Showing posts with label Deutsches Theatre. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Deutsches Theatre. Show all posts

Prague in the Third Reich

Nazi Map of Prague
Although outside the intended scope of this site, I thought I'd add a page to Prague given the time I spent investigating its recent past associated with the Nazis.
One can't go anywhere in Prague without coming across such memorials to those killed in the last few days of the war. These, literally a corner from each, remember two killed on May 5, 1945.
Staromestske Namesti on that day and today with the wife
If hell on earth existed, than it existed in Prague after May the 5th. 1945. Old men, women and children were beaten to death and maimed. Rapes, barbaric cruelties, horror-scenarios of hellish proportions - here they had been let loose.
Luděk Pachman, Czechoslovak-German chess grandmaster, chess writer, and political activist.

German motorcycle division crossing the Charles Bridge March 15, 1939 in scenes Vladimir Putin's fascist regime is now re-enacting in 2014 using the same language Hitler had made earlier (replacing 'Germany' and 'Czechs' with 'Russia' and 'Ukraine':
- We will never attempt to subjugate foreign peoples. speech of May 27, 1933.

- We have no territorial claims to make in Europe. speech of March 7, 1936

- The German Reich Government shall thus unconditionally abide by the other articles governing the coexistence of the nations, including territorial provisions, and put into effect solely by means of peaceful understanding those amendments which become inevitable by virtue of the changing times. speech of May 21, 1935.

- It is the last territorial demand I shall make in Europe... I repeat here before you, once this issue has been resolved; there will no longer be any further territorial problems for Germany in Europe! speech of September 26, 1938.

- We do not want any Czechs at all. ibid.
Swastika Charles Bridge 
Looking towards St. Vitus cathedral from the bridge

Wenceslas Square
The feelings of Czechs as the Germans annexed their country can clearly be seen in their expressions of hatred and anger
Left: Outside the Bata shop where the Gestapo displayed evidence and the offer of a reward for information leading to the assassins of Reinhard Heydrich (see below). Right: Makeshift memorial to the victims of communism at the site where student Jan Palach set himself on fire to protest the regime.
The Old Town Square in the last days of the war and today.
"Prague in Fog"- Purported painting of Prague by Hitler featuring Tyne Church, shown also here unter dem hakenkreuz and today

Germans in front of the entrance and Orloj, the astronomical clock, at the southern wall of the Old Town Hall in 1943. The clock was first installed in 1410, making it the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest one still operating. The Orloj suffered heavy damage on May 7 and especially May 8, 1945, during the Prague Uprising, when the Germans fired on the south-west side of the Old Town Square from several armoured vehicles in an unsuccessful attempt to destroy one of the centres of the uprising. The use of incendiary shells wreaked serious damage inside the chamber of the astronomical clock. By the time fire grenades were employed the entire building burnt down and with it the complete City archives burnt to ashes. The clockwork of the astronomical clock was taken apart and taken by cart to the workshop of the Hainz company in Prague – Holešovice. The hall and nearby buildings burned along with the wooden sculptures on the clock and the calendar dial face made by Josef Mánes. After significant effort, the machinery was repaired, the wooden Apostles restored by Vojtěch Sucharda, and the Orloj started working again in 1948.
Jan Hus Memorial Then and Now
The Jan Hus Memorial at the Prague Old Town Square during the occupation and today

Deutsches Theatre (Prague State Opera)

In the 1930s, with the growing Nazi threat, the New German Theatre in Prague was among the bastions of democracy, serving as a refuge for artists fleeing from Germany. Political developments shortly before signing of the Munich Agreement along with financial problems however led the German Theatre Association to close the theatre in September 1938. The Czechoslovak state expressed an interest in the building. But the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia on March 15, 1939 and establishment of the "Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia" thwarted its plans. Under the new title Deutsches Opernhaus, the theatre served for political assemblies of the Nazi Party, and for the occasional guest presentations by ensembles from the Reich. A radical change came in May 1945 following the fall of the Nazi-led government. A group of Czech artists headed by Alois Hába, Václav Kašlík, and Antonín Kurš founded the Theatre of the Fifth of May in the former German Opera House. For the first time the theatre became a home for Czech, rather than German opera. Today inside the theatre there are busts of former artists who had suffered Nazi persecution: Josef Čapek, Julius Fučík, Joe Jenčík, Václav Jiříkovský, Rudolf Karel, Anna Letenská, Vít Nejedlý, Josef Skřivan, Oldřich Stibor, Bedřich Václavek, Vladislav Vančura, František Zelenka. There is also a memorial plaque with verses of Stanislav Kostka Neumann, dedicated to the memory of theatre actors who died during the fascist occupation.

Former Gestapo HQ
Gestapo Headquarters
Gestapo Headquarters
The Gestapo headquarters of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia was seated in this building, the Petschek Palace, during the war where many Jews and suspected members of the resistance were interrogated and tortured. Today it is used by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
A plaque attached on the outer wall commemorates the Gestapo victims who were murdered in this building whilst inside implements of torture are kept on display.

Hradcany Castle

Hitler at Hradcany Castle 
Standing where Hitler set up German headquarters.
At 2:03 P.M. Hitler’s train reached the little Bohemian frontier station of Leipa, where Panzer Corps Commander General Erich Hoepner awaited him with Colonel Erwin Rommel (who was to command the ‘Führer HQ’). To the consternation of Himmler and the security staff, Hitler decided to drive right on to Prague. At four P.M. the frontier barrier was raised for him to cross into Czecho-Slovakia, and in a snowstorm his convoy headed on to the capital. He stood in his open car, saluting as he passed his regiments. It was dusk when he arrived in Prague. At first nobody knew where Hácha’s official residence, the Hradcany Castle, was. Hitler’s drivers finally entered it through a gate in the rear. A palace flunky was found to guide them to a wing where these unexpected visitors might sleep, but Hitler did not rest yet. He began dictating a law establishing a German ‘Protectorate’ over Bohemia and Moravia. At two in the morning a cold buffet arrived, provided by the local German Centre. There was Pilsen beer: Hitler was prevailed upon to sample a small glass but he grimaced, did not finish it, and went to bed. The first that the citizens of Prague knew of his presence in their midst was next morning, when they espied his personal swastika standard beating from a flagpole atop the snow-bedecked palace roofs.
from David Irving's Hitler's War and The War Path, page 162
Hitler is shown addressing a crowd from a second-floor window. Hitler's invasion took place after having repeatedly pledging himself and his movement to respect the right to self-determination of other ethnic groups:
   We will never attempt to subjugate foreign peoples. speech of May 27, 1933. 
   We have no territorial claims to make in Europe. speech of March 7, 1936 
   The German Reich Government shall thus unconditionally abide by the other articles governing the coexistence of the nations, including territorial provisions, and put into effect solely by means of peaceful understanding those amendments which become inevitable by virtue of the changing times. speech of May 21, 1935. 
   It is the last territorial demand I shall make in Europe... I repeat here before you, once this issue has been resolved; there will no longer be any further territorial problems for Germany in Europe! speech of September 26, 1938. 
   We do not want any Czechs at all. ibid.
Heydrich taking up his position as 'protector' of Bohemia and Moravia

The Protectorate government was required to attend Heydrich's funeral. Remarkably, David Irving actually claims that Heydrich had been genuinely mourned by the Czech population:
Surprisingly, the ‘protectorate’ brought blessings for the Czechs as well. Their economy was stabilised and unemployment vanished. Their menfolk were not called upon to bear arms in Hitler’s coalition. Their armed forces were dissolved, and their officers were given state pensions on Hitler’s orders, to purchase their dependence and complicity. The industrious Czechs accepted rich contracts from the Reich and learned eventually to cherish the pax teutonica enforced by Reinhard Heydrich in 1941. It was the peace of the graveyard, but Heydrich won the affection of the Czech workers to such an extent – for instance, by introducing the first ever Bismarckian social security and pension schemes – that 30,000 Czechs thronged into Wenceslas Square in Prague to demonstrate against his murder in 1942. The Czechs had not been required to sell their souls, and this was what Hitler had promised Hácha in Berlin. Hácha himself never felt any grievance. He inquired of Morell about the prescription he had been injected with and thereafter obtained a regular supply from Morell’s pharmacy. He would die, forgotten, in an Allied prison in 1945; Tiso and Tuka were bo th hanged.
   (163) Hitler's War

Operation Anthropoid
On May 27, 1942, at 10:30 AM, Obergruppenführer-ϟϟ Reinhard Heydrich proceeded on his daily drive from his home in Paneneske Brezany to Prague Castle. Warrant Officer Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš waited at the tram stop on the curve near Bulovka Hospital. Valčik was positioned about 100 metres north of Gabčík and Kubiš as lookout for the approaching car. As Heydrich’s open-topped Mercedes-Benz approached, Gabčík stepped in front of the vehicle, trying to open fire, but his Sten gun jammed. Heydrich ordered his driver, ϟϟ-Oberscharfuehrer Klein, to stop the car. When Heydrich stood up to try to shoot Gabčík, Kubiš threw a grenade at the vehicle, and its fragments ripped through the car’s right-rear fender, embedding shrapnel and fibres from the upholstery into Heydrich’s body. Kubiš was also injured by the shrapnel. Heydrich, apparently unaware of his shrapnel injuries, got out of the car, returned fire and tried to chase Gabčík but soon collapsed. Klein returned from his abortive attempt to chase Kubiš, and Heydrich ordered him to chase Gabčík. Klein was shot twice by Gabčík (now using his revolver) and wounded in the pursuit.

The assassination site is located at V Holesovickach at the junction with Zenklova; today this bizarre memorial marks the site.

Heydrich was taken here to Bulovka Hospital where, after a week when his condition appeared to be improving, he collapsed whilst eating lunch and went into shock, dying the next morning. His physicians concluded that he had died from infection of his wounds. On the right is the stamp issued on the first anniversary of Heydrich's death, June 4, 1943 on the commission of Karl Hermann Frank. The design is taken from the death mask of Heydrich created by Berlin Professor Franz Rotter.
Heydrich's coffin in Bulovka hospital
Heydrich's coffin in Bulovka hospital, attended by an ϟϟ honour guard
You can download a scanned copy of Reinhard Heydrich - Ein Leben der Tat (Walter Wannenmacher, 1944)

During the savage repression unleashed by the Nazis immediately after the assassination, the paratroopers – thanks to the representatives of the Orthodox Church – found safe refuge in the Church of Ss. Cyril and Methodius (during the Occupation it was known as St. Charles Borromeo) in Resslova Street in Prague. Under the pressure of the raids all seven paratroopers staying in Prague eventually gathered in the church building: Josef Bublík, Josef Gabčík, Jan Hrubý, Jan Kubiš, Adolf Opálka, Jaroslav Švarc and Josef Valcík. The combination of terror generated by the massacre of entire families and the annihilation of Lidice, and the promise of pardons and huge financial rewards, eventually bore results. The paratrooper Karel Curda from the OUT DISTANCE unit, who left Prague immediately after the assassination and hid out with his mother in Nová Hlína near Trebon, finally gave in to his own fear and the reproaches of those closest to him. He betrayed. First, on June 13, 1942, he wrote a traitorous letter in which he identified Gabcík and Kubiš as the assassins. When the expected reaction did not materialize, he personally set out for Prague on 16 June 1942, and, shortly before noon, reported to the Gestapo administrative headquarters in Petschek Palace. There he caused a sensation with his all-encompassing testimony, because up to that point, all of the Nazis’ efforts to find the assassins had proved fruitless. Curda betrayed to the Gestapo everyone he knew personally who had assisted the paratroopers, not only in Prague but in Pardubice, Lázne Belohrad and Pilsen. Through his betrayal he caused the deaths of dozens of patriots and their families. The very next morning, the Gestapo began extended raids on the apartments of the people who had assisted the paratroopers. The first in line was the Moravec family in Biskupcova Street in Prague. More and more patriots followed. By using the most brutal interrogation techniques, the Gestapo succeeded in the afternoon of June 17, 1942, in finding out where the paratroopers were hiding. At 3:45 am on June 18, 1942, the Commander of the ϟϟ forces in Bohemia and Moravia, ϟϟ-Brigadeführer Karl von Treuenfeld, issued an order to the Reserve Battalion Deutschland and the Guard Battalion Prag to surround the area around the Church of Ss. Cyril and Methodius. The inner and outer perimeters closed at 4:15 a.m.

