Vojtěch Klečka

* 1921  †︎ 2012

  • "Some other things were in the violin case. I was thinking that if someone were to ask me to open it, they wouldn´t believe what they would see. Those were small, rather funny things we had to invent to be able to get through the rough times. I'm very proud of myself that I didn´t have a single person that I was taking care of who would fail."

  • "Rote Kapelle (The Red band - translator´s note) was one of the most famous espionage groups and I worked for them basically as a errand-boy. I was putting myself into great danger by doing that of course, but compared to what they were doing, it was nothing...I just held this or brought that and delivered this and that was actually it."

  • "Imagine that you have everyone ready to cross the border and all of a sudden you hear on the radio that the head agent of the Czechoslovak intelligent service has been arrested and it is Vojtěch Klečka. Now - is it a provoking maneuver or what? Jesus! I went to Luleč right away, my dad, and he told me: ´ Those who believe you, will be just fine and those who don´t believe you, will pay for it.´ The truth is, they believed me."

  • "On Friday, June 17th we arrived in Prague on platform no.5. Policemen in uniforms and policemen wearing civil clothes were all over the place. I was thinking: ´Oh boy, that´s strange.´ I was following my colleague with his girlfriend from about eight meters when I saw him being arrested. Then all of a sudden his girlfriend turned around and pointed her finger at me."

  • "My name is Vojtěch Klečka. I was born on February 17th 1921. I´d like to say that I come from Luleč u Vyškova village and I´m the third child of my parents. My brother was four years older and my sister was one year older than me. I have actually ruined my mom´s life, because after I was born she suffered from the Spainish flu. The first three or four years she was able to do something, but after that she laid down and she stayed in her bed for twelve years and was dying slowly, because her heart was so strong. Although we loved her so much we wished for her to go, because her suffering was without tears, yet very enormous."

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Praha - Smíchov, 22.04.2010

    duration: 02:54:03
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

Who cares about my brother?

DSC02697.JPG (historic)
Vojtěch Klečka
photo: Dobové: Vězeňské foto, Současné: 22.4.2010, autor Luděk Jirka

Mr. Vojtěch Klečka was born on February 17th 1921 in Luleč village in Vyškov region. He was one of three children. His mom, who was seriously sick, died before the war began. Through his brother’s advice, he became a member of one of the most successful espionage nets operating against Nazis - the Soviet Red Band. Thanks to his job as a waiter on the Mitropa trains operating between Germany and Austria to the Protectorate he functioned in the spy net as a connector. He transported important materials, documents or even weapons. In 1943 he got arrested by Gestapo agents, but he managed to escape. After that he was forced to hide under fake ID documents. After the war he cut ties with his brother. Vojtěch fought against the communists (he wasn´t aware of who he was working for during the war) and his brother František remained a communist supporter. By 1948, he had married, and Vojtěch Klečka decided to organize the illegal transfer of emigrants to the West. He performed his job in the Bohemian Forest (Šumava). In the mean time his brother worked as a chief agent of the Czechoslovak Intelligence service; he was caught in West Germany. Vojtěch Klečka received a message about his brother´s arrest and via the Bohemia Forest he came to the CIC. From there he was transported to Nuremberg where his brother František was held at that time. Here Vojtěch Klečka became a CIC agent and returned back to Czechoslovakia to fulfill his espionage tasks as an agent - walker accompanied by Miroslav Dvořáček. He (and also his colleagues’ from CIC) moved to the German town Lambach. He was successfully transferring emigrants until June 17th 1949, when he got caught along with a Belgian agent in the main train station in Prague. After a short custody he was sentenced to death on November 16th 1950. However, his verdict was changed later to “life imprisonment” through the merits of his anti-Nazi resistance activities. He was serving his sentence in Bory prison, in Ruzyně prison, in Leopoldov, in Pankrác, in Jáchymov and in Bytíz prisons. As he said, it was extremely difficult to gain some trust in the jail, because his brother was still being held in West Germany prison while Vojtěch Klečka himself was supposed to be a spy of the Western services which have detained his brother. With the help of an eleven day hunger strike he got out of Leopoldov and after some complications he got to Bytíz prison. He was release after fourteen years in 1963. He couldn´t find a steady job for a long time. He graduated from the Hotel school and at the end he found himself a job as the watcher in the National Theater. He retired in 1988. Currently he lives in Prague and to his life story he adds: ´The very best years that I was looking forward to - to be raising my sons, I spent in jail.´ He died on June 26th 2012 in Prague.