Legie a legionáři v české a slovenské tradici a historiografii
CZECHOSLOVAK LEGIONS AND LEGIONNAIRES IN CZECH AND SLOVAK TRADITION AND HISTORIOGRAPHY
The history of the fight of Czechoslovak legionnaires in World War I for independent Czechoslovakia became a part of the new state 'foundation story'. A legionnaire became a symbol of conscious Czechoslovak citizen who never hesitates to die in the struggle for Czechoslovak independence. For German and Hungarian minorities, however, the new legionnaire tradition was unacceptable. In inter-war Czechoslovakia there were severe discussions about the role of legions in the Russian Civil War. The legions took part in the Civil War on the side of the 'white forces'. Especially problematic was their indirect support of the white dictatorship of Admiral Alexander Kolcak in Siberia. The political left criticized legionnaires for their support of Kolcak while the political right - on the other hand -criticized them for the fact that they concluded an armistice with Bolsheviks at the end of civil war. During the occupation by Nazi Germany (1939-1945) and during the period of Communist regime (1948-1989) the legionnaire tradition was considered politically dangerous for the existing system and suppressed. After 1989 some attempts to restore the tradition occurred. The question is, however, whether the tradition can survive when the Czechoslovak state no more exists.
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