The church surrounded by German soldiers in 1942 and me standing in front today. On the right is the inner sanctum where Adolf Opálka, Josef Bublík and Jan Kubiš were keeping guard in the gallery and the choir.

German soldiers and fire brigade members try and flood the crypt and standing at the same spot today, with a memorial to the heroes.

The attackers tried to reach the choir through a narrow staircase, defended by the gunfire of Adolf Opálka. There is a museum inside the church dedicated to them as national heroes.
The dead laid out for identification by Karel Čurda, a former member of the OUT DISTANCE unit who had left Prague immediately after the assassination and hid out with his mother in Nová Hlína near Třeboň, was captured by the Gestapo and betrayed the names of the team’s local contact persons for the bounty of 1 million Reichsmarks. I'm standing on the site today
Kubis and Gabcik
Kubis and Gabcik, and their severed heads presented to their relatives. The heads of Jozef Gabcik and Jan Kubis were preserved whole, while the flesh of the other five heads was removed and the heads made into skulls. None knows the final fate of the heads, although it is likely that the Nazis cremated them in Strasnice crematorium shortly before the War ended. The director of Strasnice crematorium described how one day several SS men arrived with several barrels full of human heads and tossed them into the furnace like footballs. He also mentioned that one of the heads looked very much like that of bishop Gorazd who was executed after Heydrich's assassination. More than 1350 people were executed in the aftermath of the assassination, and hundreds died during interrogation. The villages of Lidice and Lezaky were levelled after all male inhabitants were shot and women and children deported.
Between 1937 and 1938 First Lieutenant Adolf Opálka studied at the Military Academy in Hranice and graduated with the rank of Lt. of Infantry. In July 1939 he left for France through Poland, served in the Foreign Legion in Sidi bel Abbes ́and later in Oran. He enlisted in Agde in September 1939. He progressively went through all the regiments of the 1st Czechoslovak Division. He participated in battles on the French front. Upon arrival in Britain he served in a machine gun company. He volunteered for missions behind enemy lines. He was sent to the occupied homeland as a commander of OUT DISTANCE. He established contact with Capt. A. Bartoš, whereupon he was sent to Prague to become the Commander of the “Prague Paratroopers”. He participated in preparations of Heydrich’s assassination. He died in the Church on Resslova Street when, finding himself in a hopeless situation with a shattered-bone fracture in his right arm, he took poison and simultaneously ended his life with a pistol shot to the left temple.
Josef BublíkJaroslav Švarc
Sergeant Cadet Josef Bublík (left), wounded by many fragments, ended his life with a bullet from his own pistol. Staff Sergeant Jaroslav Švarc (right) took poison and simultaneously ended his life with a shot from his pistol.
 Jan HrubýJosef Valcík
Sergeant Jan Hrubý (left) ended his life with a shot from his 9 mm Browning pistol whilst Second Lieutenant Josef Valcík (right) ended his life with a pistol shot.
One can enter the crypt where the last moments of the siege took place. The tombs intended for coffins became the last refuge of the paratroopers. In the hopeless situation they all chose a heroic death. The two photos on the right I took show busts of the seven martyrs, and the hole they tried to dig to escape

The ventilation window as seen from inside the crypt
Across from the church/museum is this restaurant that doubles as a shrine.

First time I've had a pint under the saluting images of top ϟϟ officials and Nazi posters
After the assassination the parachutists were looked after by families. Here plaques can be seen honouring the Moravec family on Biskupcova 7 and Jan Zelinky on Biskupcova 4. The apartment of the Moravec family was the paratroopers’ main Prague sanctuary. It was located at 1795/7 Biskupcova Street (Biskupec Strasse). Marie Moravcová was able to obtain aid for the paratroopers through former colleagues from the Volunteer Sisters of the Czech Red Cross. Her son Vlastimil acted as a messenger for the paratroopers and was actively involved in setting up of the assassination. Her second son, Miroslav, fought as a pilot of the No 310 (Czechoslovak) Fighter Squadron in Britain; he died on June 7, 1944 in a plane crash. Marie Moravcová committed suicide during her arrest by the Gestapo on June 17, 1942. Vlastimil Moravec and his father Alois were executed in Mauthausen on October 24, 1942.
Jan Zelenka-Hajský was one of the leading supporters of the paratroopers. This teacher, a former station leader of the Krušnohorská Sokol Group and a member of the Czechoslovak Intelligence Service, unreservedly supported plans to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich. Along with his son, Jan Milíce, and his wife, Františka, he helped the paratroopers in every way possible, and supplied them with accommodation in his apartment at 1837/4 Biskupec Street(across from Moravec’s apartment). Jan Zelenka and his son, Jan Milíce, committed suicide on June 17, 1942. Františka Zelenková was executed in Mauthausen on October 24, 1942.
Hitler ordered the ϟϟ and Gestapo to “wade in blood” throughout Bohemia to find Heydrich’s killers. More than 13,000 people were ultimately arrested. The most notorious incident was in the village of Lidice, which was destroyed on June 9, 1942: 199 male residents were executed, 95 children taken, 8 of which were taken for adoption by German families, and 195 women arrested
 Church of St. Norbert and Mariánské námestí then and now
Nerudova ulice and Celetná ulice

The Hotel Flora, formerly at Schwerinstraße 121, now Vinohrdska 121 

Vitkov National Memorial
The National Liberation Memorial was built between 1928 – 1938 in honour of the Czechoslovakian legionaries and later extended after the war to commemorate the anti-Nazi resistance. After 1948, it was used to promote national ideology and regime. Prominent representatives of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia were buried here:
The mausoleum of Klement Gottwald, longtime leader of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ) and Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia from and later President, was established here in 1953. Gottwald had suffered from heart disease for several years. Shortly after attending Stalin's funeral on March 9, 1953, one of his arteries burst. He died five days. His body was initially displayed in a mausoleum here but by 1962 the personality cult ended and it was no longer possible to show Gottwald's body. There are accounts that in 1962 Gottwald's body had blackened and was decomposing due to a botched embalming. His body was cremated, the ashes returned to the Žižka Monument and placed in a sarcophagus.  After 1989, all of the remains buried here were taken away; his nondescript grave can be seen below in a common grave at Prague's Olšany Cemetery, together with the ashes of about 20 other communist leaders which had also originally been placed in the Žižka Monument. The Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia now maintains that common grave.

The Munich Agreement

A Czech television commercial featuring a cleaner with a strong sense of memory.

Prague Military Museum (Armadni Muzeum)

Beside a T-34 tank at the entrance whilst inside one of Heydrich's Mercedes 320 Convertible B cars, similar to the one in which he was mortally wounded, is exhibited. 

Other exhibits pay tribute to the British Empire and its allies against worldwide fascism

Jewish Ghetto
Pinkas Synagogue Then and Now
The Pinkas Synagogue, dedicated to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust from Bohemia and Moravia.
Maisel and Klausen synagogues
The Maisel Synagogue where Hitler has been said to have intended to establish his "Central Museum of the Extinguished Jewish Race" and on the right the Klausen synagogue, the largest in the ghetto and the seat of Prague´s Burial Society. The commonly held view that the Nazis brought Jewish ritual objects from the whole of occupied Europe to Prague so that after their victory they could create a ‘museum of an extinct race’ in reality is more nuanced and has become a self-perpetuating legend. In fact, the Jewish Museum in Prague was not created by the Nazis but was established August 1906. The museum’s collection programme was clearly based along regional lines, covering solely Jewish memorial objects from Prague and Bohemia. At the time of the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia in March 1939 and the creation of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, the museum’s collection already contained approximately 760 items.

The Old Jewish Cemetery, the oldest Jewish cemetery in Europe, is located on a small plot of land between the Pinkas Synagogue and the Klausen Synagogue. Because the cemetery was only capable of holding around ten percent of the amount of Jews buried there, the graves spanned about twelve tombs deep. The most famous tomb belongs to Rabbi Loew, legendary creator of the Golem. Surprisingly, the cemetery and ghetto itself would not be intact today, if Hitler hadn't ordered it to be saved to serve as part of a museum after all the Jews were extinguished.

Olšany Cemeteries
Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery

264 soldiers are buried here, the majority of which - 188 graves - were members of the ground forces captured by the Germans who died in prisoner-of-war camps. The cemetery also holds the graves of 39 airmen who died in the area during the period of November 1 - 3, 1944 while they were supplying weapons and material to the Warsaw Uprising. Besides the 198 British graves are those from the Empire of Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans, Cypriots, and one Indian. The graves were brought into the cemetery from 73 small cemeteries scattered all over the Czech Republic. Many of those buried here died as Prisoners of War. There are also eight Polish war graves. At the entrance is the inscription: "The land on which this cemetery stands is the gift of the people of Czechoslovakia for the perpetual resting place of the sailors, soldiers, and airmen who are honoured here." The British had to trust the communist regime to establish this cemetery along their plans.
The stones differ in colour to those usually found in CWGCs as seen in my other site Echoes of war.

Soviet Cemetery

Prague Soviet Cemetery  
This graveyard holds the remains of 436 Soviet soldiers, among them soldiers of the First Ukranian Front under Generals Jeremenko, Rybalko and other commanders, who liberated Prague under the command of Marshall Konjev.
Left: Memorial to Bulgarian soldiers who were killed in the liberation of Prague in May 1945. Right: Memorial to the members of the First Czechoslovak Army Corps in the USSR who died after the war as a result of wounds.

A remarkable set of graves belonging to members of the Roesskaja Osvoboditelnaja Armija (Russian Liberation Army), established by Russian officers whilst in German captivity under former Red Army general Andrey Vlasov, who tried to unite anti-communist Russians opposed to the communist regime and wanting to liberate Russia from the Stalin dictatorship. During the Prague uprising of 1945, the ROA was thrown in battle by the Germans against Czech insurgents. At the most critical moment of the battle, the ROA turned on the Germans and joined the insurgents.The former Soviet soldiers soon left the city towards west to escape future Russian captive. Nevertheless they were handed over to the Soviets by the American army and shot in the woods around Prague. 
One day a Soviet official had arrived at Plattling and demanded the files on the prisoners. When the Russian POWs got wind of what was going to happen, they mutinied. A senior American officer had placated them by telling them that they would not be handed over, and that they would be resettled in southern Europe – the same lie the Welsh Guards used in Carinthia. Then the tanks rolled in. The American guards had been issued with rubber truncheons and went to the Russian huts in the middle of the night, beating them out of their bunks – ‘Mak snell, mak snell’ – and into waiting lorries. They were taken to Zwiesel near the border. American guards reported that corpses could be seen hanging from trees behind the Russian lines. The precise number of Russian soldiers killed is not known. Estimates range from 300 to 3,000.
MacDonogh (416) After the Reich
Left: Jan Palach's grave. Right: Klement Gottwald's, a far cry from his previous resting place

New Jewish Cemetery
A couple of the many such memorials found on the south wall of the cemetery.
Franz Kafka's Grave. A Jewish German in Czechoslovakia, he would not be recognised until after his death. The plaque below the grave commemorates his three sisters, victims of the Holocaust.

Near Kafka's grave to the east of the cemetery is this forlorn area that should give even Holocaust-deniers pause for thought- a large area left unfilled by the generation that had been annihilated by the Nazis. If no Holocaust, where are the missing graves?

