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Elsa Brändström And The Reintegration Of Returning Prisoners Of War And Their Families In Post-War Germany And Austria

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Chapter Summary

Alice Garrigue Masaryková has long been left in the historical shadow of her father, who served seventeen years as Czechoslovakia's first president, and her brother Jan, the diplomat whose mysterious death was a shocking early event of the Cold War. Alice Masaryková understood the Red Cross as an instrument for putting her father's political program into effect, not only by bringing improvements in public health and social welfare but also by encouraging a new spirit of civic engagement. Although Masaryková saw these efforts to transform society as original, indeed as an epochal transformation in European politics, she did resemble other figures of 1920s Europe – men and women, religious and secular, Right and Left – who saw the post-war environment as the opportunity to build the ideal society. The First World War represented for her not the negation of European civilisation, nor the confirmation of its bankruptcy.

Keywords:Alice Garrigue Masaryková; Czechoslovakia; Europe; Red Cross

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