Who's Who - Karel Kramar

Karel Kramar (1860-1937) campaigned for Czech independence both before and during the early stages of the First World War.

A moderate nationalist, Kramar often spoke in the Austrian upper house but was arrested in May 1915 on the charge of inciting Czech soldiers to desert in the Austro-Hungarian army.

At the conclusion of his widely publicised trial in late 1916 Kramar was found guilty and sentenced to 15 years hard labour.  Kramar's imprisonment merely - and inevitably - acted however to galvanise Czech nationalist opinion.

Nevertheless released in July 1917 under new Emperor Karl I's general political amnesty, Kramar immediately resumed his campaign for a separate Czech state.

He subsequently represented Czechoslovakia at the Paris Peace Conference but later resigned over Foreign Minister Eduard Benes' failure to support anti-Bolshevik White forces in Russia.

He died in 1937.

A respirator was a gas mask in which air was inhaled through a metal box of chemicals.

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