Cernínský Palác

Cernínský Palác Then and Now
This was the seat of the Reich Protector from 1939 to 1944. After the war, foreign minister Jan Masaryk (son of Czechoslovakia's first president) lived in a flat on the top floor of the palace. On March 10, 1948 he was found dead in the courtyard below his window, assumed to have been defenestrated, paving the way for forty more years of oppressive rule.

Jan Masaryk’s limp body, shown here lying in state, was discovered wearing his silk pyjamas. Despite the frigid temperatures on this winter morning, a single window two stories up, above the body, was wide open, and seemed to indicate whence Masaryk had fallen. In the tradition of Prague’s gruesome defenestrations dating back to the beginning of the 15th century, he was most likely thrown from the window.When the communists, under their chairman and prime minister, Klement Gottwald, started to lose support, they acted quickly with the help of the Soviet Union and seized power in a stunning coup at the end of February 1948. Within two weeks, Masaryk was found dead, and the country was quickly disabused of any notion that the communists would behave any less brutally than the Soviets under Stalin. Masaryk’s funeral took place three days later, and was attended by President Edvard Beneš, for all intents and purposes a lame duck who no longer wielded much power and had suffered two strokes the year before, who would resign his post less than three months later.
Across from the building (now serving the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs) is this statue of Beneš. Both men received a state funeral, though under very different circumstances. While resistance within Czechoslovakia was neither intense nor extensive, Edvard Beneš successfully established a very active Czech government in exile in London. In Great Britain, Beneš formed a Czech legion, a unit of brigade strength, consisting of 5,000 men equipped with tanks, which served in the Normandy landings (D- day) and in subsequent engagements. Three Czech fighter squadrons and one Czech bomber squadron flew with the Royal Air Force, and Czech intelligence operatives served with the British throughout the war. In July 1941, the Beneš's government concluded a treaty with the Soviet Union by which the USSR recognized the legitimacy of the government in exile and, with the United States and Great Britain, upheld its status as an Allied power.
Alan Axelrod (263) Encyclopedia of World War II Bavaria's state premier Edmund Stoiber said at a meeting of the Sudeten German Landsmanschaft that the statue was a provocation given the so-called Beneš decrees which formed a legal basis for the expulsion of over 2.5 million Sudeten Germans from post-war Czechoslovakia.
Stalin's Monument was a massive granite statue honouring Stalin, unveiled in 1955 after more than five and an half years of work. It was the world's largest representation of Stalin, and was destroyed in 1962. The monument was located on a huge concrete pedestal, which can still be visited in Letna Park and was the largest group statue in Europe, measuring 15.5 metres in height and 22 metres in length. At 17,000 tonnes, Stalin's jacket button alone, decorated with a hammer and sickle,  was half a metre wide The sculptor was Otakar Švec who, under pressure from the government and secret police whilst receiving hate mail from Czech citizens, killed himself three weeks before the unveiling.  The man who posed for him as Stalin - an electrician from the Barrandov film studios, failed to shake off his nickname "Stalin", took to drink, and died three years later.Swedish architectural historian Anders Åman described its impact as “overwhelming”:
In shape, it resembled a wedge pointing inward at the city. Stalin occupied the apex, the Soviet people one side, the Czech and Slovak peoples the other side. At the back, finally, was a relief of the hammer and sickle. It was colossal. It was built of meter-high blocks of granite. . . . Behind Stalin there was a slight gap—to make him stand out as an individual, even if the monument was viewed from the side—and then, on both sides, came the nations rallying in his footsteps...[four figures], representatives of the workers, the peasants, the intelligentsia, and the armed forces.
The process of deStalinisation began shortly after the unveiling of the monument. The monument, therefore, became an increasing source of embarrassment to the Czech Communist Party which blew it up with 800 kg of explosives.
In 1996 the pedestal was briefly used as a base for a 35 foot statue of Michael Jackson whose ego at the time rivalled that of Stalin's at the height of the latter's Personality Cult as a promotional stunt for the start of his HIStory European tour.

Paying my respects at Winston Churchill Square

Winston Churchill’s statue is located at Winston Churchill’s square Zizkov district in front of the Prague Economic University. This statue is a replica of the statue of Sir Winston Churchill by Belsky from 1969 that stands in London’s Parliament Square and it was unveiled in Prague on 17 November 1989. In the opening ceremony of his monument in Prague there were many the guests including former British Prime Minister Baroness Margaret Thatcher, Czech Chamber of Deputies Chairman Vaclav Klaus and Churchill’s grandson, Rupert Soames. The statue of Churchill reminds us that the price of freedom can be high, that it may indeed require the sacrifice of “blood, toil, tears and sweat” and that liberty must never be allowed to perish from the earth; it must forever endure.

Throughout Prague are found numerous references to the saviour of Western civilisation.

