Nezavisle ceske elektronicke noviny
zima * 2006 .
ISSN 1093-2887 .
When on June 30th, 1990 the AFCR (American Fund for Czechoslovak Refugees) terminated its existence, there was left $1 912 881 cash and this article will try to explain to where these money disappeared? (Actually from accounting point it is $3 342 460 as will be explained later in more details.)
We know to where: (paid by the American Fund for Czechoslovak Relief)
Nothing for the purpose of help to Czechoslovak Refugees
but all to a distinctly different purpose such as
a gift of $87 500 to the cs. paper Mosty,
a gift of $21 300 to the cs. magazine Pritomnost,
a gift of $20 000 to the cs. monthly magazine Cs. dialog,
a gift of $12 000 to the NYU/extension Prague KU [prof. Fryscak-Pehe],
a gift of $41 000 to the Columbia University
and nearly another more than a half million ($677 473) having nothing in common with help to the refugees from the Czech or Slovak Republic.
Organizations that continue to protect interest of the refugees, refugee newspapers, magazines, newsletter, return of property stolen by communists, citizenship, right to vote, repatriation, human rights and similar refugee's interest, received whit - nothing.
Founder Jan Papanek with his wife Betty:
In the United State both, Jan Papanek and his wife "Betty" (Elizabeth) were much more known and established than in the Czechoslovakia. My wife Eleanor (Podhajsky) is remembering how her mother Anna (Dekanek/Podhajsky) was taking her during the war on the working sessions of the Red Cross personally supervised by Alice Masaryk and "Betty" Papanek.
Jan Papanek, after departure of President Edvard Benes to London, became his representative in the U. S. and Director of the Czechoslovak Information Service in New York.
UN Security Council: March 1948: CSR Ambassador Jan Papanek is protesting the Communist Cup and taking over Czechoslovakia.
So after the February (1948) communist putsch taking over the Czechoslovakia, it was not just that Papanek was the first diplomat, ambassador to the United Nations, defecting from CSR, but because Papanek was well recognized in the U.S. and international personality, and remained as independent in the UN for many years
Establishment of the AFCR (American Fund for Czechoslovak Refugees)
Immediately after the February (1948) communist cup of Czechoslovakia, Jan Papanek began to organize help to all the refugees, but mainly to those anticommunist elected officials and anticommunist journalists escaping because of eminent prosecution. Together with the Editor of the Slovak Newyorsky Dennik (New York Daily) Andrew Valuska, YMCA director Brackett Lewis (whose wife was a Czech), attorney Milos Rehor and after-February (1948) refugee Rudolf Sturm, who was helping Papanek as an editor of the Czech Information Service in New York during the war, to finally establish on May 3rd, 1948 the AFCR
Jan Papanek resigned all his activity in January 1987 (at the age of 91 years), died 11/30/1991, 95 years old. His wife Betty lived till 11/30/1995; was 95 years old.
AFCR organization funded by the US State Dept.(Source HERE)
In time, the AFCR became a refugee organization helping to the US, other countries and the IRO (International Refugee Organization) and was, including its overseas offices, funded by the American taxpayer, roughly plus/minus one-and-half million annual cash flow. Later, also the AFCR was paid $192 or $158 for registration of each refugee.
Afterall, the AFCR was not as generous as uninformed person would believe. One refugee told me that upon emigrating to the US, he had an eminent need for funds and received less than one hundred Dollars from the AFCR but only as a loan and was shortly thereafter forced to pay it back to the AFCR.
Summarizing, (Source HERE)
the AFCR received over $23 millions of which loaned to refungees less than $3 millions.
Of the total $2 916 057 only 43.4% ($1 265 568) were paid back, the remaining collectible amount of $1 429 579 is an additional asset to the claimed net $1 912 881 making it total asset of $3 342 460.(Source HERE)
Jerabek's book: "CSR Refugees in the Cold War"HERE
Nearly three hundred pages of AFCR history (and some refugee-exile history) of its last president Vojtech Jerabek were not able to capture all the issues entirely. Interestingly, in his entire book, author Jerabek did not express any of his own, personal opinion, despite that he (Jerabek) is one of us (a true political refugee-exile) and his opinions are to some of us well known. I will not hesitate to say that Jerabek was "only a AFCR president", meaning a CEO (Chief Executive Officer) executing decision(s) of the Board of those having no right to divert the left over refugee `money to an entirely different purpose.
