Czechoslovak Diplomacy and the Gulag

Deportation of Czechoslovak Citizens to the USSR and the Negotiation for their Repatriation, 1945-1953
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450 pages

After the entry of the Red Army into Czechoslovak territory in 1945, Red Army authorities began to arrest and deport Czechoslovak citizens to labor camps in the Soviet Union. The regions most affected were Eastern and South Slovakia and Prague. The Czechoslovak authorities repeatedly requested a halt to the deportations and that the deported Czechoslovaks be returned immediately. It took a long time before these protests generated any response.

The Czechoslovak Diplomacy and the Gulag focuses on the diplomatic and political aspects of the deportations. The author explains the steps taken by the Czechoslovak Government in the repatriation agenda from 1945 to 1953 and reconstructs the negotiations with the Soviets. The research tries to answer the question of why and how the Russians deported the civilian population from Czechoslovakia which was their allied country already during the war.

Some notes on the concept of Czechoslovakia from the point of view of the constitution and national identity
The constitutional concept of Slovakia
The position of the ruling circles on the issue of nationalities in Czechoslovakia
Citizenship in post-war Czechoslovakia and the decrees of President Beneš



1. The Czechoslovak-Soviet treaty of 8 May 1944 and its flouting by the Soviet Union in 1945
Treaty of 8 May 1944
May and June 1945
August and September 1945
October and November 1945

2. Czechoslovak and Soviet information and arguments in 1946
Jan Masaryk: instructions for Ambassador Jiří Horák
Problems in getting exact information
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and the summary list of deportees
The USSR throws doubt on the Czechoslovak lists and Soviet data
The Czechoslovak Delegation for the Liquidation of War Damage
Efforts at obtaining reciprocal information about those arrested and imprisoned
Slovaks from Hungary interned in the USSR and their repatriation
Vladimír Outrata’s memorandum
Updating of the lists in 1946
Members of the Slovak Technical Division
The deported inhabitants of the Hlučín region
Attitudes towards the deportations and public opinion
The intervention of the Czechoslovak Embassy in Moscow
Horák’s intervention with Vyshinsky 21 March 1946
The material summarised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 19 April 1946
Uncertainties about information received from Envoy Chichaev
“The Great June Repatriation”
Czechoslovak–Hungarian relationships and repatriation
Ambassador Horák urges a final solution to the repatriation
The lists and instructions
Spišiak, Čatloš and co.
The lists and nationality
Complex versus selective – two concepts of repatriation, and the decree of the Ministry of the
Interior of 26 September 1946
Vladimír Outrata: instructions for intervention
Clementis’s memorandum
Horák’s intervention with Vyshinsky on 29 December 1946

3. The enforcement of the selective principle
Horák’s intervention with Golubev on 8 January 1947
The repatriation principles of the Ministry of the Interior and the pragmatic approach of the Soviet Union
The conflict between the Foreign Ministry and the Interior Ministry over the approach to repatriation
Ambassador Horák’s negotiations with Golubev on 24 March 1947
Instruction of 9 April 1947 from the Ministry of the Interior about repatriation
Disunity of Czechoslovak principles and considerations regarding the Soviet Union
The Czechoslovak governmental delegation in Moscow in July 1947
Autumn 1947: Horák strives for an ending to repatriation by the end of 1947 and inter-ministerial consultation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs


1. The repatriation camp in Luisdorf near Odessa
1947: The Soviet Union accelerates repatriations
Emil Šulc (Schulz) in Luisdorf, May 1947
Ludovít Mičátek in Luisdorf, June 1947
Counsellor Kašpárek's urgent requests and Golubev’s data
Process of screening and approval
Preparations for screening of repatriates at the end of August 1947
Krno and Šulc in Luisdorf, September 1947
Superficiality and possible misuse of the repatriation screenings
Emil Šulc in Luisdorf, October 1947
Czechoslovak interministerial meeting on 21 November 1947
Horák’s intervention with Golubev in November 1947, national criteria, rumours and confused information

