A Cardboard Castle? An Inside History of the Warsaw Pact, 1955-1991

By Vojtech Mastny; Malcolm Byrne | Go to book overview

Document No. 26: Czechoslovak Drafts of Orders
and Appeals to be Issued in Occupied Western
European Territories, June 29, 1964

Part of the planning for war entailed what to do after the immediate fighting had sub- sided. These annexes to Czechoslovak planning materials include drafts of orders and public appeals that would be issued in parts of Western Europe after their occupation by Warsaw Pact forces. For example, the order of the commander of victorious forces in Germany called for treating citizens and prisoners humanely. Leaflets in the form of safe- conduct passes were to be dropped over NATO-held territories to encourage enemy sold- iers to desert. A specific appeal to French soldiers, included here, provides an example.

a) Order of the Commander of the Western Front

Political Directorate of the Western Front Special Propaganda Department July 2, 1964

Re: Draft of Order of the Commander of the Western Front On Soldiers' Conduct towards Population of the Liberated Territories and on Principles of Treatment of POWs Order of the Commander of the Western Front

Every Czechoslovak soldier must be aware of the fact that he is a soldier of a socialist army, which wages a just war for the defense of his socialist country. Our aim is not to subdue other nations, to seed fear and panic among the population, but to annihilate imperialism and to bring real freedom to the nations, which imperialism has brought into this hopeless war against us.

I order (therefore) all members of the Czechoslovak People's Army fighting on enemy territory:

To maintain the basic principles of socialist humanism, as well as the internationally valid practices stipulated by the Geneva Convention, to maintain humanitarian treatment of those who do not take a direct part in combat actions and of those who lay down their arms or have been neutralized in the fight by illness or injuries, as well as to comply with the demands of human dignity.

1. To maintain extraordinary vigilance and alertness, to intervene severely against those soldiers who would trespass it. To impede the activities of revanchist18 elem-

18 A derogatory communist term, imputing West German intent to regain by force the territories lost in Eastern Europe after World War II, much as the French, who had originally coined the term, had intended to regain the territories of Alsace and Loraine, which they had lost to Germany in the war of 1870–71.

-157-

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