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The Pavilion Opens: "Truth Prevails!"

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The Czech Pavilion opened on May 31, 1939 with a 15-gun salute and Czechoslovakia President Edvard Beneš making the dedicatory address: “The Czecho-Slovak nation ... proud and dignified in its temporary distress, sends to you — to the great American people — its cordial greetings and its profound and sincere thanks for your kind hospitality, unforgettable for us in the face of the conditions under which we are forced to live today.
“The time seems dark for us and for the fate of all small nations in Europe. But thanks to this great land of freedom and its democratic government, we Czechs, Slovaks, and Carpatho-Russians still can show to the world how a humble yet free and democratic people can work — and why that people will never die....
“On the one side, we see in this pavilion the results of a free and democratic regime. On the other hand, we see the conditions of a nation under the rule of brute force. It is not necessary to make any other comment.”
Beneš expressed thanks “to the American people and to its government which refused to recognize the occupation by military force of the Republics of Czecho-Slovakia,” to New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, to the World’s Fair Administration, and to “all our friends who contributed in various ways, materially and morally.”
In closing, Beneš stated, “We believe that a nation which knows how to create — as seen in this pavilion — a nation which continues to work and to fight so ardently for the survival of its spirit in its democratic traditions — we believe that such a nation cannot die.”
“Our national life,” he said, is based “on eternal moral principles, the principle of which is displayed in the coat of arms of the free Czecho-Slovak Republic. It reads, ‘Truth prevails!’”