The former Chief of Military Intelligence, the General Radovan Procházka, passed away
The Lieutenant General (ret.) Radovan Procházka died this morning at the age of 93. After the fall of communism, Procházka held various positions in the intelligence services. In 1990 he was in the BIS management, then the Director of Intelligence of ÚZSI (Office for Foreign Relations and Information) and since 1993 he was the Chief of Military Intelligence. He was awarded the Order of the Legion of Merit (Order of the President of the United States) for the intelligence activities. In 1997 he received the Order of the White Lion of the 4th Class. The General Procházka was also one of the role models of the Army General Petr Pavel who was his assistant in the past.
The Lieutenant General (ret.) Procházka was born on 11th May, 1927 in the family of the Commander of the Castle Guard T. G. Masaryk, a Russian legionnaire, the Lieutenant Colonel Vladimír Procházka. During the war, he joined the resistance movement. After liberation and his father´s tragic death, he joined the military academy out of respect for his memory. In 1950 he served as the Operation Officer at the Hodonín garrison. He cooperated with a military group that passed information to the West. He was arrested in 1951, brutally investigated in the so-called ‘Domeček’ in Hradčany and then sentenced to 15 years in prison.
“Our father – a soldier, and his brother brought us up in such a way that we would be ready to stand up for the defence of our country as soon se we grew up,” recalled Procházka during the celebration of his 90th birthday. It was at the time when Adolf Hitler came to power. That is why he led his sons to be able to cope with any dangerous situation. And, despite their young age, he naturally involved them in the intelligence work. “I remember that at the age of eleven I used to ride a bicycle with my brother at the border after the occupation of our border in 1938. Our task was to monitor the environment how the population behaved, what German troops were there and provide information to my Dad and the Intelligence Officer from my father´s regiment on what was happening there in this time of stress. As boys, we were inconspicuous and it seemed that we were going on cycling trips to the surroundings. That is why I say that my intelligence activities began at the age of eleven,” he added. The General Procházka was literally a legend of Czechoslovakia and later also of the military intelligence service, but his journey was thorny and challenging.
Radovan Procházka went through the prison camps in Jáchymov and Příbram where he joined the so-called noodle affair in 1954 that broke out due to poor diet. He was sentenced to another 12 years as an alleged organizer of the plot. Procházka was escorted from the court to Leopoldov. He was not released until 1964. He found a job as a stagehand at the National Theatre where he remained until the fall of communism. Then he held the highest positions in the intelligence services.