"The Czech and Slovak Legion in Siberia, 1917-1922", a book talk by Joan McGuire Mohr, co-sponsored by the Slovak American Society of Washington, D.C. (SASW), the Czech and Slovak Heritage Association, and the Czechoslovak Society for Arts and Sciences, Washington Chapter, will be held at the Embassy of the Slovak Republic, 3523 International Court, N.W., Washington, D.C., on Saturday, October 13, at 2:00pm. Admission is free, but an RSVP is required. Please RSVP to SASW by the end of Wednesday, October 10, either via < firstname.lastname@example.org > or at (571) 265-4436 (leave name and phone number).
During World War I and the Russian Revolution, a specialized battalion of ethnic Czech and Slovak former prisoners of war – the Legion – became a pawn in an international game of power and deceit. Fighting with hopes of founding a nation, the Legion's heartbreaking detour through Siberia became one of the greatest human interest stories of the war, and was chronicled weekly in the New York Times and the New York Herald. During their harrowing journey through Siberia, the legionnaires grudgingly became protectors of the Russian Treasury and of the Trans-Siberian Railroad, while accidentally precipitating the murder of the Russian royal family. Stripped of their weapons and betrayed by their former allies, over half of the legionnaires lost their lives. For political purposes, tales of the Legion's odyssey have been buried or expunged. The Czech and Slovak Legion in Siberia, 1917-1922 offers a thorough account of a once-hidden yet epic journey, shedding light on a fascinating but forgotten facet of World War I.
Joan McGuire Mohr is a U.S. historian and writer in military history, historical fiction, and biography. As an immigration historian, she specializes in Slavic immigration to the United States, with an emphasis on Czech and Slovak homeland and host-settlement conditions between 1850 and World War I. She consults as a Research Fellow for the Institute for Learning, a think tank at the University of Pittsburgh, and for museums throughout the United States and the Iparmuveszeti Muzeum (Museum of Applied Arts) in Budapest. Dr. Mohr earned her BA at the University of Colorado at Boulder, an MA at the University of San Diego, and her PhD at the University of Pittsburgh She became a professor at the University of Pittsburgh while intermittently studying at Charles University in Prague, and at Comenius University in Bratislava. She served as contributing historian to the Czech & Slovak National Museum & Library, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, organizing, designing, and lecturing on an exhibit of rare World War I-era photographs and material culture.
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