ASSASSINATION Operation ANTHROPOID 1941–1942 Michal BURIAN, Aleš KNÍŽEK Jiří RAJLICH, Eduard STEHLÍK PRAGUE 2002 © Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic – AVIS, 2002 ISBN 80-7278-158-8 To the reader: You are opening a book that tells a story of cruelty, heroism and betrayal in an original manner and without clichés. It is a story that has all the attributes of an ancient tragedy. It involves a blood-thirsty dictator, courageous avengers as well as a vile traitor. Yet an insuperable abyss separates it from ancient tragedy. The story of the assassination of the Deputy Reich Protector Reinhard Heydrich is not the work of a Greek dramatist. It is a story written by life itself. And the thousands of dead Czech patriots are real indeed. The assassination of Heydrich was undeniably the most important deed of the Czech resistance movement against the Nazi occupation, on a European-wide scale. None of the resistance movements in those other countries occupied by the Nazis managed to hit such a highly placed target. That the assassination on 27 May 1942 was an entirely exceptional event is proved by the fact that whenever I talk to my foreign colleagues about the participation of Czech soldiers in the second world war, two moments are immediately brought to mind: our pilots in Britain and the assassination. Personally I would like to stress one often-overlooked aspect relating to the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich: the co-operation of the parachutists with representatives of the local resistance movement, who were ordinary Czech people as well as members of the Nation’s Defence and the Sokol Organisations. In modern Czech history we would find few examples of such close links between the armed forces and the civilian population. The one without the other would not have been able to carry out something of the kind. The local resistance movement did not have weapons at its disposal or trained people who might have carried out such an undertaking. The parachutist sent into the Protectorate could not have carried out the assassination without the effective support of hundreds of patriots, people of immense courage, who by helping the parachutists threatened not only their own lives but those of their nearest and dearest. For that reason it clashes with my own feelings to speak of the murdered fellow-workers of the parachutists as victims. These people were not victims. They were heroes! Heroes who laid down their lives on the home front in a way that was no less exposed than the real fighting front. Often on the contrary. They departed upright, none of them begged for mercy. Their pride drove the Nazi murderers mad. It was from their blood, too, that our freedom emerged in May 1945. The subsequent years of totalitarianism, which followed after the February Events in 1948, prevented their memory from being recalled in a dignified manner. As a result of the constant repetition of empty phrases, the simple and unostentatious heroism of our parachutists simply fell into oblivion over time. So did the heroism of the families of those who worked with them, and the people of Lidice and Ležáky and hundreds of other patriots who in many cases do not even have a grave. For that reason I regard the book we are presenting a small repayment of the debt that we owe those people to this day. Jaroslav Tvrdík Minister of Defence of the Czech Republic 3 m ma ar rc ch h 1 19 93 38 8 – – s se ep pt te em mb be er r 1 19 94 41 1 Czechoslovak Republic march – september 1938 The year 1938 found the Czechoslovak Republic standing at a fateful crossroad. In the first few weeks of that year it was becoming obvious that Hitler’s Germany had decided once and for all to solve the problem of its southeastern neighbour. After the “Anschluss”(annexation) of Austria, on March 12, 1938, the Czechoslovak Republic’s already incredibly complicated strategic situation dramatically deteriorated. Only five weeks later Adolf Hitler, together with top commanding officers, devised a detailed plan of attack on Czechoslovakia code-named “Fall Grün” (The Green Plan). Simultaneously in Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad), Konrad Henlein publicly proclaimed his party’s demands for Federative Autonomy at the Sudeten-German Party Congress, (Sudetendeutsche Partei, henceforth SdP). He did this exactly in line with the strategy he had devised in detail with Adolf Hitler at a meeting in Berlin on March 28, 1938, and a day later with the German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop. It was decided at these meetings that the SdP would make entirely unacceptable demands of the Czechoslovak government. This was designed to lead to an escalation of international political tension and mutual confrontation. And this is precisely what happened. On Friday, May 20, 1938, the Czechoslovak government reacted to news of German military units moving towards Czech borders by summoning the first year of army reserves, closing its state borders and placing the air force on alert. In the evening of the same day the military high command was put on a ‘state of alert’. Throughout the night border posts and fortified gun placements were manned. For a while, these unexpected military measures - despite being recalled later - impressed the domestic enemy led by the SdP. Then came that fatal September. The enthusiasm with which the army reservists joined their units after the announcement of general mobilization, on September 23, 1938, testifies to the readiness with which the country and the Czechoslovak Army were ready to defend the Republic. During the first weeks the Czechoslovak Armed Forces were able to mobilize almost their entire first and second waves of reserves. At the end of September the Czechoslovak Army, ready to face the enemy, had at its disposal forty divisions and two brigades supported by artillery, air force, tank units, and lines of border fortifications. But instead of receiving a command to fight, they were ordered to capitulate and withdraw from the border. 6 october – november 1938 Czechoslovak Republic Soon after the units of the German Armed Forces crossed the border, Adolf Hitler made a triumphant visit to the border areas (pictured above). At the same time (October 5, 1938), President Dr. Edvard Beneš handed in his resignation and, on October 22, accompanied by his wife Hana, he flew from Prague to England (see next picture). In Vienna 11 days later, (November 2, 1938), Joachim von Ribbentrop and the Italian Foreign Secretary, Count Galeazzo Ciano, presented final statements concluding the lengthy arbitration on the Czechoslovak-Hungarian border, making Hungary the beneficiary. The Viennese arbitration simultaneously finalized the division of post-Munich Czechoslovakia. As a result of these land divisions, Czechoslovakia lost 41,098 km2 of state territory, along with 4,879,000 of its citizens. Yet there were more changes to come. On November 19 the National Assembly declared Slovakia and Carpathian Russia autonomous. The official name of the state was changed to Czecho-Slovak Republic. On Wednesday, November 30, 1938, the National Assembly elected the Supreme Court President, Judge Emil Hácha (in the centre of the picture), as President of the Republic. He was accompanied to Parliament by Army General Jan Syrový (on his left). On September 28, 1938, news reached Prague of the approaching “Four Power Conference” in Munich, to be attended by Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Edouard Daladier, and Neville Chamberlain (centre picture, opposite page). This information was not received with much enthusiasm at a time when no one even remotely suspected the extent of the tragic consequences this meeting would have for the Czechoslovak Republic. The outcome of the conference was announced before midnight on Thursday, September 29. Although the negotiations had not finished, the result was an order to hand the disputed borderlands over to Germany. The order came into effect between October 1 and 10, 1938. The government – ignoring insistent pleas by the Czechoslovak generals and certain representatives of several political parties – in the end accepted the outcome of the Munich Agreement. EMIL HÁCHA (12. 7. 1872–1. 6. 1945) Between 1898-1916: official of the Bohemian Land Committee. 1916- 1918: at the Supreme Executive Court, Vienna. 1919-1925: Second President of the Supreme Executive Court, Czechoslovak Republic (CSR). 1925-1938: First President of the Supreme Executive Court, Czechoslovak Republic. Associate Professor of Comparative Law, Charles University, Prague. November 1938-March 1939, President of the CSR. On March 15, 1939, he was brutally forced to declare the acceptance of the Republic’s occupation by Germany. Thereafter, until May 1945, formally President of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. From 1941 maintained contacts with E. Beneš; forced into isolation after the arrest of A. Eliáš. Due to poor health, he gradually became a puppet in the hands of the Nazis and their collaborators. Arrested after liberation, he died in custody in Pankrác prison. 7 Czecho-Slovak Republic march 1939 On Thursday, March 16, 1939, in Prague, Adolf Hitler issued a decree establishing the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. Hitler was accompanied on a sightseeing tour of the capital by Heinrich Himmler (on Hitler’s right) and 35-year-old Reinhard Heydrich. Two days later Hitler named Baronet Konstantin von Neurath Protector of the Reich’s Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (pictured below on his arrival in Prague). Karl Hermann Frank was appointed his deputy in the role of State Secretary. During the night of March 14-15, 1939, at a meeting with President Emil Hácha, Adolf Hitler handed down an ultimatum stating that the German Army would enter Bohemia and Moravia (the Czech Lands) at six a.m. the following morning. Under massive pressure and threats, President Hácha finally gave in and “entrusted the fate of Bohemia and Moravia to the hands of the Führer”. A day earlier, the Slovak senate had voted for the establishment of a new independent state of Slovakia. A group of 11 intelligence officers, headed by GS Colonel František Moravec, left the country on the eve of the Nazi invasion, taking with them part of the precious archives of the General Staff’s 2nd Department to London. 8 march – june 1939 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia KONSTANTIN VON NEURATH (2. 2. 1873–14. 8. 1956) Foreign Service officer from 1901. 1914–1916: Ambassadorial Attaché in Turkey; 1919–1922: German Ambassador in Denmark. 1922–1930: German Ambassador in Italy, 1930–1932 German Ambassador in Britain. From 1932 Reich Minister of Foreign Affairs. Joined the NSDAP in 1937. From 1938 Reich Minister without portfolio. On March 18, 1939, became Reich Protector of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and remained formally in this post until 1943. In September 1941 released on leave of absence for “convalescence”, to be substituted by R. Heydrich and then K. Daluege as his acting deputies. In 1943 appointed SS- Obergruppenführer. In 1946 sentenced to 15 years in prison in Nuremberg. Released in November 1954 for health reasons. On March 21, 1939 the Nazi occupation authorities issued a decree on the use of German as the official language in the Protectorate. From that day on, all signs on public buildings and official documents were to be bilingual. Five weeks later (April 27, 1939) a new Protectorate government was named, headed by the new Prime Minister, former Division General Alois Eliáš. Outwardly appearing to cooperate with the Germans, he in reality kept close ties with resistance representatives as well as former President Dr. Edvard Beneš’ government in exile. By a Reich Protector Decree of June 21, 1939, some of the Nuremberg anti-Semitic laws were enacted in relation to property held by Jews. On July 4, 1939, the Protectorate government joined in with its own directive, adjusting the legal status of Jewish citizens in public life. 9 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia 1939–1940 From the opening days of the occupation various illegal organisations sprang up, the most significant of which was the “Nation’s Defence”, which consisted mostly of former professional soldiers and reserve officers. Other organizations included “Political Headquarters” and “The Petitionary Committee Faithful We Shall Remain”. As early as March 1939 the first issue of an important clandestine magazine “To Fight!” was published. The German security forces did not sit idly by. As early as August 25, 1939, the Gestapo broke up an intelligence organization made up of former army officers headed by Dr. Zdenĕk Schmoranz. A week later the Gestapo arrested 3,000 leading figures in Czech public and cultural life (Operation “Albrecht I”). On October 28, 1939, the Nazi security forces also brutally suppressed a demonstration honouring the anniversary of the establishment of the Czechoslovak Republic. The funeral of one of the victims – Jan Opletal – sparked new protests. The Nazis followed this up by executing nine student leaders on November 17, 1939, and ordering the closure of all Czech universities. About 1200 students were deported to concentration camps. At the end of 1939 and the beginning of 1940 the Gestapo dealt a hard blow against the Nation’s Defence organization, followed by mass arrests. Nevertheless, at the start of 1940, the leading groups of the home resistance movement were able to form Home Resistance Headquarters (ÚVOD). From the beginning of the occupation, hundreds of former military officers joined the Nation’s Defence. Many paid for it with their lives. Testimony to this is a photograph of a reunion of fourth year graduates from the University of War Studies taken in October 1935. Of the sixteen officers on the photo, seven laid down their lives fighting the Nazis. First row, from the left: GS Col. Josef Dvořák (2nd), Brig. Gen. Václav Volf (3rd), GS Lt. Col. František Mašek (6th), GS Lt. Col. Rudolf Feistmantl (7th). Second row, from the left: GS Lt. Col. František Chládek (2nd), GS Col. František Pohunek (4th), GS Col. Josef Kohoutek (5th). GS Lt. Col. Josef Vais, together with Dr. Zdenĕk Schmoranz, organized an intelligence organization of press confidants. Both were executed for their activities at Plötzensee on August 19, 1942. One of the first officers to fall on the home front was GS Maj. Bohumil Klein, a member of Schmoranz’s organization made up of ex-officers. He was tortured to death by the Gestapo as early as October 14, 1939. GS Lt. Col. Tomáš Houška also worked as intelligence officer against the Nazis. After his arrest he committed suicide by leaping out of a window in Petschek Palace in order not to betray his comrades (on December 21, 1939). SERGEJ INGR (2. 9. 1894–17. 6. 1956) During WWI, member of the Czechoslovak Legions in Russia, France, and Italy. 1921–1923: Assistant Commander of the University of War Studies, Prague; 1923–1928: member of the ZVV Staff, Prague. 1929–1933: head of the GS Dept. of Operations. 1933–1935: Commander of the 16th Infantry Brigade. 1935–1936: Commander of the 8th Division. 1936–1939: Commander of the 3rd Army Corps. Founding member of the Nation’s Defence. In June 1939 E. Beneš summoned him to France. 1939–1940: member of the Czechoslovak National Council in Paris. 1940–1944: Defence Minister of the Czechoslovak Government in exile in London. 