News | April 29, 2022

World War II leader remembered as relentless in pursuit of freedom

By DIA Public Affairs

Unwavering in the pursuit of freedom during World War II, Brig. Gen. František “Frank” Moravec will finally return to his homeland, the Czech Republic, 56 years after his death.

DIA Deputy Director Suzanne White was among approximately 50 attendees from the United States and the Czech Republic who paid tribute to the life and legacy of Moravec at a dignified transfer ceremony held April 25 at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.

Among his many exploits, Moravec was instrumental in the execution of Operation Anthropoid. The operation, which occurred 80 years ago, led to the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, a top Nazi leader known as the “Butcher of Prague.”

Representing the U.S. Department of Defense and Intelligence Community, White remarked that “General Moravec’s stalwart defense of what is right and good about humanity is part of the reason all of us here today are able to live our lives in peace and freedom.”

Born in Caslav, Czech Republic, in 1895, Moravec was forced into exile to Great Britain when Nazis invaded his homeland during World War II. He returned after playing an instrumental role in the defeat of the Nazis, only to leave again when a coup d’état brought the tyranny of Soviet communism upon what was then Czechoslovakia.

In 1948, Moravec settled in the United States and served as an intelligence advisor in the Department of Defense, never giving up the fight for freedom. He died in 1966, with the desire that his remains eventually return to his homeland.

 “The U.S. has a strong relationship with the Czech Republic, deeply rooted in our mutual regard for freedom and the rule of law,” said White. “The United States, the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community are forever grateful to Gen. Moravec for his service to this Nation.”

Moravec’s impact on history, and to U.S.-Czech relations, was also highlighted by Brig. Gen. Ales Knizek, head of the Czech Republic Military History Institute.

 “The symbolic transfer of Moravec’s remains presents itself as the best example of understanding friendships between the Czech Republic and the United States,” said Knizek.

In attendance at the ceremony from Moravec’s family were his granddaughter, grandson and great granddaughter.