To the Editors of the CRIMSON:
The suicide of Jan Masaryk in Czechoslovakia today has a significance far beyond that of the loss of the man himself. Masaryk was almost universally accepted as a good man, and his death in the wake of the Communist revolution is a severe shock to the entire world, not only in its personal aspect, but in its symbolism as well. Many people will believe that any action which resulted in this man's suicide must necessarily be evil.
This deduction is not justified. Masaryk was a liberal middle class democrat of the best sort. He was in sympathy with the progress that was being made in his country. He clearly did not support those, reactionary forces which sought to check it. However, after the events of two weeks ago, he saw in Czechoslovakia the beginnings of a new type of society, a socialist society of workers and farmers, one in which the centuries-long cycle of exploitation was to be brought to a close. But this was also a society in which his class and the ideology, of his class could play no part. Admiring its positive achievements but unable to adjust himself to its conditions, he chose suicide as a resolution of this conflict. This was certainly a more honorable solution than to flee to Washington and reaction in the manner of Mikolajczyk and Nagy.
As a member of the Communist Party in the United States, I sincerely regret the death of Jan Masaryk. I regard him as representing the best of the bourgeois tradition, but I think that his death by no means signifies darkness in the future for Czechoslovakia, but rather progress toward a new and higher level of existence. Geoffrey White '48