Beneš became first Foreign Minister of Czechoslovakia, and in 1935 he succeeded Tomas Masaryk to become President. He resigned from office and went into exile just before the Nazi dismemberment of Czechoslovakia. He then became President of the Provisional Government-in-Exile in London.
At the end of WWII, he returned to become once more President of Czechoslovakia. Despite his former alliance with Stalin and the Soviets, he resented the Soviet takeover of Czechoslovakia, and resigned as President in 1948.
The Benes decrees, which, among other things, expropriated the property of ethnic German and Hungarian Czechoslovakians, and thus laid essential terms for their expulsion to Germany and to Hungary, were named for him.