Of Slovakian origin, Thomas Masaryk
studied in Vienna. Named professor
of Prague University, he was then elected member of the Reichstat (parliament)
During the First World War, he found
refuge in Geneva where he commemorated the 500th anniversary of Jean Hus. It was in Geneva that he began his
battle for an independent Czechoslovakia, whilst his wife was imprisoned in
After having won over
public opinion to his country's cause, in England, Russia and the United States
where he went frequently, he was elected first President of the new
Czechoslovakian Republic in December 1918.
He resigned in 1935 because of his advancing years.
His daughter Olga had married the Genevan Henri Revilliod.
His grandsons would die fighting the enemies of Czechoslovakia during the
Second World War.