State Security Investigation Administration

1948 – 1953

The main role in the preparation of major political trials was played by investigators from the Central State Security Service, which was established at the recommendation of Soviet advisers as a unit separate from the so-called operative section. Its origins were connected to the vast arrests of enemies of the regime (real and supposed) and the subsequent preparation of major political trials.

The organisational structure of the StB's investigation unit changed many times. Initially, investigation fell under Sector V ("implementation") in the Baa group ("internal security"). This independent unit, which had four departments in total, was led from November 1948 by Dr Lumír Kroček.

Two features were characteristic of new investigators: they were mostly young, and played fast and loose with the law or did not know it at all. Most of them had little or no formal schooling. Workers' cadres (locksmiths, turners, car mechanics and varnishers) predominated, but there was also a textile salesman, a carpenter, a tailor, an auxiliary worker, a joiner, an electrician, a plumber and a handyman. Only a few of them went to a real grammar school, some of them did not complete college. A notable exception was the first commander of the Investigative Sector, Lt. Col. Lumír Kroček, who graduated in the 1930s and was formerly a judge. Of course, in the use of brutal methods of interrogation and detention, former apprentices, grammar school or college students did not differ at all. The primary objective was to break the suspect and extract testimony that was predetermined and often the only evidence against him.

In the autumn of 1949, after the arrival of Karel Šváb to the Ministry of the Interior, an accelerated adaptation of the Ruzyně Prison began, where an investigative apparatus was built under his supervision. Another prison facility was set up in the basement of a building in Wintrová Street during this period. In April 1950, Sector V established a separate department at the Regional Headquarters of the StB in Prague at Bartolomějská Street no. 10. These were rooms where "prominent" prisoners were interrogated.

After the establishment of the National Security Ministry in the autumn of 1950, a new reorganisation took place. The Investigation Unit within the StB Headquarters (now known as Sector VI) was supposed to have 84 people, which was not met. It was again headed by Lt. Col. Lumír Kroček and consisted of a secretariat, four investigative departments, the fifth inspection department, a separate expert department, and an auxiliary department. On 17 February 1951, however, the StB Investigative Sector was divided into two separate departments, Sector VI/A and Sector VI/B, headed by Kroček's deputies, Staff Captain Bohumil Doubek and Staff Captain Milan Moučka. The first focused on investigating "enemies" in the Communist Party and prepared the scenario of the trial of the General Secretary of the Communist Party Rudolf Slánský and other former party officials (the second sector was also involved in investigating this case). In June 1952, following another reorganisation, two departments (VI/A and VI/B) of the StB's Central Administration were formed from these sectors. From these departments, on 1 April 1953, a State Security Investigation Administration, headed by Lieutenant Colonel Milan Moučka, was established. The main organisational change was that this unit was no longer subordinated to the Chief of Staff of the StB's Central Administration.

1953 – 1989

From 1953 to 1989, the Investigation Administration of the Ministry of the Interior, later the StB Investigation Administration, was a unit of the National Security Corps (SNB) – a State Security unit that investigated crimes against state security. In matters of investigation it was subordinated to the Investigation departments of the StB of the regional administrations of the SNB and the StB Investigation Department of the Military Counterintelligence. In the implementation of its tasks, it cooperated mainly with the General Prosecutor's Office of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, law enforcement authorities and state administration bodies and organisations. The operations of the StB Investigation Administration were based on the Communist Constitution and other laws and regulations. In addition to these standards, its activities were guided by the orders of the Minister of the Interior of Czechoslovakia and his deputy, as well as other internal regulations.

The StB investigators were process-independent, and questions of investigative methods and tactics were handled by the chiefs of the investigative units.

The choice of members of the SNB consistently focused on their social origin. Between 1976 and 1980, 93.2% of new members of the SNB were admitted from communist, worker and peasant families. Of these, 72.3% came from workers' professions and 8.3% had a university degree. Members of the Communist Party were 95% of all SNB members, members of Socialist Youth Union 3.6% and non-members only 1.4%. The number of chiefs in the SNB with university education was 25.9%.

