Saturday, 19 April 2014

Albright believes then Czechoslovak ForMin was murdered in 1948

ČTK |
2 May 2012

New York, April 30 (CTK) - Madeleine Albright, the Czech-born former U.S. secretary of state who spent childhood in Czechoslovakia, believes that the then Czechoslovak foreign minister Jan Masaryk did not commit suicide in 1948 but was murdered, she says in her new book that has appeared in the USA.

In the book titled "Prague Winter," Albright describes her childhood in Prague and London, along with Czechoslovakia's history during World War Two and in the following period.

She writes she believes that Jan Masaryk (1886-1948) was assassinated, probably by Stalin's agents, shortly after the communist coup, though she has no evidence to prove it. The Soviets had a motive to kill him, she writes.

She refers to rumours having it that Jan Masaryk, son of the first Czechoslovak president Tomas Garrigue Masaryk (1850-1937), was planning to leave Czechoslovakia, which would be unwelcomed to Moscow. The Soviets could learn about Masaryk's intention through wiretappings.

The Communists could not consider jailing Jan Masaryk. Similarly, they could hardly unseat him as minister and go on successfully asserting that he still supported them. A suicide, that would be blamed on the West, was an ideal solution, Albright writes.

She points to Jan Masaryk's normal behaviour on the eve of the tragedy, to traces of a violent conflict in his flat, to the unprofessional investigation of the case and to the absence of a last will and testament in the case of a man who liked making dramatic gestures.

Another aspect casting doubt on the theory of a suicide is that Jan Masaryk's father had written a theory of suicide, which he described as a social and mental loss and a symptom of one's negative verdict towards the world, Albright writes.

Jan Masaryk would have hardly ignored his father's views in the decisive moment of his life, she points out.

After the late February, 1948 communist coup, Jan Masaryk remained the only genuine non-communist minister in the cabinet headed by the communist leader Klement Gottwald. On March 10, 1948, he was found dead in the courtyard of the Cernin palace in Prague, the Foreign Ministry building, under the windows of his flat.

His death has never been cleared up. Not even dozens of experts and four investigations have managed to exclude any of the possible versions - a suicide, a murder and an unfortunate accident.

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