Author Topic: Czechoslovak heroes on post-communist circulation coins  (Read 2288 times)

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Online <k>

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Czechoslovak heroes on post-communist circulation coins
« on: January 02, 2013, 01:57:34 AM »
Between 1990 and 1993, after the Velvet Revolution and the demise of communism, Czechoslovakia honoured some of its founding fathers on its 10 korun circulation coins. These were some of the country's final coins: the Velvet Divorce came on 1st January 1993, with the dissolution of Czechoslovakia into two independent states, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.

Online <k>

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Re: Czechoslovak heroes on post-communist circulation coins
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2013, 01:59:25 AM »
References: Wikipedia.

Milan Rastislav Štefánik (1880-1919) was born the son of a Slovak pastor in Kosaras, in the Kingdom of Hungary, when it was still part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Kosaras is now in the Slovak Republic. Though a strong Slovak patriot, Slovak schools were not allowed at that time, and he was forced to study in Hungarian schools. In 1898 he began studying construction engineering in Prague. In 1900 he moved to the Charles University where he attended lectures in astronomy, physics, optics, mathematics and philosophy. Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk (the future first president of Czechoslovakia) was professor of philosophy there, and he inspired Štefánik with the idea of political cooperation between Czechs and Slovaks. Štefánik graduated in 1904 with a doctor’s degree in philosophy and a thorough knowledge of astronomy and moved to Paris to work at an observatory.

His work in astronomy took him around the world, travelling to Tahiti to watch a total solar eclipse and Halley’s comet, and on one occasion he climbed Mont Blanc in order to observe Venus. He became well connected, performing various diplomatic tasks (and, some say, acts of espionage) for the French government, and in 1912 he became a French citizen.

With the outbreak of World War I, Štefánik believed that the defeat of Austria-Hungary and Imperial Germany would offer the opportunity for the Slovaks and Czechs to gain their independence. Therefore he enlisted in the French army and trained to become an air pilot. He flew planes for the 10th Army on the Artois and was later transferred to MFS 99 Squadron on the Serbian Front in May, 1915, where he flew a total of 30 missions over enemy territory, though ultimately the Serbian campaign was unsuccessful.

He returned to Paris at the end of 1915, where he met Edvard Beneš and renewed his association with Tomáš Masaryk. In 1916, these three men founded the Czechoslovak National Council, the supreme body of Czecho-Slovak resistance abroad. After 1917, he became the vice-president of the council, helping Masaryk and Beneš to obtain the support of important personalities of the Triple Entente, including the French prime minister, Aristide Briand.

In 1916 Štefánik and the Czecho-Slovak resistance set up the Czechoslovak Legions that would fight against Austria-Hungary and Germany. He also organized legions in France and Italy. It was largely due to his diplomatic skills and contacts that the Allies (Entente) recognized the Czechoslovak National Council as a de facto government and the Czechoslovak troops as allied forces in the summer and autumn of 1918. After the war, Czechoslovakia became a recognized independent state, with Masaryk as its president, while Štefánik travelled Europe, representing the Czechoslovak military and engaging in international diplomacy. On May 4, 1919, he flew from Italy in an Italian military plane, which crashed while trying to land near Bratislava. Štefánik died, along with two Italian officers. The reason for the plane crash is disputed but it is believed to have been an accident.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2017, 11:23:10 PM by <k> »

Online <k>

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Re: Czechoslovak heroes on post-communist circulation coins
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2013, 02:00:56 AM »
Czechoslovak 10 korun coin, honouring Štefánik and issued from 1991 to 1993.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 10:33:36 PM by <k> »

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Re: Czechoslovak heroes on post-communist circulation coins
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2013, 02:17:02 AM »
References: Wikipedia, Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk (1850-1937) was an Austro-Hungarian and Czechoslovak politician, sociologist and philosopher. Masaryk’s father was a Slovak coachman; his mother, a maid, came from a Germanized Moravian family. Though he was trained to be a teacher, he briefly became a locksmith’s apprentice but then entered the German Hochschule in Brno in 1865. Continuing his studies at the University of Vienna, he obtained his doctorate in 1876. He studied for a year in Leipzig, where he met an American student of music, Charlotte Garrigue, whom he married in 1878. He was appointed lecturer in philosophy in Vienna in 1879, and he became professor of philosophy in the Czech university of Prague in 1882.