1975 – 1980

Departments of the StB Investigation Administration, which investigated crimes in 1975 ­– 1980:

  • Department I – specialised in investigating crimes against the foundations of the republic (Sections 91 – 94 Criminal Code), spying and related crimes; also investigated offences along the lines of internal issues. 
  • Department II – specialised in investigating sabotage (Sections 95 – 97 Criminal Code) and economic crimes; it also documented and investigated crimes committed in 1938 – 1945 for the benefit of the Fascist occupiers and ensured the criminal sanction of these offenders abroad. 
  • Department III – carried out investigations of criminal offences within the entire scope of the StB's investigators in connection with the activities of the counterintelligence administration in Bratislava. Through relevant officials, it fulfilled information functions in relation to the party and state bodies of the Slovak Socialist Republic, in particular by preparing comprehensive information on state security investigations in the required extent.

The First, Second and Third departments also:

  • undertook, according to the instructions of the chief of the StB Investigation Administration and his deputies, the investigation of serious cases at the StB KS SNB, directed their investigations and, if appropriate, participated in them;
  • proposed or, where appropriate, implemented preventive measures resulting from the findings of a State Security investigation 
  • cooperated with the relevant counterintelligence and other SNB departments, assisted them in resolving legal and factual issues and documentation in counterintelligence work; at the stage of the State Security investigation, they ensured the interests of counterintelligence; 
  • cooperated in specific criminal cases with other investigative units; 
  • fulfilled tasks resulting from the statistical records and service reports, and evaluated the results of their own investigation work. 

Between 1976 and 1980, the StB and the Military Counterintelligence conducted investigations against 12,025 people, whereas 10,147 people accused. Most of the 8,670 persons were investigated, of which 7,739 (76.27%) were accused under Section 109 – leaving the republic, or for the intention to leave the republic (10.93%). A total of 187 people (1.84%) were accused of having fled abroad (Section 283). In the period between 1976 and 1980, the StB Investigation Administration terminated criminal prosecution for crimes against the Czechoslovak economy of 279 people, of whom 190 by a motion to file charges. The majority of people (87) were prosecuted for foreign exchange crimes (mainly under Sections 124 and 146 of the Criminal Code) and 41 persons for economic crimes (Sections 125 – 130 of the Criminal Code). The purge of right-wing opportunist and anti-socialist elements in the armed forces continued, and 182 were released into reserves and 74 faced other cadre measures. The search for clues about the intention or preparations for defection to the free world improved. During that period, a total of 828 signals were received about the intention to run to Western Europe. The escape of 313 people was prevented and StB investigations were initiated against 251 people. At the same time, the StB launched educational measures, which aimed to "prevent the commission of state security crimes and to prevent crimes against the Czechoslovak economy", and 5,856 attempts were thwarted. These measures were used against almost 1,700 members of the intelligentsia, about 1,650 labourers and workers in agriculture, about 700 "antisocialist elements", and against visa-holding foreigners, church and clergy. Of the number of people against whom prevention was used, there were 493 members and candidates of the Communist Party, 118 members of the Socialist Youth Union. In attempts to escape to the West in the given period four Czechoslovak aircraft were hijacked. In addition to successful hijackings, there were 72 failed attempts to hijack aircraft, which implicated 157 people, 42 of whom were given unconditional sentences.

Overview of StB investigations in 1976 – 1980 by classification of criminal offence (number of cases)

Basic tasks and activities:

The StB Investigation Administration contributed to the protection of the socialist social and state system by fulfilling these basic tasks in particular:

  1. ensuring the uniform execution of state security investigation on the whole territory of Czechoslovakia;
  2. managing, controlling and providing methodological assistance → StB Department of Investigation of the SNB Regional Administration;
  3. preparing the overall concept of state security investigation;
  4. investigating crimes against state security, while cooperating with the SNB departments and other law enforcement authorities;
  5. documenting and investigating crimes committed in 1938 – 1945 for the benefit of the Fascist occupiers;
  6. based on the findings of investigations, designing and implementing preventive measures, detecting and helping eliminate the causes and conditions of crime, and cooperating in educating citizens to comply with the law;
  7. issuing methodological instructions and guidelines and participating in the drafting of legislation relevant to investigation;
  8. cooperating with SNB departments and the Federal Ministry of the Interior to provide security tasks, especially counterintelligence;
  9. cooperating on the basis of relevant international treaties with the security authorities of the socialist states in matters of state security investigations;
  10. creating the necessary prerequisites for the efficient operation of the StB investigation services, in particular by increasing the political and professional level of its members;
  11. informing the head functionaries of the Federal Ministry of the Interior about the state of the state security investigation and preparing documents for the Federal Ministry of the Interior in relation to the central party and state authorities;
  12. performing general tasks of a security nature resulting from its position as a unit of the SNB.

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