Colonel (ret.) Josef Süsser

* 1914  †︎ 2006

  • “Novotný brought me a piece of paper with about twenty names and he told me: ‘Here you are, right on the top.’ I went to Germany the same day. [What kind of a list was it?] It was an arrest warrant. [From the State Security?] Yes. [Or from Reicin?] I don’t know, I don’t know. [Were there any other paratroopers?] No. [Where did you cross the border for the second time?] Syrovátka helped me through one guy, whom I never responded [probably meaning ‘never thanked’ – auth.’s note] He lived in Canada. It was done by Syrovátka. I think that he gave him a farm which was located at the border. I went by train to Františkovy Lázně or somewhere there, and Emanuel Ládl guided me over the border.”

  • “I was promoted a major in the English army and I did exactly the same things which I had been doing during the war. [Training radio operators? The people you trained were Czechs?] All kinds of people – Czechs, Moravians, two or three Slovaks. [Where was it? In Linz?] In Graz and Klagenfurt. Eventually there were obstacles at the border. What should we do then? How should we do it? Do you know how we did it? We used a hot air balloon from Germany.”

  • “Manipulation, that’s very important, and a communication plan, that’s very important. [What was this communication plan based on?] It was a standard plan, more or less adopted from the Englishmen. It had to be. Communication plans. When to change the crystals, how to change them, and so on. I don’t remember all of that. Communication plan and manipulation, that was important. Everyone knew the Q-code, which was used to create a certain script for each telegraph operator. After several transmitting sessions I would be immediately able to recognize Klemeš or Šikola [by the cipher keys – auth.’s note]. It is like handwriting, because there are certain characteristics.”

  • Celé nahrávky
  • 4

    Londýn, 16.04.1998

    (audio)
    délka: 01:33:45
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of 20th Century
  • 5

    Londýn, 20.04.2000

    (audio)
    délka: 01:33:56
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of 20th Century
  • 6

    Londýn, 18.04.2001

    (audio)
    délka: 04:17:55
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of 20th Century
  • 7

    Londýn, 21.11.2002

    (audio)
    délka: 01:22:18
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of 20th Century
  • 8

    Londýn, 17.04.2003

    (audio)
    délka: 03:36:48
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of 20th Century
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It tags along with you throughout your entire life

5020-portrait_former.jpg (historic)
Colonel (ret.) Josef Süsser
zdroj: Současná: Ze článku Jindřicha Marka - Radiostanice VLADISLAV v marném boji o Podkarpatskou Rus

Colonel in retirement Josef Süsser was born March 1, 1914 in Česká Třebová. His father worked for the railway company and his mother was a housewife. Josef attended elementary school and then he studied a grammar school in Olomouc. During his studies he went to Šumperk to study there for three years in order to learn German, but afterwards he returned to Olomouc again. Josef eventually chose to follow a career path in the army. He joined the 7th telegraph regiment in Turčianský Martin in Slovakia and then he enrolled at the Military Academy in Hranice from which he successfully graduated on August 29, 1937 as a lieutenant of telegraph troops. Josef subsequently went to Turčianský Martin again and he became a troop commander there. When mobilization was declared in September 1938, Josef Süsser became the commander of the 74th interception battalion (part of the intelligence section of the 5th Corps Command) which served on the Slovak-Hungarian border. After the establishment of the Slovak State, Josef served in the Slovak army from June 13, 1939 until December 24, 1939, but on January 5, 1940 he went via the so-called Balkan way through Hungary and Yugoslavia to Beirut in Lebanon. He joined the Foreign Legion there and he served in the 4th regiment in Homs and later in Algiers. He eventually went to France where became registered as a member of the Czechoslovak units abroad on February 9, 1940 in Marseille. Josef Süsser served as a commander of a training radio communications column of the telegraph battalion in the 1st regiment of the 1st Czechoslovak division in Montpellier, but after the unsuccessful defence of France in May 1940 he went via the port Séte in southern France and via Gibraltar to the English port Plymouth and from there to Cholmondeley Park in western England. Josef was subsequently assigned to the telegraph column in Fritz Hill as a commander of a radio station troop and in May 1940 he went through a paratrooper training at the airport Ringway near Manchester. On September 3, 1942 he was selected as an instructor for training of radio operators for special operations together with Rudolf Pernický and Rudolf Hrbec and he was sent to STS-46 (Special Training Station) in Chicheley Hall in eastern England. This unit belonged to the Special Group D of the so-called 1st offensive intelligence section in the 2nd intelligence department of the ministry of defence of the Czechoslovak government-in-exile. As an instructor in charge of radio operators training, he was recommending paratroopers - radio operators for training. Josef Klemeš was one of those whom Josef Süsser selected. STS-46 became disbanded in autumn 1943 and Josef then went to London. He served in Baywater where he worked on preparing cipher keys and maintained radio communication with groups that had been deployed to the Protectorate. In 1944 he went through a SAS (Special Air Service) commandos training in Scotland, and in September 1944 he was sent to Krosno in Poland with the radio station Václav. In order to reach Krosno, Josef had to travel via Basra in Iraq, the Caspian Sea and Baku in Azerbaijan. From October 28, 1944 until the end of January and beginning of February 1945 he operated in Khust in Carpathian Ruthenia using a personal cipher key. He was securing connection between the Czechoslovak political representatives in Khust (Antonín Hasal, František Němec, František Krucký) and the government-in-exile in London (specifically with the Military Radio Centre) and he was sending reports about the actions of the Soviet Union in Carpathian Ruthenia. While in Košice, Josef was assigned to the 3rd section of the general staff of the ministry of defence on April 9, 1945. After the war he served at the general staff in Prague-Dejvice, but he left the army already in 1947 and he started his own business. After the communist coup d‘état in February 1948 his name appeared on the first list of persons who were to be arrested, and at night on 16-17th March 1948 Josef therefore crossed the border from Czechoslovakia to Germany near Františkovy Lázně. He got to England where he married Dorothy, his girlfriend from the war, and he planned to leave for Australia, but he was contacted by the CIO (Czech Intelligence Office) and he got involved in intelligence activity organized by František Moravec. In 1949-1950, Josef served in Graz where he conducted training of agents - radio operators who were being dispatched to Czechoslovakia. At the same time he was a case officer of the CIO and from the transmitting centre in Klagenfurt he maintained connection with his co-workers in Czechoslovakia. In 1954-1957 Josef served as the head of the operations department of the CIO headquarters in Great Britain. After leaving the secret services, he found employment in a London travel agency. In 1962 Josef started a business in tourism. His wife died in 1998. Josef Süsser, also known as Joe, died in London on April 21, 2006.