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Dictionary beginning with M

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Main Committee of the Communist party of Czechoslovakia at the Federal ministry of interior

The Main Committee of the Communist party of Czechoslovakia at the Federal ministry of interior (HV KSČ at the FMV) was an organisational unit of the Communist party active within the Ministry.  It was steered by the secretariat of the first secretary (the Secretary general) of the Central Committee of the KSČ. Pursuant to the personnel (cadre) order, the plenary or the presidium of the KV KSČ approved the occupancy of the following positions:

  • chairman of the Unit committee of the KSČ and the cadre reserves for this position, 
  • chairman of the Unit monitoring and revision commission,
  • members of the permanent commissions of the HV KSČ,
  • director of the Evening university of Marx-leninism (VUML),
  • chairman of the elementary organisation of the KSČ (ZO KSČ),
  • chairman and secretary of the societal organisations at the FMV,
  • leaders of the party groups within the societal organisations at the FMV,
  • political worker of the HV KSČ at the FMV.

Along the service line, the HV KSČ at the FMV expressed its opinion on the appointment and removal from office of the functionaries listed above, on the entry of selected persons into the so-called cadre reserves, or on the conclusions of so-called complex service evaluations and extraordinary promotions of personnel to higher ranks. The HV KSČ also gave its opinion on so-called cadre measures undertaken with personnel listed in the cadre order of the Central Committee of the KSČ (excluding the 1st Directorate). For all staff members within its authority, including the 1st Directorate, the HV KSČ gave its opinion on promotions to the rank of colonel, on the bestowal of state orders and distinctions (the medals “For fatherland service“ and “For merit in fatherland defence“), on the dispatching to party schools and courses, on degree awards at the Political university of the Central Committee of the KSČ and the Klement Gottwald military political academy, on the appointment procedure for pedagogical scientific positions and on the initiation of doctoral studies and scientific assistant professorships at other high schools and universities.       

At the beginning of April 1988, there were altogether 9,701 members and 562 membership candidates of the KSČ at the Federal ministry of interior, associated in 227 elementary organisations of the KSČ. 

In 1969, the HV KSČ at the 1st Directorate was removed from the authority of the Ministry of interior and subordinated directly to the XI. Department of the Central Committee of the KSČ. This happened based on the decision of the secretariat of the Central Committee of the KSČ from January 1963 with the title “On some principles and measures for deepening the party control and influence of the KSČ on the armed forces and security“.

 At the 1st Directorate, where a HV KSČ No. 2 was in existence, the KSČ membership was very high. The membership numbers for the years were as follows: 1971 – 92,2%, 1973 – 91,1%, 1976 – 94,5%, 1979 – 94,38%, 1985 – 96,38% and 1988 – 95,76%.

With efect as of 1 April 1978, an own Unit committee of the KSČ was created at the 1st Directorate, under the authority of the HV KSČ No. 1. 

In 1955, the chairman of the HV KSČ at the 1st Directorate was 2nd lt. František Brabec „Petřík“. In the years 1968–1969, the HV KSČ No. 2 had the following members: leading secretary maj. Jiří Brůna „Bradáč“ and political workers lt. col. Slavoj Hrneček, maj. Jan Jarošík „Jesenský“ and maj. Josef Douda (fig.). In 1968, members were also maj. Miloslav Jelínek „Jareš“ (organisational secretary) and 1st lt. Jaroslava Schönová. The Committee met regularly and gave its opinion on ideological and personnel (membership) issues, on the work with youth, and it focused on “...securing the high ideological profile, moral purity and example-setting of Communists in the realisation of tasks ensuing from the elementary focus of the service activity of the National security corps, the Border guards and the armed forces of the Ministry of interior“. In December 1969, special rewards were given for the so-called consolidation in the elementary organisation of the KSČ to maj. Jarošík, maj. Douda, lt. col. Jaromír Valeš and sgt. maj. Jarmila Sýkorová.

Until 1971, the secretary of the Committee was capt. Vladimír Strhan „Stacho“. In 1971–1973, it was lt. col. Jaromír Felcman „Frýbort“, in 1973, it was lt. col. Ondrej Široký, and in 1977 and 1979 the secretary of the HV KSČ at the FMV was Jaroslav Zdráhal.

