A Historical Journey 1914-1920
Presentation: by Peter Hala
Tuesday, 17 April 2018, 7:00 pm
The Idylwylde Community Hall,
8631 – 81 Street, Edmonton
(near the Bonnie Doon Shopping Centre)
Free admission, free parking, light refreshments at 18:45 pm
Sponsored by The Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences
Presentation in English, 60 min.
Including pictures and short video clips
Q&A and debate in English, Czech or Slovak will follow
The history covered in this presentation ought to be of interest not only to Czechs & Slovaks, but also to Ukrainians, Poles, and other nationalities, including Canadians.
Download poster (pdf)
Outline of the Presentation
In 2018 we celebrate the centennial of the Czechoslovak Republic which forever established both the Czechs and the Slovaks as an undeniable historical reality and a unique cultural identity in the tapestry of modern nations. The first president of Czechoslovakia, T. G. Masaryk, proclaimed that “Without the Legions there would be no Czechoslovakia!” This presentation will describe the origin, importance, and the battles of the Czechoslovak army in Russia, later known as the Czechoslovak Legion.
All Czechoslovak Legions, including the French, Serbian, and Italian, fought gloriously in WWI for their yet non-existent country. However, due to its mystique, even the Tsar’s fabulous treasure which it managed to capture, the Czechoslovak army in Russia has been especially intriguing to historians. Forgotten during WWII and the communist era, this amazing army without a country bravely fought in the disintegrating Christian Russia amidst the confusion in Ukraine, Poland, and throughout the Russian Revolution. According to newly available information, during its epic journey from Ukraine eastward through Siberia this unique army became a ‘dark horse’ factor which might have changed the course of history. “As if by magic” according to Winston Churchill the Czechoslovaks captured and held the Trans-Siberian railway and attempted to establish a democratic Russian government in the Volga region while fighting the Bolshevik Red Army all the way to Vladivostok. The Czechoslovaks were determined to fight and defeat the Red Russia, the ally of the Prussian Germany and Austria, and one can finally ask a good hypothetical question: If the Allies had followed-up on their promises to help the Czechoslovaks in Siberia, how would the history of the world had unfolded?