Lieutenant General (ret.) Radovan Procházka

* 1927  †︎ 2020

  • "They knew all about it. They didn't even present me with anything relevant and obviously, they proposed that I get capital punishment. Eventually, they cut it down to fifteen years in prison. They must have had some intentions that I blew for them. I then got another twelve years - twenty-seven in total. I didn't make it out on amnesty."

  • "I was arrested by Mr. Pergl, which is peculiar. He came on Sunday - I came to Prague on Saturday and he came to get me a day after. These are the moments when one doesn't have time to decide, to consider his options for a minute. When I walked with them down from the fifht floor, I had some time to reflect. I had an escape route ready via terraces, which connected the neighbouring houses' roofs. My plan was to run across one house next to ours, exit it in the street and flee. I had this in mind. Mr. Pergl didn't even search me and he didn't know whether I had a pistol on myself. I was pretty much able to liquidate him on the stairway, run up, run across. Down there, there was Tatra 603 and only a driver inside, which I had not known by then. It would have been lost for them if I had knocked Pergl down on the stairs and fled. However, I stood convinced it was not in consequence of those actions. I knew nobody ratted on me - and why would they take a year and a half to see what I had or hadn't been doing... I thought it was related to another matter."

  • "During my active service I concluded my speeches with a single sentence, repeated a hundred of times: our allies may fail, deny us or leave us. But they cannot betray us - it is only us who can betray ourselves. I still consider this sentence a soldier's message to the nation. Time to time, it comes back to me intensely when citizens decide on the future of their nation. Those not taking part in the election and also those who take part light-heartedly and vote irresponsibly without seeing the consequences of their action, fulfill the betrayal part of my message. Neither our friends nor our enemies may betray us - it is but us Czechs who may betray ourselves, our freedom, our honesty and democratic tradition."

  • „Few years ago I had lectured new soldiers on the defense of the state. I had lived trough year 1938, Second World War and other events related. We were told that our allies had abandoned us in 1938, which was partly true, that we became a victim of betrayal. One lesson results from this: We can count on our own strength only. I would never talk about betrayal. All my lectures I had closed with the following sentence: Allies can help us but must not, while only we can betray ourselves. Other words, we have to be ready to stay alone. There are situations in the nation’s history, like in human lives, when it is not decisive if you win or loose. You just have to fight; otherwise you risk national decadence and national capability to survive. Someone will always physically survive, but if the nation looses morality to which it can refer to in the past, it means collapse of the whole nation.”

  • “The main part of our group lead by Colonel Korda, including lieutenant Kácha, was arrested in 1949. That was not my case. Three of us remained at large. When we were later detained, our group was called Captain Bartl and his companions. Captain Bartl was an officer who had trained us in a military academy. He commanded me and my friend Frantisek Kurka, Kurka had died already. After the arrest of the first part of our group, we have ceased with our activities, but we decided to continue after some time. We thought we had probably escaped. The opposite was true. They have spied on us further and have waited if we would lead them to other people. In time of my arrest I was serving in Hodonín. I came to Prague to visit my family. There they detained me, which was cunning because there was no real chance to escape or to fight. My family would be severely punished in such a case. They came early in the morning. I knew what was going on immediately. I wondered if I should try something while we were going downstairs, but finally I considered it too risky for my family. They brought me straight to ‘The Little House’. I was arrested by Pergl personally which was quite unusual. Pergl never participated in arresting people in person.”

  • “My father kept open house to Russian generals. Everybody celebrated the end of the war and Russian generals were heavily drinking. At the same time they expected that father of an interpreter of Rybalko, which was my brother, is from the Russian point of view reliable officer, so they spoke with my father quite openly. By this way my father got access to the top secret information. In June 1945 he thus learned about a plan to carry out a putsch with Czech communist sooner or later. The situation was very complicated in those days already. Newly created Czechoslovakian military general staff had been partly occupied by people, who had come from the Soviet Union – Reicin and others. Similar situation prevailed in the office of the president Beneš and it was not easy to gain access to him. My father was in extraordinary position anyway, because he had previously served as a commander of The Presidential Guard and he knew the president personally. He knew many important people from diplomatic circles as well, but it was necessary to carefully find the way how to pass highly sensitive information to the president. He chose a member of the general staff General Píka, who was father’s friend. My father regularly visited Píka in Prague and with his help he informed the president about information he had gained from the Russians.”