AFCR was actually funded by the US taxpayer
That my donation to the AFCR (one US $) was not entirely mine. Because the purpose, help to the political refugee from CSR, was approved by the US IRS, I was able to deduct it from my income, so that about the other portion of my donation was that of an American taxpayer and the Board has no right to form another organization and divert the (IRS approved) funds for an entirely different purpose. Even the US IRS has no authority to support foreign nations; that is a function of the U.S. legislature.
Gambling the entrusted funds away
Not only "the Board" diverted the funds designated for help to refugees, it gambled the funds for a political "greedy" venture when, during his first US visit in February 1990, brother of president, Ivan Havel founded the "Civic Forum Foundation" and spent $42 903 for advertising paid 50/50 by the AFCR and BBLA. Inasmuch as the November 17, 1989 TV show performance from the balcony of the Svobodne slovo, Melantrich, the show with keys and bells was watched by most of the Americans, they were not as na´ve as Ivan Havel & Co believed. Americans knew (in 1990) that the prime minister is communist Calfa, that in the parliament member of the Communist Central Committee Kraus quickly changed to the left, to the Soc-Dem and communist congressman Tlusty changed to right, to the ODS, and well known communist Rita Klimova became the Ambassador to the US, instead of expected millions, it was collected less that $25 000.
And so, while poor refugee was obligated to pay back on installments the less than hundred $, the speculators (the AFCR and the BBLA) were gambled his money away in thousands ($24 000).
Just return the money to the original purpose: Refugee's cause
I believe that all the money misappropriated and spent for other purpose than that for which was acquired, help for CSR refugee cause, and should be replenished by those who authorized it. None of the members of the Board of the new organization, the American Fund for CR Relief was elected, they placed their name and personality as the trustees to guarantee that the funds will not be misused. They bear now the responsibility to return them to the purpose for which it was acquired.
Addotonally there should be made a test whether there is or was conflict of interest between some of the Board member(s) and the organizations receibing the grant (refugee money) (see IRS Code 501(c)(3))
PS: It is necessary to remember that one of the first helping hands to refugees was established in Paris (in April 1948) known as Comite D'Aide Sociale aux Refugies Tchecoslovaques uder the leadership of ambassador Formanek with help of the RPF (Rassemlement Du People Francais) and also with help of the solialist minister Jules Moch as well. Former british parachutist and anti-communist member of the Czech parliament Antonin Bartos established the Czech Refugee Center in Hotel Maryska. Also very strong was the Federation of Free Czechoslovak Students in Paris headed by Jan Renner and Vaclav Hyvnar, in close cooperation with the RPF Student Section of LePen, Jacques Chirac, Jean De Preaumont and their president Pierre Dumas. Free newspaper edited by Josef Schrabal was printed and distributed by the RPF. That time (1948-49) the action (including the U.N. and Papanek) was in Paris. See the New York Herald HERE.
Student magazine edited by Josef Schrabal, in no. 4 of July 14, 1949, reported that American benevolent organization, the American Fund for Czechoslovak Refugees donated to students in France substantial help of $150.
In Holand it was Stanislav Vesely, also with a hockeyplayer Igor Korolkov and Rene Synek organizing help/
There was also organized help in Vienna and in Italy.
Additionally, in January 1990 regional chairman Vladislav Slavik founded (as an annex to Sokol, New York) a "Coordination Committee for Collaboration with Czechoslovakia" and shortly after he gave his chairmanship to Mary Simko (a Slovak). This organization collected funds for CSR and supplied other help, computers, etc.
Also we should not forget that Jiri F. Brotan, a businessman of Czech origin (Nitrotec Corp.), in expectation of dissolution of the Papanek's AFCR founded in 1992 the Jan & Betka Papanek Foundation, to support scholastic and cultural exchanges between USA, CR and Slovakia.
Besides there is some 200 czech/slovak organizations in the US and Canada, and the new AFCR.
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