Final Word from Thursday, June 4, 2020

As we mentioned in July 2008 and Právo did in 2013, deceased U.S. diplomat George Kennan wrote in his 1967 memoirs that a young John F. Kennedy visited post-Munich Prague in Oct. 1938. "I arranged to get him through the German lines, had him escorted to Prague, saw to it that he was shown what he wanted to see... then, with a feeling of 'that's that,' washed my hands of him." It made for a great story, but it wasn't true. The young Kennedy who arrived from Paris wasn't John, but Joe Jr., who died in 1944 in WWII. A profile of the family from June 4, 1939, documents Joe's trip, and JFK's own Harvard records show that he was thousands of miles away. JFK did indeed travel to Prague the next year, as Reportéři ČT said this week, but Kennan was stationed in Berlin by then. It seems unlikely that Kennan confused the two brothers. This is another example of how Czechs are sometimes the victims of the rewriting of history to make others seem more important or virtuous. [ Czech Republic Joseph World War II New York Times Magazine University College Germany ]

Glossary of difficult words

post-Munich - after the Munich Agreement;

that's that - the matter is finished;

to station - to put in or assign to a specified place for a particular purpose, esp. a military one;

virtuous - having or showing high moral standards.

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