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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 19, 1956

CZECHOSLOVAK POLITBURO RESOLUTION ON PLAN TO 'COUNTER THE CZECHOSLOVAK REACTIONARY EXILES'

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    This Czechoslovak Politburo Resolution of 1956 approved an Interior Ministry plan to counter “reactionary exiles.” Radio Free Europe was an important target, and a series of disinformation actions were planned to disrupt its operations.
    "Czechoslovak Politburo Resolution on Plan to 'Counter the Czechoslovak Reactionary Exiles'," September 19, 1956, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Karel Kasparek private archive. Obtained by A. Ross Johnson. Translated by Blanka Pasternak. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121530
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    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121530

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[Excerpt]

Strictly confidential!

Re: A work plan of the 1st Administrative Division of the Ministry of the Interior to counter the Czechoslovak reactionary exiles.

We are providing this analysis of the current situation and the activities of the Czechoslovak reactionary exiles, along with the most important goals of the 1st Administrative Division of the Ministry of the Interior in the struggle against the exiles, and concrete actions in individual countries.

Enclosure I : Draft resolution

Enclosure III : Action plan

Submitted by : Comrade Barak, September 19, 1956

29 pages

Resolution : [crossed out and replaced by the following text: post-pone for the next meeting]

141st meeting of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Czechoslovak Communist Party on October 1 [1956]

Re: action plan of the 1st Administrative Division of the Ministry of the Interior in the fight against the Czechoslovak reactionary exiles (comrade Barak)

It has been decided that:

The Politburo of the Central Committee of the Czechoslovak Communist Party:

1/ Takes into account the action plan of the 1st Administrative Division of the Ministry of the Interior in the fight against the Czechoslovak reactionary exiles, and,

2/ Charges Comrade Barak, Minister of the Interior, with the task of submitting at the beginning of the year 1957 a report on the status of this action plan

Executant: Comrade Barak

cc: Comrades Novotny and Siroky

Enclosure III

The current situation of the Czechoslovak exiles and their most important activities

Most émigré organizations, parties and unions, with the exception of the social democratic party, are managed, financed and controlled by Americans through the “Free Europe Committee,” with its headquarters in New York. This Committee is influenced by the US State Department.

Radio Free Europe, at present the most important center of American émigré propaganda against the Czechoslovak socialist republic, is under the control of the Committee for Free Europe.

The most important goals in the fight against émigrés, their propaganda and influence in the Czechoslovak republic and abroad:

1. Acquiring information from the current agents who act among émigrés. It is necessary to start using them more effectively, particularly in the following areas:

A/ to provide reports on espionage activities against CSSR.

B/ to provide reports on plans, activities and the current situation of émigré organizations and leading representatives.

C/ to provide reports on émigré cooperation with the official representatives of Western countries, Czechoslovak emigrants, and Sudeten Germans, and other émigrés.

D/ to report on the current and planned propaganda activities of émigrés.

It is essential that the agents should actively publish articles in the daily press to influence prominent persons to return to CSSR and suggest subversive activities. […]

Subversive activities among émigrés with a special focus on Radio Free Europe:

1. Information acquired from interviews with former emigrants who returned to Czechoslovakia (Radka, Kasal, and others) will be published in our newspapers in the form of concrete and truthful stories attacking individual emigrants and Radio Free Europe. Also used will be information from their colleagues.

2. To create friction between Radio Free Europe and other émigrés and to further deepen these disagreements we will use agent TONDY and his journal.

3. During the planned period we will run subversive actions on a smaller scale among the RFE employees, such as phone calls from Western Germany, because we have RFE’s complete phone directory. During each month until the end of the planned period we will perform on average two subversive actions.

4. The following activity is planned for october 28, 1956:

Flyers will be forged with information on a secret meeting of Adenauer’s government dealing with the gradual removal of emigrants from Western Germany. At the same time the flyer will call for a demonstration on October 28, 1956, in one of the cities of West Germany.

5. A memorandum, called “the proclamation of the young,” aimed against leading RFE American executives, will be distributed asking for withdrawal of old employees who are doing things badly to give a chance to the young who have not compromised themselves yet. The project will be completed by September 30, 1956.

6. A letter on the official RFE letterhead will be written and distributed among West German magazines whose journalists have visited Czechoslovakia in the past and who are now publishing articles that more or less praise life in Czechoslovakia. The letter will attack these journalists, accusing them of disrupting RFE propaganda in the free world and collaborating with the Communist regime. An American measure will be mentioned as a threat. To be fulfilled by October 30, 1956.

7. During the planned period a set of small operations will be carried out with the aim of ridiculing RFE in the eyes of the émigrés and the Western European public. The following is planned:

a/ Certain merchandise will be purchased in the name of RFE from a German firm. Problems and disagreement with the firm will ensue at time of delivery. RFE will be billed.

b/ Ads will be placed in Radio Free Europe’s name in West German magazines, asking persons of German nationality to apply for service jobs with Radio Free Europe and noting that the applicants should show up in person to negotiate conditions of employment. We expect unpleasant situations to occur, stemming from the fact that Germans will be getting RFE jobs at the expense of the exiles.

Subversive and chaos-creating operations:

We will continue carrying out successful operations aimed at creating confusion, i.e. mailing letters to American firms, in which we will disclose criminal delinquencies, embezzlement and profiteering on the part of prominent exiles posing as émigrés.

We will borrow Soviet protocols relating to interrogation of officials regarding embezzlement of the Czechoslovak committee in Salzburg and AFCR employees. […]

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