Charlotte Garrigue

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Charlotte Garrigue
Charlotta Garrigue.jpg
First Lady of Czechoslovakia
In office
14 November 1918 – 13 May 1923
Preceded by Position Established
Succeeded by Hana Benešová
Personal details
Born 20 November 1850
New York, United States
Died 13 May 1923
Lány, Czechoslovakia
Political party Czech Social Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk
(1878-1923)
Children 6
Religion Unitarianism

Charlotte Garrigue Masaryk (November 20, 1850 in Brooklyn, New York, USA – May 13, 1923 Lány) was the wife of the Czechoslovak philosopher, sociologist, and politician, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, the first President of Czechoslovakia. She was born to a Unitarian family with Huguenot ancestry on her father's side and having a Mayflower passengers' descent on her mother's side.[1] She was niece of Henry Jacques Garrigues and great-granddaughter of Christian Vilhelm Duntzfelt.[2][3]

In 1877, visiting a friend studying at a conservatory in Leipzig, Germany, she first met her future husband, Tomáš Masaryk, who was staying there after having earned his doctorate at the University of Vienna. They married a year later in the USA, after which they settled in Vienna.[4] After the wedding, her husband added her surname into his name, thus becoming Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, as he is remembered in the Czech Republic and Slovakia (or often by the abbreviation TGM). In 1881, the Masaryks moved to Prague, where Tomáš obtained a professorship at the University of Prague. Of the couple's six children, four reached adulthood - Alice, Herbert, Olga, and Jan, who later became a noted Czechoslovakian diplomat and politician.

In the era before the First World War, Mrs. Masaryk became involved in many social, humanitarian, and cultural activities of Prague society. She joined the Social Democratic Party; however, she (in agreement with her husband) rejected the Marxist doctrine of the class struggle.

After the outbreak of the First World War, her husband left for exile with their daughter Olga to seek international support for the independence of the nations of the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy, notably the Czechs and Slovaks. For the majority of the war, Mrs. Masaryk was under police supervision, while daughter Alice was even under arrest. The situation became even worse when son Herbert died of typhus in 1915. All of these hardships caused Charlotte Masaryk to suffer from depression and cardiac problems.

In December 1918, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk returned to Prague as the President of Czechoslovakia. The family began living at the Prague Castle, often spending time at the chateau of Lány.

Mrs. Masaryk died in 1923, her husband in 1937.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Francisca de Haan; Krasimira Daskalova; Anna Loutfi (2006). Biographical Dictionary of Women's Movements and Feminisms in Central, Eastern, and South Eastern Europe: 19th and 20th Centuries. Central European University Press. pp. 306–. ISBN 978-963-7326-39-4. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  2. ^ http://runeberg.org/dbl/5/0577.html
  3. ^ http://genealogie.sweb.cz/cechy/masaryk.html
  4. ^ Richard C. Frucht (2005). Eastern Europe: An Introduction to the People, Lands, and Culture. ABC-CLIO. pp. 227–. ISBN 978-1-57607-800-6. Retrieved 2013-08-07. "He also exposed a forgery in 1909–1910 designed to justify the strong anti-Serb policy of Austro-Hungarian foreign minister Count Lexa von Aehrenthal. In 1878 Masaryk married the American-born Charlotte Garrigue (1850–1923), whose ..."