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Letter to the Editor: French get Slovak history wrong

Dear Sir,

I read with more than a little disbelief the comments of Michel Duger in "French Connection" [Vol. 4 No. 21, Oct. 5-11,"Foreign firms paid for Slovak visits of stars"] who said that French President Clemenceau created Czechoslovakia in 1920 and the Americans destroyed it in 1945 at Yalta. Duger has a pretty warped sense of history to say the least.

To set the record straight Czechoslovakia was founded by Masarýk and other Czech and Slovak emigrés in 1918 in Washington and Pittsburgh. If it was "destroyed" it was not at Yalta but at Munich in 1938 by the British Prime Minister Chamberlain and the French Premier Daladier, by their Munich Pact that handed the Sudetenland to Hitler without Czechoslovak approval. That led to a direct takeover of the entire country by Germans, and encouraged Hitler to start World War II. The French had a treaty to defend Czechoslovakia at the time and their ambassador told the Czechoslovaks if they did not agree to Munich the Czechoslovaks would fight Germany alone.

As far as Yalta is concerned, Czechoslovakia had been liberated by the Russians and already in their sphere of influence. It wasn't until 1948 that the Czech communists took over Czechoslovakia, and even then it wasn't "destroyed." Maybe Duger should work on his French and Czechoslovak history if he is to have any credibility at all. Like Slovakia, I wonder if he considers WWII and Vietnam French victories too.

John Novak, Los Angeles, California

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