Beneš - the greatest Machiavelli of the present time

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wm
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Beneš - the greatest Machiavelli of the present time

Post by wm » 20 Sep 2020 21:46

Dr. Jaromír Smutný (in charge of Beneš' office, later became the Chancellor of the Office of the President of the Republic) wrote this in his diary in 1942.
The tragic part is Smutný was Beneš' ardent supporter.
We are lacking a spiritually great man. Beneš is an outstanding tactician and strategist, the greatest Machiavelli of the present time, but he cannot inspire the masses, give them joy from work, the sense of unity, togetherness in the struggle, suffering and joy.

He does not inspire confidence. People who approach him feel instinctively that there is always something un-said, that Beneš uses them for some of his plans about which he does not tell them. They feel that he either trusts them or does not trust them, that he blames them in his mind but that he does not say it directly. People who are going from him are convinced but not won over, they are assured but not in love. It is the destiny of all egoistic people that they are counted upon in accordance with their own value, but they are not loved. The egoists are feared, they are even obeyed, but when they are in trouble they remain suddenly completely isolated.

It is so because at the time when they were prosperous they could not understand others; this is their avenge in the moment of defeat. This is a great handicap of our resistance. Beneš is our luck, had he not existed, we would eat up one another and go under in the struggle for power among individuals. We recognize Beneš because he is far above us in his intelligence, perseverance and hard work.

Masaryk was a leader, Pilsudski was a leader; they both gave not only direction but they instilled also a soul into the movements they led. Beneš, unfortunately, gives only the direction. I worry about how the things will procede further, because internally we experience a decay caused by unsatisfied individuals, struggle against the few who are over-ambitious and who, however, do not have followers behind themselves.

The working together with Beneš forces people to think about how his character lacks everything human. He is a machine for thinking and work, without human feelings but with human weaknesses. I have not met a single person who would be humanly devoted to Beneš. I have not met anyone who could speak with him in a human fashion about the things which may cause someone pain or joy. In these things Beneš never indicated an interest with regard to anyone.
Czechoslovakia's Role in Soviet Strategy

VanillaNuns
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Re: Beneš - the greatest Machiavelli of the present time

Post by VanillaNuns » 21 Sep 2020 02:08

Benes was a populist.

Pushed hard for Operation Anthropoid, despite widespread opposition from the Czech resistance who were horrified at the plan. They correctly predicted what the consequences would be. Benes stubbornly wouldn't listen to reason and used the Lidice atrocity as justification for why it was necessary in the first place to strike back at the German invaders.

Talk about kicking the dog and then being surprised when it bites your hand afterwards?

Benes was not naive and a few thousand dead Czechs were "collateral damage" as his government in exile was in danger of becoming irrelevant. He was happy to rejoice at the news of Heydrich's death, but not so keen to accept responsibility for the bloody aftermath.

Did he have blood on his hands? That is a matter on which everyone is entitled to have their own opinion. But his actions resulted in the complete annihilation of the Czech underground which hindered future possible SOE operations later in the war.

It wasn't worth the cost. :?

Benes actively encouraged Czechs to commit war crimes against German civilians and suspected collaborators in the dying days of the war and in the Prague uprising. Then passed legislation post-war to protect those who did so from prosecution.

In the final days, many grudges and old scores were settled on the basis of "suspected collaboration" - it was a charter for murderers, criminals, rapists and looters to act with extrajudicial impunity. And then to be legally protected by Benes post-war government.

Furthermore, he deliberately used the ROA by promising them asylum if they helped liberate Prague, only to hand them over to Stalin afterwards for certain death. Despite the ROA playing a major role in preventing a widespread massacre of innocent civilians.

Operation Anthropoid and the Prague Uprising were completely unnecessary. Both resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent Czech citizens.

Whilst Benes sat comfortably and safe in London, waiting for his triumphant return to Prague as a "hero"

His calls for the liquidation of Germans and Hungarians still living in Czechoslovakia after the end of hostilities was not even subtle. It was ethnic cleansing and genocide.

The man was a dangerous charlatan who even played the Allies against each other in order to further his own political interests. For example, he was one of the few who knew in advance that Poland would be sacrificed to the Soviets and supported the plan.

A Machiavellian character? Definitely.

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Re: Beneš - the greatest Machiavelli of the present time

Post by wm » 21 Sep 2020 20:25

In a "personal and confidential" letter, declassified only in 1972, William Bullitt wrote the American President that both the French and British "could see no basis for a Beneš provisional government, except Beneš' desire to place himself at the head of something again.

Moreover, nearly everyone in political life in both France and England considers Beneš as an utterly selfish small person who, through his cheap smartness in little things and his complete lack of wisdom in large things, permitted the disintegration of his country."
Bullit to Roosevelt, Paris, September 16, 1939 - Czechoslovakia's Role in Soviet Strategy

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