1944–1945 Commander-in-Chief of Czechoslovak Army. Forced to retire by the USSR. 1947-1948: Czechoslovak Ambassador in the Netherlands. Went into exile after February 1948, lived in Britain and the USA. Was active in intelligence services against the Communist regime in the CSR. 10 1939–1940 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia Notwithstanding official propaganda about problem-free life in the Protectorate, previously common foodstuffs were becoming scarce. Representatives of the Protectorate government liked to be seen with popular film stars, such as Vlasta Burian and Adina Mandlová. The Protectorate was gradually being integrated into the economy of the Third Reich. On October 1, 1940, a Customs Union with the Third Reich came into effect. The Czech crown ceased to be a independent currency. In order to prevent an uncontrolled outflow of goods to Germany, where prices were higher, prices in Protectorate rose considerably, leading to inflation and currency devaluation. Several remarkable buildings were erected during the first years of the occupation, based on plans dating back to the years of the First Republic. One of them was this road bridge near Podolsko in Southern Bohemia called “Gate to Heaven”. 11 France 1940 Following the invasion in March 1939 hundreds of young men left the country in order to form – as they hoped – Czechoslovak armed forces abroad, as in the first years of WWI. The first military group of this kind was formed in Cracow, Poland as early as April 30, 1939. Most Czechoslovak army volunteers simply crossed Poland to continue their journey to France. However, in peacetime France it was illegal to form military units composed of foreigners. The Czechoslovaks had no other recourse but to join the French Foreign Legion on condition that if war were to break out, they would be released to serve in the Czechoslovak army abroad. And that is precisely what happened. As early as September 1939 the French government set up the 1st Infantry Battalion of the Czechoslovak Armed Forces abroad in Agde, southern France. On October l6, 1939, the battalion expanded into a regiment and, a month later, the 2nd Infantry Regiment was formed from new arrivals. On January l5, 1940 the 1st Czechoslovak Division was established in Agde, which counted 11,495 men by the end of May 1940. Of these, 3,326 volunteers were from the homeland and 8,l69 were mobilized expatriates living abroad. In mid-June, as France’s situation was becoming critical, 5,000 members of the Czechoslovak Infantry Division fought the Germans along with the French. They fulfilled their duty with honour, even in critical situations. Members of the Czechoslovak National Council were honoured by the French government on November 17, 1939. Pictured from left to right are: Msgre. Jan Šrámek (Prime Minister), Dr. Hubert Ripka, Div. Gen. Rudolf Viest, Div. Gen. Sergej Ingr, Dr. Štefan Osuský, Dr. Juraj Slavík, and Dr. Eduard Outrata. The Commander of the 1st Czechoslovak Division in Agde, Div. Gen. Rudolf Viest (centre), accompanied by the Chief Commander of the French Military Mission, Army Gen. Louis E. Faucher. The business card of Div. Gen. Sergej Ingr from his service time in France, with the message “Best wishes for the New Year 1940”. Czechoslovak military pilots contributed meaningfully during battles for France, shooting down – or taking part in shooting down – 129 enemy aircraft. Probably 25 more aircraft were destroyed. The photograph captures the members of the Fighter Pilot Training Centre in Chartres. 12 1939–1940 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia By the end of 1939 the National Confederation had more than 4 million members. The Nazis had no interest in an organization with a clearly nationalistic agenda. After reorganization in 1940 a new stream of aggressive anti-Semitism, combined with open cooperation with the Germans, began to assert itself on the National Confederation’s agenda. Its political influence, nonetheless, gradually waned. An extremely assertive activist movement in Czech society emerged shortly after the occupation, leading to open collaboration with the Germans. This involved mainly members of fascist and extreme nationalistic organizations. The Bohemian and the Moravian Fascists united in 1939, forming a new movement called The Czech Association of National Unity – otherwise known as The Flag – which copied similar uniformed formations in Germany such as the SA, also known as “Svatopluk’s Guards” (SG). Their uniform featured the brigadier’s hat of their commander-in-chief and leader of The Flag, Josef Rys-Rozsévač. The fascist organization, The Flag, derived its principles from German and Italian Fascism. It became a synonym for Czech collaboration. The Nazis’ intention was for this group to act as a disruptive entity in the political life of the Protectorate and foster a pro-German spirit. The Flag never reached the level of political influence that their members had hoped for. For the invaders, however, the active cooperation of The Flag with the Gestapo was important (see p. 19). An intelligence section was created for direct cooperation between The Flag and the Gestapo. The Flag’s leadership ordered all its members to inform on the Jews, Communists, followers of Beneš, illegal leaflets and whispered propaganda. Immediately after the occupation, Czech Fascist groups such as The National Fascist Community, The Flag and The National Revival Campaign were activated in an attempt to gain power. The Germans’ priority was to maintain both peace in the country and stability in politics. The Protectorate government made strenuous efforts to create the illusion of independence in the occupied lands. As early as March 21, 1939 President Dr. Emil Hácha named a Preparatory Committee of the National Confederation, a newly formed unifying political organization. Simultaneously he dissolved all other political parties. The agenda of the National Confederation was based on national unity, social justice and Christian morals – in other words, terms that could be freely manipulated. By achieving ethnic cohesion, the nation tried to maintain unity against the occupiers and their efforts to stifle the movement. In the end almost all the male members of pre-Munich political parties, including the Communists, joined the National Confederation. Only Jews were forbidden to join. 13 Britain 1940–1941 After the fall of France, exhausted from retreating battles and adventurous sailing from the ports of southern France, the Czechoslovaks finally made a landfall on British soil. The next photograph shows one of the Czechoslovak military units marching through the streets of Liverpool. The bottom picture captures Czechoslovak soldiers (still in French uniforms) in a muster being inspected by a British General and the then Commander of the 1st Czechoslovak Division, Brig. Gen. Bedřich Neumann-Miroslav (3rd from left). In this unique photograph, you see both future members of the ANTHROPOID Operation standing side by side: Jan Kubiš (1st row, to the left of the British General) and Josef Gabčík (1st row, to the General’s right). JOSEF GABČÍK (8. 4. 1912–18. 6. 1942) Born in Poluvsie near Žilina. He learned to be a blacksmith and locksmith. During the years 1934–1937, he served in the army as an NCO with the 14th Infantry Regiment in Košice. From 1937 he was employed in a chemical warfare factory in Žilina. Towards the end of 1939 he crossed the border to Poland and then left for France, where he had to join the Foreign Legion. During the first days of WWII he left Algeria to join the Czechoslovak Foreign Army in Agde. He took part in French war campaigns and was awarded for bravery. Upon arrival in Britain he was assigned to the 1st Battalion of the 1st Czechoslovak Mixed Brigade, where he served as 2nd Commander of the 2nd Platoon, 3rd Company. He was among the first men to volunteer for assignments in the occupied territory. Following a special training session he was assigned to Operation ANTHROPOID. JAN KUBIŠ (24. 6. 1913–18. 6. 1942) Born in Dolní Vilémovice near Třebíč. He completed his apprenticeship as a boilerman. After completing basic military service at the 31st Infantry Regiment in Jihlava he stayed in the army as an NCO. He served extended active duty with the 13th Guard Battalion in Northern Moravia. In June 1939 he left the Protectorate, crossed Poland and went to France where he was forced to join the Foreign Legion. Once the war broke out, he presented himself to the 1st Reserve Battalion in Agde. For his heroic conduct during retreating battles he was decorated with the French War Cross. While in Britain, he served in the 1st Mixed Brigade as 2nd Commander of the 1st Platoon, 3rd Company. He volunteered for special assignments behind the frontline. After passing all the necessary training sessions he became a member of the ANTHROPOID Operation of paratroopers, replacing flight sergeant Karel Svoboda, who was wounded. 14 1940–1941 Britain After arriving in Britain, the remnants of the former members of the 1st Czechoslovak Division gathered in a camp in Cholmondeley near Chester. Out of these remnants the 1st Czechoslovak Mixed Brigade was formed on August 12, 1940, with Brig. Gen. Bedřich Neumann-Miroslav as Commanding Officer. This brigade numbered 3,276 men and was composed of the headquarters, two infantry battalions, a machine gun company, an artillery division, an anti-aircraft battery, an anti-tank battery, engineer and telegraph platoons, a motorized company, a motorcycle platoon, a heavy equipment repair shop and a replacement unit. In the autumn of 1940 this brigade relocated to Leamington Spa, where it was stationed until the spring of 1942. Most of those who went through the camp of Cholmondeley in the summer of 1940 never forgot the local fairy-tale château (at the top) and the vast tent city in the park surrounding the château. The British Lee-Enfield rifle was part of Czechoslovak units’ equipment. The activities of the Czechoslovaks during their stay in Britain were not limited to training - soccer was played during leisure time. The photograph captures the Czechoslovak team on November 20, 1941, as they played against Belgium in the Allied Army League. The photograph shows parachutist Ludvík Cupal, second from right, later a member of Operation TIN. 15 Britain 1940–1941 The unique colour photograph on the right captures a colours of the 1st Czechoslovak Division in France. After reorganization it became the colours of the 1st Czechoslovak Mixed Brigade in Britain. The next two photographs were taken on Monday, October 28, 1940, showing the President of the Republic, Dr. Beneš, visiting members of the brigade on the occasion of the state holiday (Day of Independence). On this occasion he decorated several of our soldiers with the Czechoslovak War Cross of 1939 for valour shown in combat during the retreating battles in France. Among the decorated were two future paratroopers deployed in Operation ANTHROPOID: Josef Gabčík (2nd from left) and Jan Kubiš (being decorated by Dr. Edvard Beneš). As in France a few months earlier, the burden of combat in our army in Britain rested on the Czechoslovak pilots, who immediately joined the battle that raged over the British Isles. By the end of 1940 Czechoslovak fighter pilots had shot down 72 enemy aircraft, plus 16 probable hits, and seriously damaged 14 German aircraft. The photograph shows Hurricanes of No 312 (Czechoslovak) Fighter Squadron, entrusted with the defence of Liverpool. 16 This is a rare photograph of the then completely unknown Jan Kubiš. Neither he nor his comrades could possibly have suspected that, within a few months, he would enter history books. 1940 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia Part of the illusionary autonomy of the Czech Lands (Bohemia and Moravia) was the governmental army that had been created by Hitler’s Decree on the Establishment of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. In the resistance plans the greater part of the army was to rise up, in the event of an uprising, against the German invaders. The political allegiance of members of the governmental army was inconsistent. Besides nationalist- oriented groups and individuals, there were some outright collaborators. The Reich’s Protector Office tried to disperse this army. From the year 1940, the governmental troops were assigned to guard the Protectorate’s railways. State President Dr. E. Hácha with members of the governmental army’s guard unit in Lány. Czechoslovak helmet, model 32, used by the governmental army. The governmental army’s dagger. Due to concerns on the part of the Germans, the nearly 7,000-strong governmental army units were equipped merely with pistols and Austrian Mannlicher rifles - made in l895 and used in WWI - and supplied with limited ammunition. The governmental units were originally meant to wear German military uniforms with special markings on the sleeves. In the end they kept the uniforms of the Czechoslovak type - with certain distinguishing symbols and rank distinctions. The Czech Uniformed Police were part of everyday life in the Protectorate. Shortly after the beginning of the occupation, a German commanding officer of the German Disciplinary Police was entrusted with overseeing the Czech Uniformed Police. There were a total of 5,430 police and gendarme officers in the Protectorate. Many gendarmes were active in the resistance, on the other hand some collaborated with the Gestapo. For many of the Czechoslovak parachutists, encounters with these gendarmes had fatal consequences. A helmet of a member of the Protectorate Gendarme Force. 17 􏰍 Britain 1941 FRANTIŠEK MORAVEC (23. 7. 1895–26. 7. 1966) During WWI he served in the Czechoslovak Legions in Russia, France, and Italy. 1927–1929: studied at the University of War Studies in Prague. 1929–1930: head of the Operations Dept. of the 2nd Division. 1930–1934: head of the Intelligence Dept. ZVV in Prague. 1934–1939: head of Search Branch of the 2nd GS Department. On March 14, 1939 he flew to London, along with 10 other officers, where he was in charge of the Czechoslovak Intelligence Service from 1940 to 1945. During 1944 and 1945 he was 2nd Commander-in-Chief of the Czechoslovak Army. After liberation he was assigned to the General Staff but was released on special leave of absence for political reasons. In 1947 and 1948 he was a Division Commander in Mladá Boleslav. Went into exile after 1948 where he was active in intelligence services against the CSR. He settled in the USA where he died. COLIN McVEAN GUBBINS (2. 7. 1896–11. 2. 1976) During WWI served in the British army in Europe as an artillery officer. During the period of 1919–1922, he was active in northern Russia and, later on, in Ireland. During the period between WWI and WWII he held a number of command and intelligence posts in Britain and India. In 1938 he joined MI(R) – the predecessor of SOE. In the autumn of 1939 he became Chief of the British Military Mission in Poland. During battles in Norway he was in command of special British units there. In November 1940 he joined the SOE as a specialist in training and management of operations. From September 1943 he was SOE’s executive director. After the end of WWII and the dissolution of SOE he retired but continued to work in managing positions in the textile industry. 