See also: 1st Directorate of the Federal ministry of interior

Main Directorate of the counterintelligence of the National security corps

See: Second Directorate of the Federal Ministry of Interior

Main Directorate of the foreign intelligence of the Ministry of interior

See: Directorate I of the Ministry of the Interior

Ministry of interior

Government office for directing the bodies of state administration, security forces (police in modern-day terminology) and intelligence services. In democratic countries, the security forces and particularly the intelligence services are subject to independent control by parliament.  

In a Communist state, the Ministry of interior is an important tool for control and maintaining the totalitarian power. The Ministry of interior therefore logically becomes one of the first targets which Communist parties strive to gain in their struggle for political power. It is no coincidence that the Czechoslovak minister of interior in the years 1945-1989 was a representative of the Communist party of Czechoslovakia.

Gaining full control of the Ministry of interior namely enables a further penetration and control of the repressive forces of the state and their utilisation in the struggle for power and the efforts for its maintenance. Criminalisation of the opposition is one of the basic tenets of Communist regimes. Security forces  - in the case of Czechoslovakia it was the National security corps (composed of the Public security and the State security)  - enable the Communists to suppress any opposition, to fabricate political trials and other artificially created cases, to atack representatives of the opposition in exile, to subject representatives of the opposition to pressure to emigrate etc. In their efforts to maintain control, the security forces utilised all possible (imaginable) forms of repression against real and potential adversaries, including preventive intimidation of society. Proportinately, the influence of the security apparatus on society in the totalitarian Communist regime grew (or, in times of political crises, it temporarily fell).

Next to the security forces, the Ministry of interior also has a civil administration section. It deals with the steering of civil administration bodies (national committees), issues of association and gathering of persons, archiving, issuance of identity documents, citizen record keeping etc. These sections too are utilised by the State security for confronting the opposition (e.g. the issuance of travel passports and foreign travel permits etc.).   

The security forces are particularly important for the functioning of the Communist state. The Ministry of interior takes on the role of coordinator, contractor and controller of individual operations. During the entire period of the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia, the Ministry of interior represented the Communist party‘s tool for repressions and terror against its own citizens. Nevertheless, in this system, even the minister of interior was answerable to the respective department of the Central committee of the Communist party.   

Ministry of National Security

The Ministry of National Security (MNB) existed in Czechoslovakia in the years 1950-1953. An important and decisive role both during its conception and end was played by the Soviet example and influence. A similar situation occured in other states of the Soviet bloc at the time (e.g. in the German Democrati Republic, Polish People’s Republic etc.)

In the ČSR the MNB was created based on Government decition No. 48 of 23 May 1950. By the creation of the MNB the political power of the State Security was increased. This in turn increased the already very strong position of the Soviet security advisors, which was then mirrored in the fabricated political trials at the beginning of the 1950s, with the focus on the search for “enemies“ within the Communist movement itself.   

A decree was issued in July 1950 to delimit the competences between the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of National Security. The role of the Ministry of Interior headed by Václav Nosek now focused almost exlusively on the area of public administration, administrative bodies and municipal economy.

The Ministry of National Security (headed first by Ladislav Kopřiva, from January 1952 by Karol Bacílek) was entrusted with the entire agenda of the National Security Corps including the competences, tasks and activities of the State Security. The MNB was further responsible for the protection of the state borders (the Border guard was subordinated to the MNB), the maintenance of public order, security of persons and property etc. The Ministry was also in charge of the agenda of evidence of citizens, the agenda of weapons, passports and visas, evidence of foreigners, administration of the Forced labour camps, traffic security etc. The position oof the MNB in society was further enanced in the years 1951-1952. The repressive tools of the Communist regime of the time were concentrated there. The Ministry became a feared security monolith with vast and unchecked competences with significant overlaps into the political level. In May 1951 the MNB took over the military counterespionage into its competence from the Ministry of National Defence. Starting in May 1952 it participated in the development of the newly established Internal guards of the MNB and two months later, it took over the Administration of the correction facitilies from the Ministry of Justice.       

In July 1952 the organisational structure of the State Security was changed. Instead of the Command of the State Security, the Main administration of the State Security was created. The purpose of the changes (again based on the Soviet example) was to replace the military terminology used in the systemisation of the ministry by Soviet security terminology.

On 11 September 1953 the Ministry of National Security was dissolved, again based on the Soviet example. However, it did not mean a return to the times before its creation. On the contrary. The old firm got a new facade. The establishment of a unified Ministry of Interior was also related to the personnel shifts in the power structures of the state. The agenda stressing the role of the security forces however continued to dominate.