Beneš, Eduard, 1884-1948, Czechoslovakian president (1935-38, 1946-48). As a student at Prague Univ. he adopted the political and social philosophy of T. G. Masaryk. Later he studied in France, taught sociology and economics at Prague, and joined (1915) Masaryk in exile in Paris to work for Czechoslovak independence. After the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy at the end of World War I, he represented Czechoslovakia at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. As foreign minister (1918-35), premier (1921-22), leader of the Czech National Socialist party (a liberal and nationalist party, unlike its German counterpart), and right-hand man of Masaryk, Beneš influenced both national and European politics. The Little Entente and the Czech alliance with France were essentially his work. He became (1935) president of Czechoslovakia at Masaryk's retirement but resigned (1938) after the dismemberment of his country by the Munich Pact and went into exile. After the outbreak of World War II he resumed (1940) the title president and headed, in London, a provisional government at war with Germany. Returning to Prague in 1945, he was confirmed in office and was reelected (1946) president. After the Communist coup of Feb., 1948, he reluctantly endorsed the new regime, but resigned in June on the ground of illness, refusing to sign the new constitution. He died shortly afterward.

See his two volumes of war memoirs (tr. 1928, repr. 1971 and tr. 1954, repr. 1972). See also K. Kaplan, The Short March: The Communist Take-over of Power in Czechoslovakia (1987).

Beneš is a common Czech surname. The feminine form is Benešová. It may refer to:

  • Edvard Beneš (1884-1948), leader of the Czechoslovak independence movement and the second President of Czechoslovakia
    • Beneš decrees, a series of laws enacted by the Czechoslovak government of exile during World War II in absence of Czechoslovak parliament.
  • Vojta Beneš (1878-1951), Czechoslovak educator and political leader and brother of Edvard Beneš
  • Juraj Beneš, Slovak opera and orchestral composer
  • Josef Beneš (1902-1984), linguist
  • Václav E. Beneš (1925-), mathematician and probability theorist, developer of the Benes network
  • Alan Benes, Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Andy Benes, Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Elaine Benes, Julia Louis-Dreyfus' character on Seinfeld
  • Alton Benes, Elaine Benes's father on Seinfeld
  • Marijan Beneš, Yugoslav boxer
  • Carrie Beneš, New College of Florida Professor of Medieval Studies, born in Toruń, Poland

See also

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