Benes wrote in Liberty Magazine (1943) that "the Red menace is merely a convenient instrument of aggression," etc., he was guilty of both ignorance and insincerity. He accused the world of "knowing very little about Soviet Russia," but we can be sure, that he himself only now, after a bitter expert ence is able "to appraise the true nature of the Soviet Union."
For almost thirty years Doctor Benes was able to play the fore most democrat of the world. What was his merit? Nothing more, but his "heroic escape" from Bohemia and his abandoning his native land to form a "refugee" government in London, leaving his less fortunate compatriots to hold the bag and face the full brutality of Hitler, while during all these tragic times other "of truly noble democratic character" of many lands died martyr's death by the hundreds!
During those fateful years Doc tor Benes and his associates in the comparative safety of London busied themselves in helping Russia create a "barrier," which today separates his country created by America from western Europe and cuts Europe into two noncooperating camps.
Continuous successes to fantastic gains made Doctor Benes bold and reckless and he too, as so many before him, overestimated himself. Today and only today he found his master, who will not be satisfied with words and gestures.
Today he realizes, that he is not dealing with "trusting and believing" Englishmen and Americans, but with individuals, whose trust is not easily won and not lightly to be taken.
Will Doctor Benes be able to play his usual game with Stalin and Molotov? It will be interesting to watch, indeed. His first attempt became his first bitter "fiasco."
St. Helena, California
San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco, California
25 Aug 1947, Mon • Page 10
The Editor's Mailbox DEFENSE OF BENES.
To The San Francisco Examiner;
I have read only today the letter of A Nemes which was published in your paper on July 21, 1947. The personal attack by Mr. Nemes on Dr. Edvard Benes, President of Czechoslovakia, is so base and filled with such hatred that it reminds me of very similar attacks by Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels during the dramatic events of the central European crisis in 1938. I am certain that the readers of your paper have realized that Mr. A Nemes has written his lines about Doctor Benes with 99 per cent hatred and with 1 per cent of knowledge of the facts. The help of American public opinion and the American administrations as well as the help of the leaders of the two political parties, Republican and Democratic, extend ed to Dr. Edvard Benes in his struggle for the freedom of the Czechoslovak people during both World Wars was so great and sincere that I don't feel I need to correct Mr. A. Nemes' false statements about Doctor Benes.
But I wish to answer Mr. Nemes' false accusation that the Czechoslovak Government professed a policy of opportunism, selfishness, and greed. While Mr. Nemes' old Hungary fought the western Allies in 1914-18 and again led by short-sighted leaders, fought the same western Allies in 1939-45, helping Adolf Hitler, the Czechoslovak people built up a huge army in the first World War which fought side by side with the American soldiers and in the second World War supplied two armies and a considerable air force operating from England and the Middle East, again on the side of the western Allies.
speaking, every step taken during World War II by Dr. Edward Benes and his
government in London and even before it was taken was submitted to and
approved by the Allies, including the American Government so that Mr. Nemes'
accusation of a policy of opportunism, selfishness, and greed is
actually an accusation against the American Government and people. But then it
may well be that Mr. Nemes' old Hungarian heart would not let him stop even at
such an accusation. All the other statements by A. Nemes are not worth
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