Václava Jandečková

Václava Jandečková (*1974) is a member of the International PEN Club (Czech Centre) and a graduate in international relations. Her research interests focus on the unexplored subjects of the history of post-1948 Czechoslovakia, on which she has already written several monographs: KÁMEN. The Evidence of the Main Player in the False Borders Operation near Všeruby in Domažlice district (2013); Three men against totality. Resistance fighter Ota Tulačka, RAF pilot Josef Hýbler and American diplo- mat Walter Birge in combatting the StB (2014). For her latest book JAN MASARYK CASE (a new view). Confession to murder and the secret reinvestigation process by the StB in 1950–1951 (2015) she received the Egon Erwin Kisch Special International Award. The real-life events described in Kámen and Falešné hranice were adapted as a theatre performance enti- tled Operation KAMEN and staged by Staatsschaus- piel Dresden.

hranice

False Frontiers

March 2018, 398 pages

Available material: English sample

Operation Kámen. Victims and instigators of the most confidential crimes of the state security 1948–1951.

The author‘s profound interest and personal involvement in the fate of those involved and their individual stories makes this historical study a literary gem. False Frontiers: Stories from Operation Kámen, (1948-1951) unmasks illegal State Security activities of the late 1940s and early 1950s, which were hitherto practically unknown. Using ten distinctive examples, she tells the stories of the participants, describing the background to the malicious crimes that involved laying traps for previously selected victims who had been goaded into escaping from Czechoslovakia. State Security thought up Operation Kámen in order to interrogate sought-after individuals at bogus German customs posts in fictitious American military counter-espionage offices. With this incriminating material, those who thought they had actually crossed the Czechoslovak state frontier were then arrested for ”illegally crossing the frontier”. There were not a chance occurrences, but were part of a systematic procedure practised by the state security apparatus, which was covertly breaking its own laws. State Security agents did not hesitate to make use of criminal methods to consolidate totalitarian power and to identify the various forms of dissent against the new regime. The author aims to present the sophistication that came to be standard procedure in the planning behind state security work. Although this was the most secret repressive campaign of the Communist regime, Jandečková reveals new victims and perpetrators, outlines the development of Operation Kámen in time and space, and presents a range of reasons for its use. The extensive illustrations indicate the broad source base of an official and private nature. Previously unpublished archive material is compared to later direct testimony from witnesses, enabling the author to present in an entirely new light the secret police’s reasoning and procedures during the opaque post-1948 period of turbulent change.

“In her excellent publication, Václava Jandečková has filled in almost all the blanks in OPERATION KÁMEN that had not previously been explored, which makes her monograph an excellent probe into StB mysteries and methods, while presenting a very topical challenge to the present-day younger generation, who are unaware of its activities and ”working” methods.”

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