Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic

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Czechoslovak Independence Day

 

The anniversary of the establishment of Czechoslovakia (28 October 1918) is the Czech Republic's most significant holiday. It commemorates a turning point in the millennial history of Czech statehood: the emergence of a modern state after several centuries of union with the countries of the Habsburg monarchy.

Many years of constitutional struggle and the fight for national emancipation within the Austro-Hungarian Empire peaked during the First World War, when Czech political leaders joined forces with their Slovak political counterparts.

In mid-1918, the leader of the Czechoslovak foreign resistance, Professor Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, won a promise that the independence of the Czech and Slovak lands would be recognized by the Entente powers. A provisional Czechoslovak government was formed in Paris. In the meantime, the Czech political parties in Prague agreed to create a National Committee, which issued its first law "establishing the independent state of Czechoslovakia" on 28 October 1918 in coordination with representatives of the foreign resistance movement.

Over the 20 years of its interwar existence, the Czechoslovak Republic was a bastion of democracy in Central Europe, despite various divisions that encumbered it internally, and became a home to many refugees fleeing Nazism. The continuity of the Czechoslovak state survived both the Nazis and Communist totalitarianism. It came to an end in 1993, shortly after the fall of Communism, when the then federation was divided, by agreement, into two separate states, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

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