Rudolf Beran (28 December 1887, Pracejovice, Strakonice District – 23 April 1954, Leopoldov Prison) was a Czechoslovakian politician who served as prime minister of the country before its occupation by Nazi Germany and shortly thereafter, before it was declared a protectorate. A leader of the Agrarian Party from 1933, he was appointed prime minister by President Emil Hácha on 1 December 1938.
Beran was somewhat ambivalent toward democracy. In hopes of appeasing the Germans after the Munich Agreement, he gathered most of the country's nonsocialist parties into the Party of National Unity, with himself as its leader. He also subjected the press to tough censorship. He did, however, preside over granting the Slovaks and Ruthenians' longstanding demands for autonomy. None of these measures were enough to prevent Slovakia from seceding on 14 March, or Germany from occupying the remainder of the country a day later. He then served as the first prime minister of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia until his retirement on 27 April 1939. After he retired, he settled on his farm. During World War II, he had contacts with members of the Czech resistance.
After the war, Beran was arrested as a collaborator by the Communist authorities, and in a manipulated political trial was sentenced to twenty years in prison. He died in Leopoldov prison in 1954.
|Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia
Alois Eliáš (Protectorate)
Jan Šrámek (in exile)
- Members of Beran's government before occupation, 1.12.1938 - 15.3.1939 at the Wayback Machine (archived March 17, 2008) (Czech)
- Members of Beran's government after the occupation, 16.3.1939 - 27.4.1939 at the Wayback Machine (archived May 26, 2008) (Czech)
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