2. The repatriation camp Marmaros Sziget in Romania
Screening of Slovaks and Hungarians in Sziget and the ethnicity criterion
The Czechoslovak plenipotentiary in Sziget
The handing over of the transports to Czechoslovakia and the lists of repatriates

3. The final phase of screening in Luisdorf and Sziget
The tardiness of the Czechoslovak authorities
Václav Vaško in Luisdorf, August 1948
Problems with the screening in Sziget
Czechoslovak and Soviet positions before the end of repatriation

Excursus: Czechoslovak diplomats in Moscow in charge of the repatriations agenda
Ambassador Jiří Horák: ethical realist
His Excellency Comrade...
“As a Communist, first I was alone like a soldier in the field”: Miloš Krno
“A gift from the Lord or, Not everything was a joy to me”: Václav Vaško
Career diplomats, Communist apparatchiks, and the repatriation agenda


1. Reaction of Czechoslovak institutions, numbers and reports
The USSR brings an end to repatriation: 29 June 1948
Soviet data
Czechoslovak data
The USSR definitively ends repatriation: 29 April 1949
Final meeting with Golubev
The Red Cross
Policy of repatriation and re-emigration in 1950
The end of the desk for repatriation from the USSR at the Czechoslovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs

2. The repatriation obligations of the USSR and international diplomacy
The initiative of the governments of the USA, Great Britain and Australia
Viliam Široký’s documentation for the General Assembly of the United Nations
The British note of 14 July 1950

3. The return to Czechoslovakia of deportees and prisoners from the USSR after the official termination of repatriation
Twenty-six prisoners-of-war and internees
The case of the inhabitants of Nižný Medzev
Other repatriations, interventions and ethnicity issues
Exchange of Czechoslovak passports in 1951
Repatriation following the death of Stalin
The repatriation of a Hungarian prisoner-of-war in 2000

4. Other dimensions of repatriation diplomacy
The Volhynian Czechs
Other repatriation agenda
The categories of persons applying for resettlement in Czechoslovakia



1. Circumstances of deportation
Decisions made at the highest Soviet levels about deportations
Red Army procedures in interning civilians
The social impact of the deportations
Lists of the deported
Professions and ages of the deportees, according to the lists
Could the deportations have been avoided?

2. Personal stories of deported civilians
Written sources and oral history
The case of Gejza Pásztor
MUDr. Viktor Fiedler
The inhabitants of Veľký Blh
Deportation of the inhabitants of Hrhov
The case of Rudolf Stybar of Košice
Chmeľnica u Staré Ľubovně
Stará Ľubovňa
Further collective initiatives by Slovak women and the search for influential interventions
The case of Ján Antal
The death of Vladimír Tomiška
Other examples

3. Prisoners-of-war, auxiliary help and the Levente
The men from the parish of Zeleneč
More intervention initiatives
Students from Banská Bystrica and Zvolen, and the case of Dušan Slobodník


1. The deportation of émigrés from Russia and Ukraine and the forced repatriation of Soviet citizens
Breakdown of deportations by territory
Four waves of Russian and Ukrainian émigrés
The deportations of Russian and Ukrainian anti-Bolshevik émigrés
Soviet citizens with Czechoslovak husbands
Forced repatriation to the USSR
Three forced repatriations as an example
1949: A ban on marriages and on obtaining Czechoslovak citizenship
Did the Czechoslovak Government intervene?
Interventions considered politically inappropriate and releases unjustified
Interventions against the activities of Russian and Ukrainian institutions in Prague
Was there a failure of Czechoslovak diplomacy?

