Biography

BIOGRAPHY OF WERNER I. JURETZKO

Werner is the founder and retired Chief Executive Officer of Microtech Machine Company, Inc., located in Wheeling, Illinois, a northwestern suburb of Chicago, Illinois.  Microtech Machine Company, Inc. specializes in prototype engineering of industrial and aerospace components.

Werner was born into a well-respected merchant family in 1932.  He grew up in a bi-lingual environment of the German and Polish languages.  He was the youngest of seven children born to Franz and Anastasia Juretzko of Rydultau, Poland.  His family lived in one of Europe’s pre-war political hotbeds – the long disputed area of Upper Silesia.  The first shots of World War II were fired in the region of Upper Silesia.

At the end of World War II, Werner was a combat – hardened 14-year-old youth fighting for his survival.  He was forced by the Third Reich into the last ditch defense lines.  He became a Prisoner of War and was held captive for several months in the Soviet - Czech POW camp located in Tabor, Czechoslovakia.

Atrocities committed by Soviet soldiers on members of his family created a resolve in Werner to revenge his family’s honor.  The activist path that he chose was exemplified by his intelligence gathering work for the Western World behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War years of the late 1940’s and early 1950’s.
In 1948, while serving his apprenticeship in West Germany as a tool & die maker, Werner was approached by the Organization Gehlen, which was the forerunner of the modern Amt fuer Verfassungsschutz (known in English as the Office for the Protection of the Constitution).  Werner was asked to infiltrate the Communist Party in the State of Hessia.  His exemplary service for the Organization Gehlen led to his recruitment by the G-2 Intelligence Service of the United States Army.

During the heights of the Cold War, as a G-2 undercover political operative for the US Army intelligence, Werner conducted authorized undercover espionage missions behind the Iron Curtain.  Werner was apprehended in action in 1955 by the Stasi (Ministry of State Security).  He was tried by Communist authorities and subsequently sentenced to a 13- year prison term.  He was released after 6 years of incarceration in Communist prisons, of which a majority of time was spent in solitary confinement.  After being released by Communist authorities in 1961, he decided to settle in the USA.

Werner graduated from the Industrial Engineering College of Chicago in 1972.  After a 25 year career with Signode Steel Company, a Fortune 500 company, he retired in 1989 at the position of Senior Manufacturing Engineer.

During the 1970’s Werner served as a Director on the Executive Board of the German American National Congress (GANC - the largest organization of Americans of German descent).  From 1972 to 1974, he served as President of the Chicago chapter of the GANC and during that time, he also served as the Editor of the organization’s monthly publication, Der Deutsch Amerikaner.

Werner has authored numerous historical and politically oriented articles that have been published in many English, German and Polish publications.  His most important literary work is the 1970 book, Years Without Hope, a narrative of his Cold War espionage work for Western democracy.  Years Without Hope details his 6-year experience as a political prisoner within the Communist prison system.

Years Without Hope describes the real world manipulations and espionage activities of diplomacy as seen from the perspective of an undercover operative & political prisoner.  During his captivity, Werner shared the experience of many former members of the European aristocracy, politicians, military leaders and other victims of Soviet oppression who were unjustly held in maximum security prisons and in many cases, executed.

Werner’s service for Western democracy has also been chronicled in the recently published book STASI: The Untold Story of the East German Secret Police, written by John O. Koehler and published in 1999 by Westview Press.  The chapters “The Machinist” and “The Secretary and the Lawyer” describe how Werner escaped the fate of three fellow undercover operatives and close friends, who were put to death by guillotine at the hands of Communist authorities, the ultimate price for a Western intelligence operative.

Werner is a member of AFIO, the Association of Former Intelligence Officers.