Josef Pavel

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Josef Pavel (1968)

Josef Pavel (born September 18, 1908 in Novosedly, today a district of Dívčice ; † April 9, 1973 in Benešov ) was a functionary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia , a Czechoslovak politician and Minister of the Interior in 1968.

Party career

Pavel joined the Communist Party in 1932. After studying at the International Lenin School in Moscow from 1935 to 1937, he reported to Spain as an interbrigadist, where he fought from 1937 to 1939. He was then imprisoned for four years and joined the units of the Czechoslovak Army of the Czechoslovak government in exile , in which he fought on the Western Front from 1943 to 1945.

He began his party career after the end of the war as secretary of the party committees in Aussig and Pilsen until he came to Prague in 1947. He initially worked in the Security Department of the Central Committee Secretariat and his task was to prepare for the eventual takeover in February 1948 by infiltrating the units of the Security Police which he organized and built up; during the days of the coup he was a leading member of the party 's popular militias . In his capacity as deputy minister of the interior and organizer of the State Security Service, he played a key role in the development of the totalitarian state, including the establishment of such institutions as the Mírov prison for political prisoners.

In February 1951, however, Pavel - like many other communist functionaries - was arrested and held in the Leopoldov Prison until 1955 , when he was rehabilitated.

Pavel did not return to political life until the Prague Spring . On April 8, 1968 he was appointed the new Minister of the Interior of the Oldřich Černík government as the successor to the recalled Josef Kudrna . Right at the beginning of his short term in office, he took a number of unique measures that put him in a bad light in the eyes of the Soviet leadership. He initiated extensive reforms of the entire department, including a reform of the defense service , which was supposed to take over its actual task of defending against external threats instead of forcing the fight against the so-called “internal class enemy”. The activities of the State Security Service that he classified as illegal should also be stopped; In the eyes of the Soviet leadership, Pavel made this service incapable of acting. Pavel also pushed through numerous personnel changes in the secret service without first coordinating these with the Soviet secret service KGB , as was customary until then . His reforms were also controversial within the Czech party leadership, which he placed as a deputy Dubček friend and KGB employee Viliam Šalgovič aside.

After Pavel refused to endorse the Warsaw Pact's intervention in August 1968 , his removal as Minister of the Interior in Moscow was cited as a condition, which happened on August 30, 1968.


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Also mentioned earlier April 10, 1973 , Prague