September 3, 1948: Czechoslovak president Edvard Beneš dies a broken man

Photo: archive of Czech Radio

One of the founding fathers of the nation, a pillar of Czechoslovak diplomacy and statehood, Edvard Beneš was destined to serve his country as president in the most turbulent years of the 20th century.

Edvard Beneš was one of the co-founders of independent Czechoslovakia, working for the creation of the common state of Czechs and Slovaks from abroad, together with Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk and Milan Rastislav Štefánik.

He was the first and longest-serving foreign minister of Czechoslovakia, holding the post from 1918 to 1935 through ten successive governments, one of which he headed himself from 1921 to 1922.

When President Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk retired in 1935, Beneš succeeded him as Czechoslovak president.

He served as the country’s president from 1935 to 1938, and again from 1939 to 1948.

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