18 As a result of war developments and the situation on the home front representatives of the 2nd MOD Department in London, under the command of GS Col. František Moravec, started to negotiate with the British over the possibility of sending Czechoslovak parachutists from Britain to the Protectorate. The British side was represented by the Special Operations Executive (SOE) and the Secret Intelligent Service (SIS). These specially selected soldiers were to collect intelligence, conduct sabotage, commit terrorist acts and function as liaison officers. The Czechoslovak intelligence officers’ suggestion met with extraordinary understanding on the part of the British, and the plan was put into action in short order. Within the framework of our 2nd MOD Department, the plan’s implementation was assigned to its 1st Section (offensive) and the newly established Special Group D. On March 17, 1941, the Chief of the British Ministry for Economic Warfare, Sir Hugh Dalton, who was in charge of SOE, inspected the Czechoslovak army units in Britain accompanied by the Minister of National Defence, Div. Gen. Sergej Ingr. Note that even on this occasion Minister Dalton is carrying a case containing a gas mask. It was generally expected that Germany would use chemical warfare against Britain. On the extreme right of the photograph is Artillery Lt. Col. Jan Studlar (wearing glasses), a former member of the Nation’s Defence and close home-front colleague of Artillery Lt. Col. Josef Mašín, who will be mentioned further on. On April 19, 1941 Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill, accompanied by President Dr. Edvard Beneš, visited the Czechoslovak soldiers. In the photograph you can clearly see the Commander of Czechoslovak brigade, Gen. Bedřich Neumann-Miroslav, standing between them. GS Col. František Moravec in a circle of his friends. On the very right of the photograph is the Chief of Staff of the 1st Czechoslovak Mixed Brigade, GS Lt. Col. Karel Lukas (died May 19, 1949, in Pankrác prison as a consequence of brutal torture by members of the Communist Police). 1941 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia Part of the equipment of these radio detection units was a goniometer EP 2 with stationary directional equipment and a short-wave receiver Fu.H.Ec for monitoring. Shortly after the invasion of the Czech Lands, the Germans started seeking out illegal transmitters used to maintain contact between Resistance members at home and abroad. From 1937 the Third Reich had within its borders transmission signal detectors (Funkmesstellen) and mobile search units under the direct control of the Reich’s Main Security Office (Reichssicher- heitshauptamt – RSHA). The headquarters for radio signal detectors were located in Berlin (Funkmessleitstelle Berlin-Spandau). In the Protectorate two stations were built: Funkmesstelle Süd-Ost Prag, which was based in the former Institute for Gentle Women at Prague Castle, and a subsidiary in Brno. In the Prague headquarters there were 40 radio operators and 20 searchers equipped with state-of-the-art hardware for radio signal detection, registration, telemetry and final locating of illegal transmitters. Getting to see this Gestapo badge very often equalled a death sentence. Radio detection units during the first years of war in 1939-1942 used the following strategy: 1) Operators in the headquarters were equipped with wide spectrum receivers that monitored all short-wave bands. 2) When an unknown radio station was detected, the operators of several directional detectors determined the azimuth, from which the signal was received. With the aid of the intersection of these azimuths, the approximate location of the illegal transmitter could be determined. 3) The information was given to a search unit responsible for the particular area where the transmitter was located. 4) Search units were sent out into this area with mobile goniometer search vehicles. 5) With successive measurements and closing in on the location, they honed in on the transmitting station. 6) To pinpoint a particular apartment, there were foot searchers equipped with backpack locating devices (see page 32) 7) The actual destruction of the illegal radio station proceeded under the direction of the relevant Gestapo department. THE GESTAPO The Secret State Police (Geheime Staatspolizei) were originally founded by H. Göring in Prussia on April 26, 1933, to persecute adversaries of the Nazi regime. Simultaneously, H. Himmler founded a similarly structured Political Police force in Bavaria on April 20, 1934. Appointments included R. Heydrich, head of the Gestapo, which was formed through the restructuring of all of Germany’s former Political Police units. On September 27, 1939, the Gestapo was incorporated into the RSHA as Office IV. The Gestapo’s Special Division followed all adversaries of the regime (the underground, church denominations, Communist movement, Jewish population) and organized a terror campaign with the aim of reinforcing the Nazi dictatorship in Germany and the occupied territories. The Gestapo used inhumane interrogation methods, torture and “protective custody” in concentration camps. The Gestapo was directly responsible for the murder of millions of people. During the Protectorate the Gestapo had branches (Staatspolizeileitstellen) in Prague and Brno, which controlled regional branches (Aussendienststellen) in smaller towns. In 1946 the International Military Court declared the Gestapo a criminal organization. RSHA The Reich’s Main Security Office (Reichssicherheitshauptamt) – Nazi Germany’s central authority, established on September 27, 1939, with the aim of coordinating the Nazi terror system during WWII. Located on Prinz-Albrecht-Straße, Berlin, it consisted of the former Main Security Police Office (Hauptamt der Sicherheitspolizei) and the Main SD Office (SD-Hauptamt). It brought together and controlled all the SD’s and state’s repressive bodies. Headed by R. Heydrich, the RSHA answered to H. Himmler. Following Heydrich’s death, the RSHA was run by Himmler personally until 1943 when it was taken over by E. Kaltenbrunner. The RSHA comprised seven departments: personnel, organization and administration, security services (SD), internal and external affairs, the Gestapo, criminal police, and others. In February 1944 one of the SD departments was put in charge of Abwehr (counter-intelligence). To receive and record news emitted by illegal transmitters, a short band receiver Spez.860 Bs. and tape recorder AEG, model Ton. S.b. were used. 19 Britain 1941 Here is one of the inconspicuous-looking farms at Garramor. 􏰍 During the year 1941 Special Group D headed by GS Capt. 1st Class Jaroslav Šustr began to recruit suitable men from the Czechoslovak Brigade in Britain for secret operations planned to take place in the occupied homeland. They were trained in specialized training centres created by the SOE for its partners. These extremely specialized Special Training Schools (STS) were located mainly in remote parts of the English and Scottish countryside, usually on old farms, at castles or country estates. The training of the Special Forces units had three stages: basic, sustaining, and special. The basic training that took place in the individual STS consisted of an assault course and a para course. For the assault course, the SOE formed training centre STS 25, which was stationed on farms Garramor and Camusdarrach in Scotland. The course itself lasted four weeks and was conducted for groups of 20 men. The parachutists learned the basic theory and practice of assault combat, and were instilled with habitual reactions to critical situations. The goal of the training was an overall increase of physical and psychological endurance. The objective of this unusually demanding course was physical fitness, field training, sharp shooting, direct man-to-man combat, use of explosives, radio-telegraphic training, intelligence gathering and topographical training. The graduates of the first course in STS 25. From the left: Corporal Cadet Václav Málek, Corporal Cadet Libor Zapletal (operation BIVOUAC, executed September 27, 1944, in the concentration camp of Mauthausen), Staff Sergeant Josef Gemrot (operation CALCIUM), Lance Corporal Cadet František Pavelka (operation PERCENTAGE), First Lieutenant František Lopaur, Warrant Officer Josef Gabčík (operation ANTHROPOID), Warrant Officer Leopold Musil (operation TUNGSTEN), and Corporal Vojtěch Lukaštík (operation INTRANSITIVE). British hand grenade, model 69. JAROSLAV ŠUSTR (18. 3. 1908–6. 11. 1988) Graduated from the Military Academy in Hranice. During 1935–1937 he studied at the University of War Studies in Prague. In 1938 he joined the staff of the 1st Division. After the invasion he joined the Nation’s Defence; fled to France via Yugoslavia to avoid Gestapo persecution. Following the fall of France he was evacuated to Britain. He was appointed Head of the Special Group D of the 2nd MOD Department. In March 1943 he was transferred to the ŠVBM (3rd Section). From June 1944 Czechoslovak military attaché in China. Returned to his homeland after the war, assigned to the 8th Section of the GS. From November 1946, he was MOD’s representative with the Military Mission of the Allied Control Commission in Berlin. Went into exile in 1948, from where he conducted anti-Communist activities in the CSR. Died in the USA. 20 1941 Britain Communications training formed an important part of the course in STS 25. Compulsory for all the graduates, it consisted mainly of learning the Morse code and working with radio transmitters. Among the transmitters used by the paratroopers was this MARK V model. The handbook “Silent Killing”, published by the leadership of the Czechoslovak independent brigade, was based on experiences gleaned from the STS 25 training centre. Josef Gabčík was among the first Czechoslovaks to graduate from the assault course in STS 25 in the summer of 1941. His graduation report states: “A smart and well disciplined soldier. He has not the brains of some of the others and is slow at acquiring knowledge. He is thoroughly reliable and very keen, and has plenty of common sense... He is a good leader, when sure of his ground, and he obeys orders to the last detail.” The second group of trainees went through STS 25 from August 16 to September 12, 1941. Jan Kubiš was also one of the trainees who received the following evaluation from Maj. J.T. Young: “A good reliable soldier, quiet ... comes in for a certain amount of good natured teasing. Classification ‘D’, might work up to ‘B’.” The assault course was followed by a para-training course in STS 51 close to Ringway airport near Manchester. The two-week course focused on parachute jumps from affixed balloons and aeroplanes. After graduation from basic training the parachutists returned to their home base units from which they were called, according to requirements, for sustaining or special courses. A paratrooper has just jumped from a Whitley Mk.III aircraft. 21 september 1941 – december 1941 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia september 1941 Along with the news of Heydrich’s taking office in the Protectorate, the press released shocking information about the arrest of Prime Minister Eliáš. 24 Blood-red posters announcing martial law were posted all over the Protectorate territory. On September 27, 1941, the Czech Press Agency released the news that the Reich Protector Konstantin von Neurath had fallen ill, and named a substitute Reich Protector, Reinhard Heydrich. What lay behind this change was the Nazi’s concern about future developments in the Protectorate. In addition to burgeoning strikes and sabotage that plagued mainly railway transport, open demonstrations and resistance against the occupying forces were becoming more frequent. Between September 14 and 21, 1941, the Protectorate’s press boycott was the most significant protest action that was organized with the aid of foreign radio broadcasts. Adolf Hitler accused Neurath of not being tough enough with the Czech resistance movement. In an effort to reverse this development he came to a radical solution. Konstantin von Neurath was sent away to recuperate and, on the same day, an aeroplane arrived in Prague with Reinhard Heydrich on board. Heydrich immediately put a plan into effect with the objective of annihilating resistance in the Czech Lands. The surprise elements in this intervention were to be speed and cruelty, calculated to have a strong psychological effect on the population. On September 27, 1941 the rule of terror and fear cast a shadow over the country. A day later, on September 28, 1941, Heydrich announced a martial law for the “Oberlandrats” (regional governors) in Prague, Brno, Moravská Ostrava, Olomouc, Kladno and Hradec Králové. The martial law courts had only three options – carry out the death sentence, hand the accused over to the Gestapo and/or vindicate the person. The sentences of the martial law courts were irrevocable and were executed immediately. september 1941 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia On September 28, 1941, at 11 am, the official inauguration began at Prague Castle. Reinhard Heydrich most certainly did not waste time in his new position. A testimony to this was a teleprint sent off shortly after his arrival on September 27, 1941, to the Reich SS Leader, Heinrich Himmler: At 15:10, the arrest of former Prime Minister Eliáš was carried out, as planned. At 18:00, also according to plan, the arrest of former Minister Havelka was carried out. At 19:00, Czech radio announced my appointment by the Führer... The interrogation of Eliáš and Havelka is underway... For the benefit of international politics I am asking President Thierack (of the People’s Court) to put Prime Minister Eliáš before an extraordinary Senate of the People’s Court in the shortest time possible... The speed and brutality of Heydrich’s intervention, especially in instituting martial law, the mass arrests of thousands of Czech citizens, the setup of martial law courts, and the immediate implementation of executions created an atmosphere of fear and terror amongst the population of the Protectorate. In this atmosphere, Gen. Alois Eliáš was sentenced to death on October 1, 1941. Thus began an era of the bloodiest terror in the Czech nation’s recent history. REINHARD HEYDRICH (7. 3. 1904–4. 6. 1942) After graduating from secondary school in 1922 he served in the Navy, from which he was discharged at the end of 1930. In 1931 he joined the NSDAP and the SS. In July 1932 he founded and thereafter headed the Security Service (SD). He became the “right hand” of the Reich SS leader, Heinrich Himmler. In 1936 he was appointed to head the Security Police (in addition to the SD). From September 27, 1939 he headed the newly established RSHA. He was directly responsible for the terror against adversaries of Nazism in Germany and all the occupied territories. In 1939 he was asked to prepare a so-called “final solution to the Jewish problem”. From 1941 he personally supervised the creation of a system of extermination concentration camps. On January 20, 1942, he presided over a conference in Wannsee, where the “final solution” was adopted. From August 1940 he was President of Interpol. A Czechoslovak army brigadier’s hat and sword, model 24A, from the estate of Div. Gen. Alois Eliáš. ALOIS ELIÁŠ (29. 9. 1890–19. 6. 1942) During WWI he was an officer of the Czechoslovak Legions in Russia and France. 1920–1921: head of the Defence Minister’s Office. 1921–1923: studied at the University of War Studies in Paris. 1924–1929: head of the GS Organizational Department. 1929–1931: 2nd Commander of the GS and head of the Czechoslovak military delegation to the UN Commission on Disarmament in Geneva. 1931–1933: Commander of the 2nd Infantry Brigade; 1933–1935: Commander of the 3rd Division. 