Excursus: Camps for White Émigrés - especially dangerous criminals
Regulation no. 416-159 (top secret) of the Council of Ministers of the USSR of 21 February 1948
Instructions about the regime for prisoners in special camps of the MVD of the USSR

2. Subcarpathian Rus and Transcarpathian Ukraine
The constitutional position and the right to an option
Deadline for the option and resettlement
Deportations from Subcarpathian Rus

3. Czechoslovak Silesia: Teschen and the Hlučín and Kravaře regions
Some life stories


1. The beginnings of rehabilitation and the redressing of wrongs at the federal level
Act No. 119/1990 Coll. on judicial rehabilitation and Act No. 87/1991 Coll. on extrajudicial rehabilitation
The initiative of the Slovak Helsinki Committee in 1990
Parliamentary questions
Decree by President of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev and steps taken by the Attorney General of the Czechoslovak Federal Republic

2. The legalisation of compensation in Slovakia
11 July 1991: Act of the Slovak National Council No. 319/1991 Coll.
Registration of the Centre of the Confederation of Political Prisoners, SANO and the bulletin Návraty
Processing compensation in Slovakia

3. Compensation in the Czech Republic
An open letter from Vladimír Bystrov to the Czech National Council and the establishment of the They were the First Committee
Agenda of deportation under the Attorney General, Ministry of Justice and Ministry of the Interior: 1993-2001
Initiatives of the They were the First Committee and the path to the enactment of compensation: 1995-2002
9 April 2002: Act no. 172 concerning compensation for persons abducted to the USSR or to camps run by the USSR in other states
Processing of compensation and the outcome


Appendix of documents relating to Czechoslovak-Soviet repatriation negotiations
Agreement concerning the relationship between the Czechoslovak administration and the Soviet High Command after the entry of Soviet troops on Czechoslovak territory
List of production camps of the NKVD for prisoners-of-war and internees with an indication of their maximum capacity
List of infirmary camps of the NKVD for prisoners-of-war and internees with an indication of their maximum capacity
The activities of the UPVI-GUPVI of the Ministy of the Interior of the USSR and its peripheral organs at the time of the Great Patriotic war 1941-1945
The documentary value of selected sources of the UPVI, and an analysis

Appendix of documents relating to teh official termination of repatriation
TASS report on the repatriation of German prisoners-of-war, 4 January 1949
TASS Report on the declaration of the Information Office of the Soviet Military Administration in Germany, 10 January 1949
TASS report about the termination of the repatriation of German prisoners-of-war from the Soviet Union, 5 May 1950
Resolution approved by the Bundestag of the German Federal Republic, 5 May 1950
Note addressed by the Embassy of the United Kingdom in Moscow to the Soviet Government of 14 July 1950 concerning the repatriation of German prisoners of war
United Nations General Asembly, Fifth session, August 28, 1950, A/1339: Failure of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to repatriate or otherwise account for prisoners of war detained in Soviet territory

Appendix to the chapter DEPORTATIONS FROM SLOVAKIA
Survey of repatriation in Slovakia according to districts up to 31 January 1948


1. The number of Czechoslovak citizens deported and the number repatriated at the end of World War II and in the post-war period: estimates in publications
Number of deportees and of repatriates from Slovakia
Number of deported and repatriated from the territory of today’s Czech Republic
Entire number of Czechoslovak citizens in the Gulag
Comparison with deportations from Poland and from Hungary

2. Persecution of persons from the territory of Czechoslovakia in the Soviet Union: overall estimate
Emigration up to 1939
Emigration after 1939
Deportation of civilians from Czechoslovak territory at the end of World War II and after the end of the war
Persecuted Czechoslovak citizens from the territory of Czechoslovakia, including the minorities in the USSR
Persecution of Czechoslovak citizens from the territory of today’s Czech Republic



SUMMARY (Russian)

"Polišenská při výzkumu využila metody orální historie, vzpomínky některých deportovaných byly publikovány v rámci obsažnějších pamětí. Oproti původnímu textu nyní doplnila seznam literatury. Monografie je vybavena bohatým poznámkovým aparátem, seznamem literatury, jmenným rejstříkem. Je cenné, že autorka do knihy vložila obsáhlou dokumentační přílohu. Některé z dokumentů jsou přeloženy do angličtiny. Monografie představuje významný příspěvek ve výzkumu zločinného mechanismu sovětského stalinského systému v mezinárodním srovnání."
"Overall, this is a highly important contribution to scholarship on Soviet relations with those East Central European states that became Communist party dictatorships and on the continued tragic consequences of the war in the early post-World War II era."