Masaryk served in the Reichsrat (Austrian Parliament) from 1891 to 1893 in the Young Czech Party and again from 1907 to 1914 in the Realist Party (which he founded in 1900), but he did not campaign for the independence of Czechs and Slovaks from Austria-Hungary.

With the outbreak of war in August 1914 Masaryk was fortunate to avoid arrest as an agitator, subsequently fleeing to Geneva in December 1914 and then onwards to London the following March. During the war he worked tirelessly to encourage and then commit Allied support for the creation of a Czech state following the war.  While in London he co-founded the Czechoslovak National Council based in Paris.

Throughout the war Masaryk worked closely with fellow Czech independence campaigner Eduard Benes, with the latter attending to political negotiations among the Allies while Masaryk functioned in a more ambassadorial capacity. Following negotiations with the new Bolshevik government in Russia in late 1917, the Czech Legion was formed with Russian blessing, comprised of Austro-Hungarian prisoners of war sited in Russia and which subsequently fought on the Eastern Front against the Central Powers.

A visit to the U.S. was similarly successful, resulting in the Lansing Declaration of May 1918, which supported (at least in principle) the formation of an independent Czech state.  By September 1918 Masaryk was being recognised by Allied governments as the prospective head of a Czech state.

The collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in late October 1918 brought with it firm commitment from the Allies to the immediate creation of a new state, Czechoslovakia, in mid-November.  Masaryk acted as the new country's first President until his death in 1937, having been twice re-elected.  He was succeeded by Benes.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2017, 11:24:10 PM by <k> »

Online <k>

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Re: Czechoslovak heroes on post-communist circulation coins
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2013, 02:17:55 AM »
Czechoslovak 10 korun coin, honouring Masaryk and issued from 1990 to 1993.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 10:34:38 PM by <k> »

Offline chrisild

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Re: Czechoslovak heroes on post-communist circulation coins
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2013, 09:05:31 AM »
There was a third one in that series, dedicated to Alois Rašín, but I don't have that one. What I also find interesting is that, once Czechia and Slovakia went separate ways, both T. G. Masaryk and M. R. Štefánik were used for the issuing country's highest denomination note - 5,000 korun in both cases. :)

Here is the Czech 5,000 Kč note ...
http://www.cnb.cz/en/banknotes_coins/banknotes/5000_czk.html

... and this is the 5,000 Sk note from Slovakia, in use until 2008:
http://www.nbs.sk/en/banknotes-and-coins/slovak-currency/slovak-banknotes/5000-sk-banknote-description

Christian

Online <k>

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Re: Czechoslovak heroes on post-communist circulation coins
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2013, 02:47:41 PM »
From Wikipedia:

Alois Rašín was a Czech economist and politician. He was born into a family of farmers in 1867 in Nechanice, Bohemia (Austria-Hungary) and died in 1923 in Prague. After gymnasium (grammar school) he continued his schooling with the study of law at the Charles University in Prague. Here he became active in politics, and a leader in the radical students movement. In the Omladina Trial (an 1894 trial against radical Czech youths), he was sentenced to two years in prison. Rašín continued his political activity although he became less radical over time. In 1911, he was elected into the parliament of the Austrian monarchy. After the start of World War I Rašín supported the Czech separatist movement. In 1915, he was imprisoned and sentenced to death. With the death of emperor Franz Jozeph I his sentence was commuted and in 1917 Rašín received amnesty. He immediately returned to politics.

In 1918, Rašín and others organised the establishment of Czechoslovakia as independent state. From 1918-19 he was the first Finance Minister of the new state. He managed to stabilize the currency and avoid the inflation that was damaging neighbouring countries. His authoritative and uncompromising behaviour helped him to achieve his aims but generated lot of animosity.

In 1922, Rašín again became Minister of Finance in the government of Antonín Švehla. Amidst an economic crisis he stressed the politics of deflation and a strong currency. High unemployment caused great animosity towards him, especially from the left. A fierce anti-Rašín campaign developed. On January 5, 1923, Rašín was shot in Prague by young anarchist Josef Šoupal. Rašín died from his injuries after a long period of suffering on February 18, 1923.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2017, 11:22:18 PM by <k> »

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Re: Czechoslovak heroes on post-communist circulation coins
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2013, 02:48:56 PM »
Czechoslovak 10 korun coin, honouring Rašín and issued in 1992.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2017, 11:26:42 PM by <k> »