Memory of Nation


Miroslav Polreich (1931)

  Miroslav  Polreich (1931)
My life’s endeavour was always to eliminate war and search for compromise

Thawing of relations in the intelligence corps

“In the meantime the chief of the American section in the intelligence corps was one Míla Čech. Míla Čech - before that he’d been employed by the International Student Union, a big friend of Pelikán, the editor of Listy [The Pages/Herald, an exile dissident socialist periodical - trans.], who was later a parliamentary deputy for the Socialists in the Italian parliament (I met him as well, but that was later). So this person said to me: ‘Look, I’ve been following your analyses, your reports; you’ll be my deputy here.’ I didn’t really know what that meant, and he said: ‘Look, our main task is, first, to get rid of all the stetsecs [State Security members - trans.] who are still here - for various merits and so on... That’s the first mission.’ That was in 1961. ‘Second, we have to split off from the interior. We have nothing to do with those guys, they just abuse us and demand various information from us.’ So I come back from cold America, where I was under surveillance, and now someone confides in me that everything here is rubbish and has to be changes. In other words, the intelligence service was one of the first institutes to evoke the changes. I’m not talking about the writers, journalists, historians, philosophers, you know how that went, the film makers, the wave surged up everywhere in the early sixties, and we were no different. So I took charge of my little North America department, he was a level higher, he had South America as well, and we managed things this way. First, we got rid of the people quite cleanly by setting requirements - only people with university degrees can work here. That knocked out most of them, actually, because they didn’t have a degree. They had mostly been employed there because they were the friend of someone, or because they’d been a diligent employee at some district security department, so they got a warm spot in return...”

  • born 17 June 1931 in Německý Brod (now Havlíčkův Brod)
  • graduated from the University of Political Sciences
  • switched to the Faculty of International Relations
  • employed in the Czechoslovak intelligence services (Canada, USA)
  • 1961, returned to Czechoslovakia
  • oriented himself towards the reformist wing of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia
  • 1964, intelligence resident at the Czechoslovak mission to the UN
  • 1969, stripped of his functions
  • 1989, worked as director of the Security Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • 1991-1992, headed the Czechoslovak delegation as ambassador for disarmament supervision at the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Vienna
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