Scope and Content Note
Title: Štefan Osuský papers,
Date (inclusive): 1901-1992
Collection number: 74065
Osuský, Štefan, b. 1889
126 manuscript boxes, 3 card file boxes, 4 oversize boxes
(57 linear feet)
Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace
Stanford, California 94305-6010
Abstract: Correspondence, speeches and writings, memoranda, reports, clippings, printed matter, memorabilia, and photographs, relating
to Czechoslovak politics and diplomacy, and European diplomatic relations between the two world wars.
Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
Box 120 closed. Use copies available.
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[Identification of item], Štefan Osuský papers, [Box no.], Hoover Institution Archives.
Materials were acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1974
Alternative Form Available
Also available on microfilm (116 reels).
Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find
the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at
. Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number
of boxes listed in this finding aid.
|1889 March 31
||Born in Brezová pod Bradlom, Slovakia
||Emigrated to the United States
||Studied theology in Springfield, Illinois
||Earned a Ph.D. degree in philosophy and psychology from the University of Chicago
||Received his law degree from the University of Chicago and opened his own practice in Chicago
||Chaired a joint meeting of Chicago Czechs and Slovaks and engaged himself zealously in the movement for a Czechoslovak state
|1915 September 23
||Appointed Slovak Secretary at the first conference of the Slovak League in Cleveland
|1916 February 22
||Elected vice-president at a convocation of the Slovak League in Chicago, and was chosen along with Gustav Košík to travel
to Europe in order to influence the Czech National Council established in Paris. Meeting with Edvard Beneš in Paris, Osuský
succeeded in changing the organization's name to "National Czecho-Slovak Council"
||Ran the Czechoslovak Information Office in Geneva, Switzerland, writing articles for the Allied press. Met with prominent
figures in the national liberation movements, and dealt with German and Austrian agents like Heinrich Lammasch and Frederich
|1918 September - 1921 January
||Czechoslovak Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Great Britain
|1919 January - 1920
||Attended the Paris Peace Conference as Secretary General of the Czechoslovak Delegation, and became a Delegate a few months
later. Negotiated and signed his country's peace treaties with Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey. Was one of the signers of the
Treaty of Trianon negotiated between Hungary and the Allied Powers on June 4, 1920
|1919 November - 1932
||Czechoslovak representative in the Reparations Commission of the League of Nations. For a period of four years, also represented
Greece, Poland, Romania, and Yugoslavia
||Czechoslovak Delegate in the Assembly of the League of Nations
|1921 January - 1940 June
||Czechoslovak Minister Plenipotentiary to France
||Chairman of the Supervisory Commission of the League of Nations
||Awarded the Karlík Prize (the Czechoslovak equivalent of the Nobel prize) for "exceptional services rendered to Czechoslovakia"
||Lectured at Charles University in Prague
|1939 March 16
||Refused to surrender the Czechoslovak Legation in Paris to the Germans after Hitler's occupation of Prague on March 15, 1939,
and succeeded in maintaining his official position as Czechoslovak envoy, although bereft of both government and country
|1939 October 2
||Signed a treaty with the French Government regarding the formation/reconstruction of the Czechoslovak Army in France
|1939 November 17
||Appointed by Beneš to the newly formed Czechoslovak National Committee in Paris. Issued a mobilization order to Czechoslovak
citizens residing in France, which resulted in the formation of two Czechoslovak infantry regiments (these, together with
several hundred airmen, constituted a Czechoslovak army on French soil)
||After the fall of France, Osuský arranged for the transportation to England of several thousands of those troops and fled
|1940 July - 1942 March
||Minister of State of the Czechoslovak Government-in- Exile
|1940 October 12
||Appointed member of the State Council in London
|1942 March 31
||Removed from his post of Minister of State because of disagreements with Beneš's anti-Slovak and pro-Russian policies
|1942 April 12
||Resigned his post in the State Council
||Lectured at Oxford
||Wrote numerous articles about Beneš and his Provisional Government
||Vice-president of the 'Never Again' Association
||Moved to the United States
|1945 September - 1946
||Went on an extensive lecture tour of the United States
||Visiting Professor of European Civilization and Culture at Colgate University, Hamilton, New York
||Ran Mid-European Law Project of the National Committee for a Free Europe (reports on changes in communist states)
||Engaged in anti-communist movement activities
||Broadcast for Radio Free Europe and Voice of America
||Co-founder and Chairman (later President) of the Council of Free Czechoslovakia
||Advisor, National Committee for a Free Europe
||Member, International Commission of Jurists
||Founder of the Council of Free Jurists from Countries Behind the Iron Curtain
||Founding member, Association of Captive European Nations
||Member, International Association of Democratic Lawyers
||Chairman, Council of Europe - European Political Community
|1968 February 1921
||Judge, Court of World Public Opinion - International Communism on Trial
|1973 September 27
||Died, Washington, D.C.
