Hodonín preparing to celebrate 160th anniversary of birth of TG Masaryk

Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk

This Sunday, March 7, marks the 160th anniversary of the birth of one of the absolute giants of Czech history, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. The founder of Czechoslovakia and the state’s first president was born in Hodonín, and the south Moravian town is currently gearing up to celebrate the anniversary. To find out exactly how Hodonín will be honouring Masaryk on Sunday, I spoke to town hall spokesperson Petra Kotásková.

Masaryk’s carriage, photo: www.wintontrain.eu
“The main programme starts in the morning at the railway station. Two special exhibitions will be opened which are devoted to TG Masaryk. After that a nostalgic train will come from Brno.”

What is the nostalgic train, as you call it?

“It’s a historical train which has some special coaches from Masaryk’s time. This train will come with our special guests and also the public will have the opportunity to look through this train in the afternoon.”

And is it the case that there’s a carriage on the train that was used by Tomáš Masaryk himself?

“Yes.”

Tell me, how is Masaryk perceived in the town of Hodonín today?

“A few times a year Hodonín has anniversaries and memories of the first Czechoslovak president, because he was born here and people know this fact. Old people especially are aware of his legacy, but many younger people don’t attach any importance to him. So we would like to remind people of his personality, for example with this anniversary. As I said, a few times a year we have anniversaries devoted to him.”

I understand also there’s a Masaryk museum in Hodonín.

“Yes, we also have a Masaryk museum here where there is a permanent exhibition about his life. Also on the occasion of the 160th anniversary of his birth there is also a special exhibition about his family. I was there yesterday and it’s very nice.”