1935–1938: Commander of the 5th Corps; thereafter Minister of Transportation. From April 27, 1939, to September 27, 1941, he presided over the Government of the Protectorate. During the occupation he closely cooperated with the Nation’s Defence and maintained contact with E. Beneš. Arrested after Heydrich’s arrival, sentenced to death and executed in June 1942. 25 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia september 1941 JOSEF BÍLÝ (30. 6. 1872–28. 9. 1941) Graduated from the Imperial Cadet School in Trieste and the University of War Studies in Vienna. During WWI he was an officer in the Austro-Hungarian Army, in command of a regiment on the Russian and, later on, Italian front. 1917–1918: Commander of the Special Group “Oberstleutnant Bily” on the Asiago front. During the years 1918–1920 he was in charge of Garrison Commander in České Budějovice. 1920–1922: Commander of the 16th Infantry Brigade in Frýdek. 1923–1928: Commander of the 6th Division in Brno. During the years 1928–1935 he was Commander of the Bohemian Provincial Headquarters. Retired in July 1935. After the invasion and occupation of the ČSR he took part in the establishment of the Nation’s Defence. Following the departure of Gen. S. Ingr into exile, he became the organisation’s leader. From 1939 he lived underground. On November 14, 1940, he was arrested by the Gestapo in Southern Bohemia, where he was in hiding. The day after Heydrich’s inauguration into office on September 28, 1941, two acting leaders of the military resistance organization, the Nation’s Defence, were sentenced under martial law and executed by a firing squad at Ruzyně Barracks. The officers executed were: Gen. Josef Bílý and Div. Gen. Hugo Vojta, Commander of the Bohemian Provincial Headquarters. These brutal measures were meant to break anti-German resistance in the Czech Lands. The last words of Gen. Bílý were: “Long live the Czechoslovak Republic! Fire, you dogs!” HUGO VOJTA (11. 4. 1885–28. 9. 1941) During WWI he was an officer in the Czechoslovak Legion in Russia, returning home as Commander of the Artillery of the 2nd Division. During the years 1920–1922: Commander of the 8th Artillery Brigade. 1922: Head of the 17th MOD Department (Artillery). 1923–1925: Deputy Head of the 2nd Section of the MOD (Artillery & Armaments). 1927–1930: Commander of the ZVV Artillery in Košice. 1930–1939: Commander of the ZVV Artillery in Bratislava. During mobilization in September 1938 he was Commander of the Artillery of the 3rd Army. After the occupation of the Czech Lands he was one of the founders of the Nation’s Defence. 1939–1940: Head of the Bohemian Provincial Headquarters of the Nation’s Defence, coordinated cooperation with the Sokol organization. In 1940 he was arrested by the Gestapo. Gen. Josef Bílý’s copper nameplate from his apartment on Mikulandská Street. 26 september 1941 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia Immediately after his arrival in Prague Heydrich began to implement his idea of “the final solution to the Jewish problem”. One of his first decrees, dated September 29, 1941, concerned measures against Czech Jews in mixed marriages, Czechs who were friends of Jews, and the closing of synagogues. It stated, among other things: “...Jewish synagogues and places of prayer have not been used for religious purposes for some time. Instead, they have become centres for all kinds of Jewish subversive elements and focal points of illegal whispered propaganda. For this reason I have ordered the closing of all Jewish synagogues and places of prayer. This is to take effect immediately... Certain Czech circles are behaving in a very friendly manner toward the Jews, especially in recent times. They are mainly the Czech elements that are trying to demonstrate their anti-Reich thinking. I am ordering the State Police to intervene against the Czechs who openly demonstrate their friendship with the Jews in the streets and public places (protective custody!).” This measure was brought about because of gestures of support from some Czechs towards Jews after all Jewish citizens were forced to wear the yellow Star of David from September 1941. Some people had started demonstratively to wear the Star of David, thus openly showing friendship to the Jews. At the same time Heydrich started preparing to establish a Jewish ghetto in Terezín. The German army left the town as early as October 1941. The first prisoners arrived in Terezín on November 24, 1941. From January 9, 1942, a total of 86,934 prisoners were shipped out from Terezín to extermination camps set up in the former Polish territory. Only 3,097 lived to see the end of the war. On September 30, 1941, Reinhard Heydrich advised the Commander of the Berlin headquarters of the Gestapo, SS-Brigadeführer Henrich Müller that all persons sentenced by martial law courts should be placed exclusively in the Mauthausen concentration camp. In Mauthausen a total of 4,473 of Czechoslovak citizens were tortured to death or executed. 27 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia october 1941 From his quarters in Czernin Palace on October 2, 1941, Reinhard Heydrich presented a convincing answer to anyone with any doubts about his mission in a speech delivered to leading representatives of the occupying forces. “I must unambiguously and with unflinching hardness bring the citizens of this country, Czech or otherwise, to the understanding that there is no avoiding the fact they are members of the Reich and as such they owe allegiance to the Reich... This is a task of priority required by the war. I must have peace of mind that every Czech worker works at his maximum for the German war effort... This includes feeding the Czech worker – to put it frankly – so that he can do his work.” In a part of a speech concerning the “final solution” he said that the Protectorate must once and for all be settled by the German element: “To be able to make a decision as to who is suited to be Germanized, I need their racial inventory...We have all kinds of people here, some of them are showing racial quality and good judgment. It’s going to be simple to work on them – we can Germanize them. On the other hand, we have racially inferior elements and, what’s worse, they demonstrate wrong judgment. These we must get out. There is a lot of space eastwards. Between these two extremes, there are those in the middle that we have to examine thoroughly. We have racially inferior people but with good judgment, then we have racially unacceptable people with bad judgment. As to the first kind, we must resettle them in the Reich or somewhere else, but we have to make sure they no longer breed, because we don’t care to develop them in this area... One group remains, though, these people are racially acceptable but hostile in their thinking – that is the most dangerous group, because it is a racially pure class of leaders. We have to think through carefully what to do with them. We can relocate some of them into the Reich, put them in a purely German environment, and then Germanize and re-educate them. If this cannot be done, we must put them against the wall.” The tools with which Heydrich wanted to fulfill his ideas were given: handcuffs from the Prague Gestapo Office in Petschek Palace and the Prague Gestapo stamp. Shortly after his inaugural speech Reinhard Heydrich flew to Hitler’s headquarters in Rastenburg, East Prussia, for a short working dinner, during which he shared his first impressions of his new position with the Führer: “...Czech workers took the liquidation of the conspirators overall calmly. The most important thing for them is to have work and bread. Generally, they only complain about the shortage of fats in their diet.” The next day Adolf Hitler announced in the Sports Palace in Berlin the commencement of winter help for the soldiers fighting on the front in the winter of 1941-1942, and he challenged the entire nation to fulfill this objective. 28 october 1941 Britain On October 3, 1941, the Czechoslovak press in Britain published the first news about the bloody terror unleashed by Reinhard Heydrich in the occupied homeland. At around that time, between September and October 1941, the idea of eliminating one of the leading representatives of the German occupying power was born within the circle of President Edvard Beneš’ colleagues. 29 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia october 1941 SS Security formations (Schutzstaffeln, henceforth SS) were established in 1925 as an elite organization of fanatically devoted followers of A. Hitler. Originally the SS units formally answered to the SA, from which they were separated in 1934. They played a decisive role in the “Night of Long Knives” (June 30, 1934). From the beginning of 1929 the Reich’s SS leader – H. Himmler – stood in charge of the SS. After 1933 the SS became a significant supporter of the Nazi regime. In addition to the General SS (Allgemeine SS), there was the Security Service (Sicherheitsdienst – SD) and the Emergency Service (SS-Verfügungstruppe) as well as the Death’s Heads (SS- Totenkopfverbände). The latter were formed as part of the SS in 1934. They were later posted as wardens in concentration camps. Special SS combat units (Waffen-SS) were formed and gradually expanded to as many as 40 divisions. The SS were directly responsible for the murder of millions of people in the occupied territories. In 1946 the International Military Court in Nuremberg declared the SS a criminal organization. The members of the SS were to be the main political support for Heydrich from the first days of office in the Protectorate. Three of the most significant members were meeting far too often. On the picture are SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich in the company of the Commander of the Security Police and the Commander Security Services (SD), SS-Obersturmbannführer Horst Böhme (on the left), and the German State Secretary, SS-Gruppenführer Karl Hermann Frank. SD The SS Security Service (Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsführer der SS) was established on July 19, 1932, under the supervision of R. Heydrich, as the intelligence service of the NSDAP. Its original aim was to watch over the members of the Nazi Party (NSDAP), but with time it began to control all spheres of life in Nazi Germany. From June 26, 1936, while R. Heydrich was Head of the Security Police, the SD was administratively affiliated with the Gestapo, which considerably increased its power. Following the establishment of the RSHA, the SD’s activities were integrated with those of the RSHA Office II (later VII), III, and VI. Upon integration with the remnants of the Anti-Intelligence (Abwehr) into the SD, in the summer of 1944, the SD became the only intelligence body in Nazi Germany. In 1939 a Managerial Branch Office of the SD was opened in Prague (SD-Leitabschnitt Prag). During wartime the SD Special Services actively participated in slaughtering the civilian population, prisoners of war and resistance members in the occupied territories. In 1946 the International Military Court in Nuremberg declared the SD a criminal organization. KARL HERMANN FRANK (24. 1. 1898–22. 5. 1946) A bookbinder by profession, he was one of the leading members of Konrad Henlein’s Sudeten-German Party (SdP) from 1933. During the years 1935–1938 he was the SdP’s delegate to the Czechoslovak Parliament. On March 19, 1939, he was appointed State Secretary of the Reich Protector for the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia; from March 20, 1943, Reich’s State Minister and Police General in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. He was personally responsible for the reprisals of the Nazis against the Czech population (raid on university students on November 17, 1939, execution under the second martial law, extermination of Lidice). In May 1945 he fled from Prague to western Bohemia but was captured by the US Army and deported back to Czechoslovakia. In May 1946 the Czechoslovak People’s Court in Prague sentenced him to death, and the Uniformed SS men and automobiles with the black SS standard on their fenders appeared on the Protectorate streets ever more frequently. 30 october 1941 Britain At the beginning of October 1941, President Beneš was preparing to negotiate with the Western Allies on revoking the Munich Agreement and reinstating the borders of Czechoslovakia as they had stood in September 1938. In the first years of the war the Western powers did not recognize Czechoslovakia in the international political sphere, so its restoration after the war was not a fait accompli. On June 18, 1941, Britain recognized the CS government in exile in London, but the Munich Agreement remained in force. This meant that even in the case of victory in the war, Czechoslovakia would be restored to its post-Munich size. According to original presuppositions, the resignation of the Protectorate government would demonstrate that even the political representatives of the Protectorate recognized Beneš’ authority and that the entire Czech nation’s rejection of the Nazi occupation would precede negotiations on the revocation of the Munich Agreement. However the government did not resign and the Protectorate representatives, after Heydrich’s arrival in Prague, did not protest against the declaration of martial law. They also accepted the arrest of Prime Minister Eliáš and put themselves at the service of the occupying power instead. President Beneš faced increasing pressure from the Allies as they asked for more active resistance in the occupied Protectorate. The Czechoslovak government in exile in London was gradually slipping into last place among the representatives of the occupied countries that were actively contributing in their resistance to the defeat of Germany. In such a situation it was necessary to prepare an enterprise that would clearly show the home resistance movement’s anti-German stance while simultaneously demonstrating President Beneš’ control of the situation in the home country. The terror unleashed by Heydrich in the Protectorate was another reason for planning his assassination. The assassination was considered an act of just retribution. At the same time it was meant to prove to the Nazis that none of them was untouchable and might anytime be called upon to account for their actions. At the beginning the plan considered either Reinhard Heydrich or K. H. Frank as the target. The operation designed to carry out the assassination was given the code name ANTHROPOID. The actual preparations began on October 2, 1941, in cooperation with the British SOE. Warrant Officer Josef Gabčík and Staff Sergeant Karel Svoboda were selected to carry out the assassination. The operation was to be carried out in the shortest time possible. October 28, 1941 was chosen as an appropriate date, Czechoslovakia’s Independence Day. KAREL SVOBODA (18. 10. 1912–?) Clerk and draftsman with Popper & Hruška Co., Prague; did his military service in the years 1932–1934 with the 2nd Frontier Battalion in Trutnov. In June 1939 he crossed over to Poland and then went to France, where he joined the Foreign Legion. Toward the end of September he enlisted in Agde and was assigned to the Communications Company of the 2nd Infantry Regiment. After the capitulation of France he was evacuated to Britain, where he served with the Command Company of the 2nd Battalion. In October 1941 he was transferred to the 2nd MOD Department in London. An injury prevented him from taking part in Operation ANTHROPOID. He was deplaned as a radio-operator with the crew of the Operation WOLFRAM on September 14, 1944, but was arrested by the Gestapo shortly thereafter. Despite brutal torture he did not disclose any information and refused offers of cooperation. He was deported to the Flossenbürg Concentration Camp, where he lived to see the end of the war. This quartet of men in exile in Britain made many momentous decisions. GS Col. František Moravec, Div. Gen. Sergej Ingr, the President of the Republic Edvard Beneš, and Div. Gen. Rudolf Viest. 