Scope and Content Note
The Štefan Osuský papers were acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives from his wife and son over a period of several years.
The collection was organized shortly after the first installment arrived in 1974. The last increment was given to the Archives
in November 1986, at which time the entire collection was processed anew. The present register incorporates material from
the original register as well as the rest of the documents that were added to the collection since then.
The bulk of the collection consists of Osuský's correspondence, speeches and writings, and research notes, as well as of various
documents and materials pertaining to Osuský's long career and activity in the anti-communist movement, to Czechoslovakia
since World War I, the Czechoslovak government-in-exile during World War II, and post-war émigré affairs.
Of great importance are Osuský's papers disputing the constitution of the Czechoslovak provisional government in London, Beneš's
constitutional presidency, and the role of the State Council (see, in the speeches and writings file, "Londýnské štátné zriadenie,"
"Dr. Beneš's Authoritative Regime," "Beneš's Government in London," "Legal Position of Dr. Beneš, of the Šrámek Government
and the Czechoslovak State Council," "Řízená demokracie při práci"). In his paper "Continuité de l'état tchéchoslovaque,"
Osuský explains his theory of the continuity of the Czechoslovak state based on the recognition of the Czechoslovak National
Committee by the French government.
Also interesting in that series are Osuský's writings on Beneš himself, in which he criticizes Beneš's 'modus operandi,' his
anti-Slovak and pro-Russian policies, and his role in the Munich events that led to the subsequent dismemberment of Czechoslovakia
(see, in particular, "Beneš a pravda," "Beneš and Commitment," "Beneš Manipulator," "Benešová vláda a Slováci," "Osuský Notes
on Munich," "The Collapse of Czechoslovakia: Events Leading to the Munich Agreement").
Of special note are also Osuský's numerous writings on Germany, Russia, the Soviet Union, namely "Encirclement of the 'Capitalist
Countries' by the Soviets," "Peaceful Co-Existence," "Communist Law and the Soviet Federation of Nations," "Rule of Law Under
Communist Regimes," as well as his essays on Europe, Hitler, Stalin, etc.
Also of significant importance are documents relating to the beginning of the Czechoslovak exile movement in 1939 and 1940,
in particular, Osuský's negotiations with the French government officials, which resulted in October of 1939 in the signing
of a treaty relating to the reconstruction of the Czechoslovak Army in France, and to the creation of the Czechoslovak National
Committee in Paris (see in the career file the original of the agreement "Accord relatif à la reconstitution en France de
In the biographical file are also included legal documents relating to the lawsuits brought by Osuský against Hubert Ripka
and Bohuslav Beneš, which demonstrate, among other things, the lack of ability of the Czechoslovak émigré community to stop
engaging in bitter personal fights and start to unify and coordinate the activities of Czechoslovak exiles.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the repository's online public access catalog.
Paris Peace Conference (1919-1920)
Prisoners of war.
World War, 1939-1945.
World War, 1939-1945--Czechoslovakia.
World War, 1939-1945--Prisoners and prisons.
Czechoslovakia--Foreign relations--Great Britain.
Czechoslovakia--Politics and government.
Great Britain--Foreign relations--Czechoslovakia.
League of Nations.