The false rumors of President Masaryk’s resignation published in this country at the time of the communist revolution in Budapest, even though promptly denied, gave rise to the impression that Masaryk’s great popularity among his countrymen has suffered serious dimunition since his arrival in Prague just before last Christmas. That such an impression is totally wrong may be best seen from editorials published in Czechoslovak newspapers on the occasion of Masaryk’s sixty-ninth birthday on March 7th.
The principal Agrarian daily of Prague, the Venkov, says: „If we remember this day, the birthday of our President, we do so not because he is the head of the state, but with great good will and full conviction that we render honor to the man to whom more than to anyone else we owe our liberty. Through him our country was liberated from age-long slavery and through his efforts the Czechoslovak Republic appeared on the map of Europe as an independent and sovereign state. We do not need to exaggerate or flatter or pretend artificial loyalty; in his case his old deeds speak, known to all and apreciated by all.“
The best known Czech daily, the Národní Listy, speaks of Masaryk in the same tone: “The Czechoslovak people upon the occasion of the glorious return of the President manifested nobly their gratitude, respect and love; today upon his birthday they remember him in their hearts with the same feeling. In his message he indicated the ways which we should follow. If we govern ourselves by his councils, we shall reach the goal that he set for us. After the hard days which have been his lot in the past may he live to see his dreams realized and may happiness and peace shine long over his head.”
The Slovak Daily uses the occasion for a patriotic appeal: “How can we best celebrate the sixty-ninth birthday of our dear President? The best way will be to ask ourselves this question: do we really stand where he is? Do we sacrifice everything for the welfare of the nation as he does? Are we as just and severe to ourselves and others as he is? Do we love each other as he loves us? If so, we can remember him with a joyful spirit and heart and our celebration will be worthy of the Czechoslovak nation.”
The most radical Socialist paper of Prague, the Právo Lidu, exceeds all the other journals in the praise of the President: “Today President Masaryk is one of the nation’s heroes, he is one of the world’s heroes. His place is at the side of John Amos Comenius with whom he is kindred in his deeds, his exemplary life and the greatness of his spirit. We wish him much happiness on this day. May he live long among us. May his hands help in completing the structure of the Czechoslovak Republic according to his ideals, in the spirit of democracy and humanity, in the spirit of social regeneration and uplifting of the poor.”
The Tribuna, organ of the Czech Jewish organizations, quotes a number of expressions from Masaryk’s first message to the National Assembly, and concludes: “He who works in the sense of these noble expressions of Masaryk honors and loves him best, and he can join with a full heart the prayers of the nation for continued strength to our President.”
The Executive Committee of the Czechoslovak Socialist Party sent Masaryk this telegram: “We take the occasion of your birthday to express to you once more our feelings of respect and devotion. The entire party rejoices that you stand at the head of our free state and hopes from the bottom of their hearts that you may be preserved for many years for the welfare of the Republic.”