menu leaders reformers Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk (1850 - 1937) Masaryk is one of the most important figures of the Czech history. He was the first president of Czechoslovakia and he was very popular among the people. He is called the President liberator. After his studies in Vienna, he met his future wife Charlottou Garrigue at Leipzig University and they got married in New York. Masaryk was elected president in 1918 when the independent state of Czechoslovakia was created. He was known for his civil politics, for the belief in humanity and democracy. He had merit in the creation of the Czech nation as it is known today. After some medical problems, he resigned in 1935 and he died two years later. Charles IV (1316 – 1378) Charles IV was the first King of Bohemia who also became the Holy Roman Emperor and the last King of Burgundy. He is one of the most significant figures of the Middle Ages. He was a son of John of Bohemia and Elizabeth of Bohemia and he spent his childhood at the court of Charles IV of France after whom he chose his name at his confirmation. Charles IV was celebrated as a founder of the University in Prague and he inscribed himself into the European history among other things as an author of the Golden Bull, which was a constitutional decree. He had merit in the building of the Charles Bridge in Prague and the Karlštejn Castle. Václav Havel (1936 - 2011) He was one of the most respectful and most popular of the Czech presidents. He was against communism and one of the first spokesmen of so-called Charta 77 which was the public initiative for human rights. Apart from his political career he was also a play writer and an essay writer. In 1993 he became the first president of the independent Czech Republic. He fought for the admission of the Czech Republic to the European Union and NATO. He eventually succeeded in both cases even though the admission to the EU happened after his term of office had ended. As mentioned above besides his political contribution he was also a play writer and among his most famous works were considered The Garden Party and Leaving. In his honour the Václav Havel Prize for Human Rights originated in 2013 and has been awarded since then. Jan Hus (1370 - 1415) This important Czech priest, reformer and philosopher was inspired by the ideas and philosophy of John Wycliff. Originally he was a president of the university in Prague, but later he became a leader in the reformation of the church. He criticized regression of the church for which he was excommunicated and denounced as a heretic, despite the fact that former Caesar Sigismund of Luxembourg vouched for his probity. Hus was sentenced and burned at the stake in 1415. Hus’ ashes and the stake were then thrown into the Rhine River. The day of his death became a national holiday in the Czech Republic.