Václav Morávek

Václav Morávek

Brigadier General Václav Morávek (August 8 1904, Kolín - March 21 1942, Prague) was Czechoslovak soldier and national hero, one of most known personalities of Czech antinazi rezistance and member of famous resistance group called "Three Kings".

He was champion of Czechoslovak Army in pistol shooting (widely known is his personal motto in time of war: "I believe in God and in my pistols") and commanded Artillery battery in Olomouc with rank of Staff Captain during the first Czechoslovak Republic. Being demobilised after German occupation of Czechoslovakia, he worked as a clerk at Labour Office in Kolín.

In Summer 1939, he participated in founding of Obrana národa (Defense of the Nation), a resistance group made up of former Czechoslovak soldiers. Morávek was (together with Josef Mašín and Josef Balabán) a member of a group whose main tasks were keeping the contacts with Paul Thümmel (considered to be most important Czechoslovak agent among Nazi apparatus, his codename was A-54) maintaining radio connections with London-based Czechoslovak Government-in-exile and sabotages. The trio was later nicknamed "Three Kings" (in Czech "Tři králové").

Morávek was known for his foolhardy nature and daring actions. Among these, most famous are his repeated personal colportage of illegal press to Prague Gestapo office and his deliberate face-to-face meeting with Oskar Fleischer (who at that time headed a special Gestapo team that was hunting the "Three Kings"), which Morávek subsequently described in a detailed letter sent to Fleischer's superior. Once, when returning from Yugoslavia with explosives in his luggage, he was checked by a German policeman at Prague railway station - when asked, Morávek cold-bloodedly responded that "what may look like some explosives to you, are in fact ordinary sonds for centrifuges" [ [http://www.reflex.cz/Clanek21880.html KAŠPAR Lukáš: "Václav Morávek" article in Reflex magazine 46/2005] ] and was let to go.

The most visible sabotages carried out by the "Three Kings" were two bomb attacks carried out in Berlin: one in January 1941 against the Ministry of Air Travel and police headquarters and second in the Berlin-Anhalt rail station next month, intended to kill Heinrich Himmler (whose train was unexpectedly delayed). In April and May 1941 respectively, Balabán and Mašín were arrested, but Morávek had been eluding luckily for another ten months. He died in a gunfight with agents of Gestapo while he tried to help his colleague Václav Řehák, whom the Gestapo arrested shortly before.

On 8 May 2005 he was promoted to Brigadier General "in memoriam".

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