Bedřich Reicin

Bedřich Reicin

Bedřich Reicin (September 29, 1911 in Plzeň - December 3, 1952 in Pankrác Prison in Prague) was a Czechoslovak army officer and politician.

Reicin was born into a poor Jewish family - his birth name was Reinzinger, sometimes written as Reicinger. He studied at a gymnasium, later at a business college from which he was expelled after discovery of his activism for the communist party. In 1930s Reicin became functionary of a communist youth organizations and contributor of the party newspaper Rudé Právo. After occupation of Czechoslovakia by Nazi Germany (1939) he was imprisoned by Gestapo but released after seven months and in 1940 he managed to flee into the Soviet Union. Here he worked as a radio propagandist. After attack of Germany on Soviet Union he was interned (as were many people having Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia citizenship). In February 1942 he joined the newly formed First Czechoslovak Army Corps and soon became propaganda officer here. In 1945 Reicin was named the head of counter-intelligence service of the corps and held similar role after the war. During 1948 - 1951 Reicin served as the Deputy Minister of Defense, responsible for army personnel management. In 1948 obtained rank of brigade general ("brigádní general") , in 1950 rank of division general ("divizní generál") . During and after the war Reicin always promoted interests of the communist party in the army. After February 1948 he organized mass purges of officers felt not enough loyal to the new regime - including flying ace František Peřina. His behind-the-scene work made him very powerful in the military and political hierarchy. Alexej Čepička, since 1950 the Minister of Defense, felt threatened by Reicin and conspired against him. In February 1951 Reicin and many of his coworkers were imprisoned. Reicin was selected for participation in the Slánský Trial and for year and half prepared and tortured to fit the role. One of the accusations was handing Julius Fučík (a communist journalist) over to Gestapo, a technical impossibility since Reicin was already in the Soviet Union at this time. At the Trial Reicin and ten others were sentenced to death and hanged in Pankrác Prison.

External links

* [ Very short biography] (in Czech)
* [ More detailed biography] (PDF, [ HTML version] , in Czech)
* [ Military intelligence in Czechoslovakia 1945-48] (covers role of Reicin)

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