  • „Then we were moved to Leopoldov. Leopoldov, that was quite simply the middle ages. Not that they had strangled you as soon as you had passed the prison gate or that they had thrown you onto the pile of carcasses if you had not survived. But they would have had easily just buried you in front of the gate. Leopoldov, that was chicane, hunger, poor medical care, absolutely no contact with home. Every warder was the „unbounded Stalin“ on his floor, doing anything he pleased. Whether you survived or died depended on his momentary mood. From time to time they shot the person whom they had sent to work close to the fence. Some moron at the watch-tower began firing at him and it would have been called ´a case of attempted escape´.”

  • „In 1954 I got involved in a so called ‘noodle affair’. It had happened on the US Independence Day on 4th July. Then the prisoners had started to riot because of poor meals. Someone had been stealing the food and we got only noodles. The situation had broken out without any political context but it happened just on the Independence Day which the guard misused against us very skillfully. The riot because of poor diet became a political riot. I was against any protests from the beginning because I had expected such a development. We gathered on the platform, refused the food and interrupted negotiation. The situation escalated very soon and a military unit with tanks was called in. I had paid for my stubbornness. I refused to retreat. Even though I was standing in the back row at the beginning suddenly I appeared in front. Thus I attracted attention of the guards. Prisoners who were most warlike at the beginning ran away first. I do not remember how I got to the barrack, where we had continued with our hunger strike. After the week only ten of us remained and they transported us to the prison Ruzyň.”

  • Celé nahrávky
  • 1

    Praha, 05.03.2007

    (audio)
    délka: 01:47:48
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Portraits of Prague citizens
  • 2

    Praha, 19.10.2017

    (audio)
    délka: 01:19:44
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Portraits of Prague citizens
Celé nahrávky jsou k dispozici pouze pro přihlášené uživatele.

Allegedly, we tried to disrupt the socialist economy during the ´noodle affair´. I guess by the fact that we had not eaten the mess-tin of noodles

He´s reading the report´s of Discussion forum in the web Memory of Nation
He´s reading the report´s of Discussion forum in the web Memory of Nation
zdroj: Post Bellum

Radovan Procházka was born on May 11th in 1927 in the family of the chief of the castle guard of the President T.G.Masaryk, the Russian legionary lieutenant colonel Vladimír Procházka. Since his childhood he has been in love with classical music and dreamed of becoming an opera singer.  During the war he joined the resistance movement, after the liberation and the tragic death of his father he enrolled at the military academy, to honor his memory. In 1950 Radovan Procházka served as an operation officer in the Hodonín garrison. He was cooperating with the military group which was passing information to the West. In 1951 he was detained and brutally interrogated in the infamous ´House´ near Hradčany; later, he was convicted to 15 years of imprisonment. Radovan Procházka went through the prison camps of Jáchymov and Příbram where he had patricipated in the so-called ´noodle affair´ in 1954 which had broken out on the grounds of dissatisfaction with the poor diet - the hard-working prisoners had rioted when all they had been served one day were dry noodles. As an alleged organizer of the riot he was subsequently convicted to further 12 years of imprisonment. After the trial Procházka was escorted to Leopoldov; he came out only in 1964. He found employment as a scene-shifter in the National Theatre in Prague. After the fall of communism he had been active on different posts within the Czech secret services - from 1990 he had worked in civil secret service and from 1993 he had served as the chief of secret military service. For his performance from January 1993 till March 1994 he has been honored with Legion of Merit. In 1997 he has been awarded the Order of the White Lion of the Fourth Class. He had been the holder of the degree of lieutenant-general in retirement.