“Stones” – tragic show of Communism in Czechoslovakia
Operation STONES (Akce KAMENY): was the tragic show of Communism in Czechoslovakia
What was it about?
From details of a Czechoslovak intelligence service (StB — Státní bezpečnost) we know about the scheme known as Operation STONES (Akce KAMENY), which used agent provocateurs to not only imprison, arrest and also execute potential escapees from Communistic Czechoslovakia, but also for stealing something wealthy from the victims. The name STONES referred to the large stone markers that were used to identify the German-Czech border. For this reason this name was used for this tragic operation.
This scheme involved a false German-Czechoslovak border post, in which the Representatives of the Czechoslovak State Security Police (S.N.B.), who were dressed in full uniform with insignia of officers of the United States Army, have been conducting an office in the house on Czechoslovak territory in the western part of the village of Vseruby. So these representatives sat behind a desk on which there was displayed a bottle of American whiskey, packages of American cigarettes and a small American flag. On the wall behind their desk were a large American flag and some pictures of Presidents Truman and Roosevelt.
How it worked?
The false border station was made after 1948. In general, the scheme worked in this way. Previously identified wealthy people were approached by agent provocateurs and were told they were about to be arrested by the secret police. To avoid this action they ought to leave their nation immediately and take their possessions with them. They were taken at night to a “border” with stone markings. They believed they were at the border. They would then cross on foot, when they would be met by StB agents pretending to be West German border guards. From there, the victims would be brought to the house described in the U.S. protest note. Believing they were in the care of the American military.
A track_ The victims would answer questions about their lives, their relatives and contacts, and other information. This would be reduced in writing in the form of an official protocol and signed by them.
After a certain period of time, the victims would be told that their asylum request would be further processed at a nearby refugee camp. They left the border point with the protocol and headed to what they thought would be the refugee camp. Their personal items and valuables were left there. Then, instead of meeting West German border guards, the victims met Czech border guards which arrested them. The victims returned to Prague to the face trial, imprisonment or death. The evidence against them was the protocol they had signed. Some of the victims were sent to work in the uranium mines and certain death.