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Slezské Písne [Silesian songs], Bezruc, Petr.
1 Bezruc, Petr. Slezské Písne [Silesian songs]
Ekaterinburg Vydáno Osvetlím odborem O.C.S.N.R. [Odbocka Ceskoslovenské Národní Rady v Rusku] 1918 Cloth Very Good 
2mo (13.5 x 11.5 cm). 128 pp. This rather elaborately printed edition of Petr Bezruc’s popular Czech poetic cycle, Silesian Songs, is a relic of the publishing operations of the Czechoslovak Legions during their famed Anabasis during the early phases of the Russian Civil War. The Czech Legion were fighting on behalf of the Entente (the U.K., France, Russia) and specifically Tsar during the First World War in the cause of Czech independence from Austria, which was one of the opposing Central Powers. They had proved a puissant combat force, but the Bolshevik Revolution and the subsequent Soviet treaty with the Central Powers threw everything up in the air. Soon the Czech Legion was taking sides in the Civil War which ensued, with the Legion aligning itself with the Whites, or the Counter-Revolutionary forces. Initially the Legion scored great success against the disorganized, ill-trained Soviet fighters, and by 1919 the Legion had complete control of the Trans Siberian Railroad. Unfortunately for them, the Soviet army got its act together and swiftly reversed the tide by mid-1919, at which point members of the Legion became suddenly homesick and scrambled as best they could to escape from Soviet territory. Most eventually did get out, after long delays and anxieties, and members of the Legion formed the core of the Czech army formed after the country achieved independence with the Treaty of Versailles. In any case, this publication is evidence of the roots the Czech Legion very quickly was able to put down in the land they controlled in Russia, and it is perhaps also surprising at how high the production values are of this trifle. Tan cloth with embossed red title and ornament; original wrappers preserved; handwritten and illustrated text lithographically reproduced; 5-128 pp. Boards lightly soiled; text toned 
Price: 500.00 USD
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