Alice Masaryková

May 3, 1879 in Vienna, Austria
Nov. 29, 1966 in Chicago, USA

Alicie Masaryková was a sociologist and daughter of the co-founder and first president of Czechoslovakia, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk.

With the founding of the Czechoslovak Republic in 1918, Masaryková was installed as President of the Czechoslovak Red Cross on February, 6 1919. She retained this position until the invasion of Nazi Germany in 1938. In her role as president, she was able to fundamentally change the social welfare system. For example, polyclinics or even soup kitchens were set up for socially vulnerable people. She also supported feminist projects. Masaryková accepted an invitation from the University of Chicago. In the USA she took over a short-lived series of lectures by her brother Jan Masaryk on the social situation in Czechoslovakia. Due to several traumatic experiences, she spent the years from 1940 to 1945 in psychiatric treatment, before returning to Czechoslovakia at the end of the Second World War.

The takeover by the communists in 1948 and the death of her brother Jan Masaryk forced her to emigrate again to the USA, where she lived until her death.