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2012 | 110 | 1 | 99-130

Article title

Vztahy Gustava Eima a Tomáše G. Masaryka

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The study presented here deals with the links between Gustav Eim and Tomáš G. Masaryk. It pays particular attention to the course of negotiations between the Realists and the representatives of the two largest bourgeois parties in the years 1890–1891; it traces the role of both men during these discussions which led to their entry into practical politics. It is based on an analysis of their mutual correspondence and also takes into consideration Masaryk’s handwritten notes. This study heralds the publication of an edition of mutual correspondence between these two men, which is intended to become part of a proposed publication Correspondence: T.G. Masaryk – the Young Czechs. The author first introduces the personality of G. Eim, a Young Czech politician and journalist, and then deals with the point at which Aim and Masaryk came to be acquainted. The direct contact was initiated by Masaryk, who was inspired by Eim’s articles About Us For Us (O nás pro nás) from autumn 1885. Both of them, however, had known each other’s names from print. The first letter to Eim from October 1885 documents Masaryk’s considerable ambitions in the political arena and his great self-confidence. They only met in person during Masaryk’s stay in Vienna in March 1889, when Karel Kramář introduced both men. From January 1890 Masaryk exchanged correspondence with Eim rather frequently; they did not merely write about topical issues but on those related to earlier events, also, up to 1882, when Masaryk arrived to Prague. The correspondence with its focus on 1890–1891, depicts efforts on the part of the Realists group to enter Czech politics, which was impossible without the co-operation of one of the established Czech political parties. At first, the Realists preferred the ruling National Party (i.e the Old Czechs), but in the end they reached an agreement with the representatives of the National Liberal Party (i.e. the Young Czech Party) in December 1890. The study comprehensively depicts these efforts which culminated in the entry of the Realists Group into the Young Czech Party and the nominations of T. G. Masaryk, Josef Kaizl and K. Kramář for legislative election to the Imperial Council in the spring of 1891. G. Eim also became a Council member. However, he soon had differences of opinion with his new colleagues and the original friendship gave way to distrust and suspicions, especially with regard to Masaryk. In July 1892 their correspondence came to a halt as this is also shown in Masaryk’s notes; their relationship continued to deteriorate until it finally ended. The study further examines the hypotheses why Masaryk and Eim parted company in bad blood and why Eim continued to attack him venomously in correspondence and in the press. Despite that, Eim’s comprehensive obituary was printed in the magazine Čas in which T. G. Masaryk acknowledged his contribution. Masaryk returned to Eim’s name in June 1914 in the same magazine in connection with the defence of Karel Šviha. This article led to a polemic with the newspaper Národní listy, and unwittingly initiated a dispute about the interpretation of Eim’s legacy, which was also defended by K. Kramář. T. G. Masaryk entered it with a firm opinion, which he had no need to return to later on. The relationship between G. Eim and T. G. Masaryk and also their subsequent lives are still open to our interpretations.









Physical description


  • Helena Kokešová, Masarykův ústav a Archiv AV ČR, Gabčíkova 10, 182 00 Praha 8, Czech Republic


Document Type

Publication order reference


YADDA identifier

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