Skip to comments.World War II veteran General Tomáš Sedláček dies aged 94
Posted on 08/30/2012 3:26:19 AM PDT by iowamark
General Tomá Sedláček, a World War II veteran who spent nine years in communist jails, died on Monday aged 94. A respected soldier, he fought both on the western and eastern fronts of the war before landing a life sentence by Czechoslovakias communist court. But his faith in freedom and democracy never waivered, and after 1989, he took up the cause of those who suffered under communism.
A military career seemed to be on the cards for Tomá Sedláček from an early age: born in Vienna in 1918 into a family of an army officer, he left school at sixteen to enrol in an officer training course. By the autumn of 1938, under threat from Nazi occupation, the young lieutenant participated in the mobilisation of the Czechoslovak army as he recalled in a 2010 interview for Czech TV.
Im glad that I took part in the mobilization and that I could experience the nations last effort to hold on to freedom, and its readiness to defend it. When the Munich agreement came and then the occupation, it was a huge blow for us. But looking at it in retrospect, knowing what happened in Poland in France, I think fighting against Germany would have been a gesture of non-surrender but the consequences would have been terrible.
After the Nazi occupation of his country, Sedláček fled to France and later to England, where he served in the Czech exile forces before being transferred to the Eastern front where he saw some of the heaviest fighting in the Dukla Pass. He was then dropped behind enemy lines to assist the Slovak National Uprising.
After the war, Sedláček continued his military career and took a teaching post at the military academy in Prague. But in 1951, he was tried and convicted of high treason and espionage in a show trial.
When I heard the sentence at the show trial, I had to laugh. It was so incredibly absurd that I couldnt take it seriously. But it was indeed serious. I was sentenced along with one of my subordinates, Josef Kučera. Unfortunately, the prosecutor appealed his verdict and he got the rope. I only caught a glimpse of him later before he was executed.
Sedláček himself served nine years in prisons and labour camps. After his release he worked in various jobs until his rehabilitation in 1989. He later became involved in the post-communist justice campaigns of the Confederation of Political Prisoners, always speaking out for the need for justice and remembrance. But he said he did not feel hatred for his jailors.
I said this before I despise those people. What we want is the court to say this man did this. We dont care if they are given two years in jail or just a suspended sentence. I say that as long as we breathe, it is our duty towards those who died in the camps or were executed to speak out and say, it has happened once and there is no guarantee it cant happen again. People should realize that the freedom that we enjoy so naturally was gained at huge sacrifice and hardship, and that we have to cultivate our freedom and not forget. Not forget thats the important thing.
Those that knew him have described him as quiet and modest. He took the time to give thoughtful interviews and speak out about his past until the very end of his life. President Vaclav Klaus, who awarded him the Order of Tomá Garrigue Masaryk, described him on Monday as a true soldier.
It’s hard not to admire Czech freedom fighters, from any era.
Just one of those people “in a far-away country ... of whom we know nothing”
His words strike me as a call for vengenance, and as the Mahatma said, an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind. I do like the fact that the Estonians are removing Soviet era monuments to the Red Army, who were more oppressive than the Nazis, but, at the same time, not seeking to avenge every wrong from the Communist era.
Most Americans have no appreciation for the brutality and cruelty of
Soviet Russian occupation of eastern Europe.
USSR code word for E. European suppession: NORMALIZED. Sound so strangley similar to the drum-beat from Obama’s class warfare hacks.
Would have liked to have known General Tomas Sedlacek. Czech Patriot.
It is incredible that the Commies Bastards tried him for high Treason after the war. Consequences of the betrayal of many allies at the Yalta Accord.
What will we do to those who are actively trying to overthrow this nation?
Sounds like an amazingly brave and selfless man.There are so few like him who are left in Europe....and here for that matter.
There are plenty of patriot in the USA . MSM is the problem.
There are plenty of patriots in the USA . MSM is the problem.
I think of the brave Czechs who parachuted into Prague to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich.
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