Eduard Benes

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Beneš, Eduard


Bora May 28, 1884, in Kozlany, Bohemia; died Sept. 3, 1948, in Sezimovo Ústí, Bohemia. Czechoslovak statesman. Son of a wealthy peasant.

Beneš studied at Charles University in Prague and later at the Sorbonne in Paris. He graduated from the faculty of law at the University of Dijon in France. From 1915 to 1918 he was general secretary of the Czechoslovak National Council, founded by Czech bourgeois émigrés in Paris. On Sept. 26, 1918, this body became the provisional government of Czechoslovakia. From September 1918 to December 1935, Bene was the foreign minister of Czechoslovakia; from September 1921 to October 1922 he was the prime minister; and from December 1935 to October 1938 he was the president of the country. He was one of the active leaders of the Little Entente. Beneŝ was a member of the Council of the League of Nations from 1923 to 1927 and chairman of the Security Committee from 1927 to 1938. He was one of those chiefly responsible for the Czechoslovak republic’s refusal of military aid offered by the Soviet Union against the threat of Hitler’s aggression and for the acceptance by the Czechoslovak government of the terms of the Munich Pact of 1938.

In October 1938, Beneŝ retired from the office of president and went to the United States, where he became a professor at the University of Chicago. In 1939 a Czechoslovak national committee was founded in Paris under the leadership of Beneŝ, and in 1940 this committee became the basis for the founding in London of a Czechoslovak government and state council in exile. Beneŝ once again became president of the republic. The exiled Czechoslovak government was recognized by the states participating in the anti-Hitler coalition. In Moscow in December 1943, Beneŝ signed the Soviet-Czechoslovak Pact of Friendship, Mutual Assistance, and Postwar Cooperation. After the liberation of Czechoslovakia, Beneŝ was officially elected president of the republic on June 19, 1946. In February 1948, underpressure from the people, Bene ŝ was forced to accept the resignation of the reactionary ministers and to accept the new government proposed by K. Gottwald. On June 7, 1948, Bene ŝ resigned as president.


Svétová válka a nase revoluce, [parts 1–3]. Prague, 1935.
Pameéti. Prague, 1947.


Kral’, V. O kontrrevoliutsionnoi i antisovetskoi politike Masarika i Benesha. Moscow, 1955.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
One has to recollect that Eduard Benes of Czechoslovakia removed several million ethnic Germans from his country after World War II, based on what they had done before and during the war, and what he feared they might someday do again should Germany again become a threat; this was not considered to be "ethnic cleansing," and the Benes Decree was accepted well by the West.
And does Netanyahu himself look like Eduard Benes, the Czech president who trembled before Hitler?
Eduard Benes was twice president of which European country?
8 ...And in the same year where did Eduard Benes succeeded Masaryk as president?
That would also be our new drama in which "little" Czechoslovakia becomes "tiny" Georgia, the South Ossetians stand in for the Sudeten Germans, Mikheil Saakashvili is Eduard Benes, Putin does Hitler, and we, of course, are required to reprise the role of Churchill.
Eduard Benes, the president of Czechoslovakia and a Czech, resigned on 5 October 1939 in the immediate aftermath of the Munich Agreement.
Czechoslovak President Eduard Benes passed a series of Decrees in the same year to implement the expulsion of over 2.5 million Germans and 32,000 ethnic Hungarians from the country.
While conceived by Eduard Benes's government in exile, SOE could have halted the operation but instead allowed it to go ahead, equipping and transporting the Czech agents, while it was hoped that the assassination would stimulate retaliations and bolster Czech dissidence -- a purported lack of which was a matter for concern in London -- the opposite occurred.
John Crane spent most of the interwar years in Prague, many of them as Masaryk's secretary; Sylvia, later his wife, became involved through her work in arranging a major demonstration of support for Czechoslovakia and Masaryk's successor, Eduard Benes, in New York in 1943.