Defenestration - The Czech Way of Death
Trip Start May 20, 2005
17Trip End Jun 07, 2007
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
I had heard of the famous Defenestration of Prague at the beginning of the Thirty Years War, but it turns out that there have been at least three major political executions or attempted executions over the centuries that have employed this unique method of dispatching inconvenient or unpopular leaders.
In the wake of proto-Protestant preacher Jan Hus' execution by the Council of Constance in the Spring of 1415, his Czech followers grew in numbers and determination
This brings a whole new meaning to concept of a bounced Czech. Sorry, I couldn't resist.
Over the two centuries, attempts, either through persuasion, negotiation or military conquest by the Habsburg Emperors and the Roman Catholic Church, to suppress the Hussite movement and bring Bohemians back to the fold, were met with defeat, resistance or indifference. Matters began coming to a head in the second decade of the 1600s. On May 23, 1618, a delegation of Protestants marched to the Old Royal Palace at Prague Castle, seized the Emperor's Catholic councilors, Slavata and Martinic, and threw them out the window. Fortunately, for the councilors, there was a dung heap right below. They survived. I guess you could say they were sullied, but unharmed, or is that splattered but unbowed?
After the Nazi defeat in 1945 and the explusion of Germans from Czech lands, highly respected President Edvard Benes thought he could work with the pro-Stalinist Czech Communist Party
In the meantime, Gottwald began to clean up the resisters. One important political hurdle was the existence of the previous government's leaders. The most important of those was former Foreign Minister Jan Masaryk, son of Czechoslovak founder, Tomas Masaryk. Shortly after the coup, he "fell" (as in suicide) from his office window in the hated Cernin Palace. He was dead on arrival. Unfortunately, for the purveyers of this unlikely story, the window from which he allegedly jumped was tightly sealed.
Hey fellows, I know you like to wear those nifty leather, oops sorry, you guys are Bolsheviks, cloth trench coats. It makes you look cool and all, but it is REALLY DUMB to close the window after you toss some famous person to meet his maker. Leave it open next time, people won't laugh so much behind your backs. Remember, even totalitarians can survive the snickers for just so long.
The moral of this tale. Should you encounter an irrate Czech, try not to get between him and the window.