Gone but not forgotten…

Normally I don’t really post photos of people, but here, it’s to show a contrast how different nations treat heroes differently. Photo courtesy of Vollketten and Imperial War Museum.

Photo taken in London, time unknown. Members of the British and American military meet with the exile Czechoslovak government. For the allied side:

Brigadier General Edmund Hill – (in the back) U.S. Air Force, served with distinction during WW2, retired in 1946 back to the USA, where he lived a peaceful life of a honored veteran until he passed away in 1977.

Lieutenant General Sir Harold Edmund Franklyn – (forefront, second from the left), British Army, fought the Germans in France at Arras, buying the British enough time to evacuated, received a title of Sir, retired with honors in 1945, lived in Britain until 1963, celebrated as a war hero.

For the Czechoslovak side:

On the left, forefront, General Sergej Ingr, a member of Czechoslovak government (Minister of Defense) in exile until 1944. In 1940, he commanded the ten thousand Czechoslovak soldiers fighting in the Battle of France before evacuating to Great Britain. Based on the communist pressure, he was forcibly retired by Beneš in April 1945. He became an ambassador in Hague, but resigned after the communist coup of 1949 he was stripped of all his honors and decided to stay in exile. He never saw his home again and died in Paris in 1956.

Second from left, Air Vice Marshal Karel Janoušek, the commander of the Czechoslovak pilots serving in Royal Air Force, who, along with other pilots in exile – especially the Polish – played a major role in the Battle of Britain. Janoušek returned to Czechoslovakia in 1945 but was, soon after the 1948 communist coup, arrested on trumped up charges, demoted to private and sentenced to 18 years in prison by a communist kangaroo court. In 1950, his sentence was (again illegally) prolonged to life in prison. From 1948 to 1960, he stayed in several communist concentration camps. In 1960 he was released by a presidential amnesty and in 1968 he was rehabilitated, but with his health destroyed from years of imprisonment, he passed away soon after, in 1971. Sabaton wrong the song “Far from Fame” about him.

The third person on the far right is Jan Masaryk, son of the first Czechoslovak president Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. A skilled diplomat, Jan Masaryk was a Minister of Foreign Affairs in the exile government. After the war, he continued as such in Czechoslovakia and hoped to build bridges between the east and the west. He never resigned and was one of the few ministers actively standing up to the communists during the coup. Two weeks after the communist coup, on 10.3.1948, he was found dead in front of his flat – he fell out of the window. The official version was that he committed suicide but the cause of his death was never truly discovered as the investigation was interrupted based on communist pressure. Many believe he was murdered.

And the moral of the story? Make no mistake. Communism is no different from nazism and some of the worst atrocities in history are nowadays passed with a wave of a hand only because the right side won the war…

11 thoughts on “Gone but not forgotten…

    • Not all Russians are communists you know. And not all communists are Russians. We have plenty of them right here – hell, our minister of finances is a former communist secret service agent…

      • I do know. I doubt there are any true communists left in Russia. What there is are many people who hark back to ‘the good old days, without acknowledging that they were routinely committing the sort of evils that you outlined in your article. Not least among them, those that control mail.ru, who are Putin cronies.

  1. I personaly think that you commited a mistake. And I told you that because I really appreciate your job and you like people. I do not think that I’am like a Nazi. I dont think that Stalin, Mao, Kim Jong-Il and all these bastards are good peopole. We can argue about the extremists or the atrocities of one side or another. But trust me, I do not think I’m a bad person to be a Communist.

    I am from Spain, my great grandfathers fought in the Spanish Civil War with the Spanish Republica and trust me, I know what I am saying. When the war starts, everybody looks at another side or they block us the sells of armament. Only a few countries like Poland (SEPEWE), Czecoslovakia and, the USSR sold us the armament we need. This is another of the reasons that make me feel thanked with you country, but I will continue with the arguments.

    As I say my great grandfathers fought in the Spanish Civil War, one of them, a citizen citizen, took part in the War since 1936 and I guess until the 40s. It was affiliated to the Spanish Communist Party (PCE in English). He was a part ot the Carabineros and later from one of the Mixed Brigades (I do not remember the number). When the war finishes, I went to the mountains, with the Guerrilla or Maquis as we call them.

    Trust Me, If Nazism / fascism is equal, I do not think I have sacrificed her best years for nothing.

    What is the point of this reply? Well, like you say, not all the Russians are communist, not all the Germans are Nazis (like the desendents of von Richtofen that this week, with the 80th aniversary of Guernica were here to say sorry to Guernica Citizens) and not all the communists They are bad peopole.

    I do not know how things work in CZ (for abrebiation). But, the history teaches me one thing, they use the communism to serve their particular interests, not the pepole interest. In this fammily ambient, of antifascism, they taught me that I have to tolerate a person, with no distinction about her political ideology or agenda, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc., they taught me the Principles of tolerance, democracy, dignity, Freedom, etc.

    Now you will rebate me with a lot of arguments about how bad is communist ideology, but, let me a second. I do not agree with the Proletarian Dictatorship, I agree, respect and defend the democracy, for this reason my great grandfathers fought 80 years ago. I defend the right of what a person thinks without any censorship, like you do and like I am doing.

    And, as a law student, I defend the Human Rights, that Rights that let me be free nowadays and rights that all czech citizens did not have during nazism and comunist dictatorship.

    I think I have been clear, if you have any doubts, ask me, I will answer you.



    PS: Sorry for my bad English

  2. “Communism is no different from nazism” – you know nothing John Snow.
    Remembering american, british, french, belgian etc. atrocities in Asia, Africa and Europe too I would say that democracy is no different from nazism.

    • Laughable that you would try to take a moral high ground with Communism.

      Neither side can claim a moral high ground.

  3. Far, far from the fame, far away from the fame
    But we still remember your name, Karel Janoušek!
    We mourn the day that you died
    So be our guide, Czechoslovakia’s pride!

    • As for Karel Janoušek, he was fully rehabilitated only after the velvet revolution and in 1991 he was promoted in memoriam to the General of the Army, highest military rank of the Czechoslovakia.