31 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia october 1941 FRANTIŠEK PAVELKA (29. 11. 1920–11. 1. 1943) Student of the Philosophy Faculty of Masaryk University in Brno. On November 17, 1939, he avoided arrest during a raid on students; for a certain time he was employed at the Telegraphic Office in Brno. In March 1940 he crossed over to Hungary and Yugoslavia, and upon reaching France, he enlisted with the 1st Czechoslovak Division in Agde. He took part in battles against the German army and, after the capitulation of France, he was evacuated to Britain, where he was assigned to the Communications Platoon of the 2nd Battalion. He volunteered for assignments in his home country and, after the necessary training, he was deplaned in the night from October 3 to October 4, 1941, as part of Operation PERCENTAGE on the territory of the Protectorate. He managed to contact the ÚVOD organization but was captured by the Gestapo as early as October 25, 1941. He was sentenced to death by the Berlin People’s Court and executed in Plötzensee. Tragically on the same night of the PERCENTAGE air-drop, the Gestapo and its radio locating services were able to discover the transmitter SPARTA I in Jinonice. As a consequence, the home front lost contact with London and could not acknowledge the success of Operation PERCENTAGE. The discovery of the transmitter led to the mass arrests of leading representatives of the home resistance organizations. During 1941, the Germans successfully cut exceptionally important radio communication between the home front and London. This communication link was maintained from the autumn of 1939 through a series of radio transmitters operated by members of the home front resistance movement, who worked under the code name SPARTA I and SPARTA II. The operation of radio SPARTA I was originally directed by the Political Headquarters and later, from the beginning of 1940, by the civil unit of the Central Home Resistance Command (ÚVOD). From July 8, 1941, only one radio station – SPARTA I – operated by the radio- telegraphic group of Prof. Krajina, maintained contact with London. This fact could have influenced the success of all subsequently planned actions in the Protectorate, including Operation ANTHROPOID, and led to the realisation of Operation PERCENTAGE. During the night of October 3-4, 1941, Lance-Corporal František Pavelka was air-dropped at Koudelov near Čáslav. His goal was to establish contact with the leading representatives of the home front and deliver a message from Gen. Ingr and crystals for new radio stations, telegraph keys, along with a new enciphering key. Pavelka was also equipped with a transmitter, model MARK III, supplied by the British agency, with which he was to help maintain communication between the home front and London. Although Pavelka landed 35 km away from the intended drop zone near Nasavrky, he was able to establish contact with the domestic home front at the alternative address of Václav Doležal at Nasavrky on October 4, 1941. The power source and transmitting part of the illegal resistance radio transmitter SPARTA I. To search out illegal transmitters, the radio detection units used mobile gonio-vehicles camouflaged with civil advertising. After making a rough estimate of the transmitter’s location, searchers arrived on foot equipped with radio locators (Fu G.P.c. manufactured by the Viennese Firm Kapsch) hidden and perfectly masked in their belts. These could lead members of the Gestapo all the way to the door of the apartment behind which an illegal transmitter was used. 32 october 1941 Britain Preparations for Operation ANTHROPOID were in full motion in London as Lance-Corporal František Pavelka began to carry out his mission in the Protectorate. One of the few documents preserved to date about the preparation of this operation is this record of October 3, 1941, documenting the reception Warrant Officer Josef Gabčík and Staff Sergeant Karel Svoboda by the Chief of MOD Intelligence in London, GS Col. František Moravec. 33 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia october 1941 On October 8, 1941, in the atmosphere of mass arrests and executions of the Czech people, Reinhard Heydrich, along with K. H. Frank, went to the Krone Circus hosted by Prague at the time. The same day Heydrich’s proclamation on the disbandment of all Sokol groups and the confiscation of their property went into effect. On October 9, 1941, Reinhard Heydrich sent a memorandum to all inspectors, commanders, and heads of offices subordinate to him, informing them of his new mission in the Protectorate. He left no one in doubt as to which methods he would use to enforce his rule. “... this honourable naming to office not only is an honour to me personally, but also is a recognition of the work of the Security Police and Security Service... I know I was entrusted with this mission as a member of SS and as such I shall fulfill it...” Heydrich’s rule in the Protectorate became the truly absolute rule of the Security Police (Sipo) and the Security Service (SD). The dagger of SS members, model 33, with the motto, “My fidelity is my honour”. On October 10, 1941, in the presence of SS-Sturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann, Reinhard Heydrich presided over a conference on “the final solution to the Jewish problem” in the Protectorate. He stated that there were approximately 88,000 Jews living in the Protectorate – 48,000 in Prague, 10,000 in Brno, and 10,000 in Moravská Ostrava. He indicated that Terezín was the best place to build a temporary collection camp. “...Transports to the ghetto will not take too much time, two or three trains could be sent out daily, with about 1,000 persons each. The resettlement will be carried out according to evacuation principles. Using a time-tested method, each Jew may take a non-lockable piece of luggage with up to 50 kg of personal belongings, and – to make our task easier – foodstuffs for 2-4 weeks.” ADOLF EICHMANN (19. 3. 1906–1. 6. 1962) In April 1932 he joined the Austrian NSDAP and SS. He was active in the SD Headquarters and was specially authorized to organize the Nazi’s anti-Semitic campaign in Vienna in 1938. Beginning October 1939 he was the leader of an RSHA Branch for Jewish Affairs (IV D 4, later IV B 4). He authored the minutes of the conference that was held in Wannsee in January 1942, where the “final solution to the Jewish problem” was on the agenda. During the war he organized transports of the Jewish population from Germany and the occupied countries to extermination camps (over three million people!). In 1946 he escaped from an American POW camp and fled to Argentina, where he lived under a false name (Ricardo Klement). In 1960 he was kidnapped by members of the Israeli Secret Service and taken to Israel, where he was sentenced to death and executed. SIPO The Security Police (Sicherheitspolizei, henceforth Sipo) was established as part of the reorganization of the German Police in June 1936. Beginning June 26, 1936, R. Heydrich stood in charge of the Sipo Headquarters (Hauptamt der Sicherheitspolizei). He simultaneously headed the SD Headquarters, thus holding enormous power in his hands. The Sipo consisted of the Gestapo (Geheimestaatspolizei – Secret State Police) and the Criminal Police (Kriminalpolizei – Kripo). Following the establishment of the RSHA in September 1939, the Gestapo became Office IV and the Criminal Police, Office V. In addition to the Security Police, there existed the Order Police (Ordnungspolizei – Orpo), which comprised of the Protection Police (Schutzpolizei – Schupo), the Gendarmerie (Gendarmerie), the Municipal Police (Gemeindevollzugspolizei), and the Firefighting Police (Feuerschutzpolizei). 34 october 1941 Britain The departure of the ANTHROPOID drop into the Protectorate was scheduled as early as October 7-10, 1941, on the basis of the first meeting of the intelligence department in London with the SOE. At that time a period of air operations over the occupied parts of Europe ended (a dark, moonless night was necessary for the long-distance flight). This haste was accompanied by a rather simplified notion as to how the assassination would be executed. As the news was arriving of cruel repressions in the Protectorate, even against some of the Republic’s top military leaders, the London exile leadership became convinced that the assassination should be carried out directly on the Reich Protector Reinhard Heydrich. Josef Gabčík and Karel Svoboda left for a completion para-course in Manchester, where they were to carry out two daytime jumps from a Whitley aircraft and one night jump from a fixed balloon. It was a fateful leap from a fixed balloon for Staff Sergeant Svoboda. He suffered a head injury during the jump. One day after Svoboda’s arrival in London, on October 6, 1941, a doctor examined him for persistent headaches. On October 7, 1941, WO Gabčík completed the graduate course alone. GS Capt. 1st Class Šustr immediately informed the Chief of Intelligence, GS Col. Moravec, suggesting that Staff Sergeant Svoboda be replaced by WO Jan Kubiš at Gabčík’s request with the consent of Maj. Karel Paleček, who was in charge of the selection of the paratroopers. This switch was agreed upon, but the planned schedule of the operation could not be kept because WO Kubiš’ false Protectorate documents were not complete. Besides that, he had not yet completed the upgraded parachuting and shooting courses. Operation ANTHROPOID was postponed. A paratrooper jumping from a fixed balloon. Two valuable documents from the original plans for Operation ANTHROPOID dated October 6, 1941. The first one specifies five possible landing sites near Pilsen. The second one is a document, a copy of which was received also by the Commander of the No138 Special Duties Squadron, S/L Farley, postponing the execution of Operation ANTHROPOID from October 7 to October 8, 1941. KAREL PALEČEK (28. 1. 1896–12. 3. 1962) During WWI he was a member of the Czechoslovak Legion in Russia. After returning home, he served with the 46th Infantry Regiment in Chomutov (platoon commander, intelligence officer). On May 1, 1931 he was transferred to the 2nd GS Department, where he served until March 14, 1939, mostly as Commander of the PAÚ (VONAPO) itself. While holding these posts, he cooperated directly with the Soviet and French intelligence services. While in Britain he was in charge of the 2nd MOD Department’s ciphering group. From July 2, 1942, he was the head of Special Group D. In March 1945 he was transferred to the Eastern Front (deputy of the 2nd GS Dept. in Košice). After WWII he was in charge of the build-up of paratrooper units and became their first commander in 1948. In November 1949 he was arrested and sentenced to nine years in prison. He was released from prison in May 1952. 35 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia october 1941 “Activist reporters” were important tools for strengthening German political presence in the Protectorate. They were newsmen representing an outright pro-Nazi approach in Czech journalism. This group was supported by Reich Protector Konstantin von Neurath and openly challenged the policies of Prime Minister Alois Eliáš. The editor-in-chief of “The Czech Word”, Karel Lažnovský, was an eager follower of the Nazi ideology and an acknowledged activist reporter. As one of the main creators of the Protectorate’s collaborator ideology, Karel Lažnovský became one of the central players in the “hors d’oeuvre affair” or the “prisoner affair”, which excited the Protectorate public between September and October 1941. On September l8, 1941, a group of activist reporters attended an audience given by Prime Minister Eliáš. While they were there, some of them were allegedly poisoned with an unidentified substance probably contained in the hors d’oeuvres. On October 11, 1941 Karel Lažnovský succumbed to the poison. His funeral on October 15, 1941, became a manifestation of the unity of Nazi leadership in the Protectorate and the Protectorate government. A dagger belonging to SS members, model 36. The discovery of the SPARTA I radio transmitter in a Jinonice attic, in mid- October 1941, led to the eradication of almost the entire leadership of the ÚVOD resistance organization. The arrests had a significant effect on one of its arms - the Petitionary Committee of Faithful We Shall Remain (PVVZ). The gradual discovery of the entire illegal network eventually led the Gestapo to Lance-Corporal František Pavelka. He was arrested in one of his hideout apartments and imprisoned on October 25, 1941. Operation PERCENTAGE ended without success. During his interrogation the name “Lidice” was first mentioned together with the families of Stříbrný and Horák and their alternative addresses, which Pavelka had received in London before his departure. The visit of the Reich SS Leader Heinrich Himmler testified to the fact that the Protectorate was becoming a special domain of the SS. Himmler commenced his inspecting visit with a parade of SS Honour units at Prague Castle. 36 october 1941 Britain The failure of Operation PERCENTAGE postponed the departure of the ANTHROPOID Group. The loss of communication with the home resistance movement led the MOD Intelligence Department in London to prioritize the SILVER programme. This operation comprised two groups, equipped with communications material to establish a lifeline between the home resistance movement and the London headquarters, who were air- dropped in the Protectorate. The news of events in the occupied homeland was important for several reasons. Through them, the London intelligence officers gathered important facts concerning the movements of German military units and the armament industry. They passed the information on to the intelligence officers of the Western Allies. Information concerning everyday life in the Protectorate served as preparation for the paratroopers. The Protectorate’s altered IDs undoubtedly was the most important report received. Other bits of information concerning the atmosphere and the mood of the people in the Protectorate were equally important. The unfounded expectations with which the paratroopers arrived in the occupied homeland testified to shortcomings in communication. Instead of the expected collective support of the population, they were met with fear and refusal and ended up in the wide net of the Gestapo’s Czech confidant circles. The instructors were members of the Scottish Guard. A British light machine BREN gun Mk.I derived from the Czechoslovak ZB machine gun, model 26, and manufactured under licence by the Enfield Armament Factory from September 1937. That is the origin of its name, BRno-ENfield. With the postponement of the operation, both members of the ANTHROPOID air-drop gained enough time to improve their training and to plan the entire mission more thoroughly. WO Jan Kubiš and WO Josef Gabčík spent the days between October l4 and l8, 1941, in Scotland, where they graduated from the Special SOE Course. The aim of this Special Course was accurate shooting and grenade and bomb throwing. Part of the course’s objective was aiming and instinctive shooting in action with a Tommy STEN gun, a COLT pistol and a light machine BREN gun. This demanding training took place in a variety of situations that the two men might encounter in the occupied land. They practiced on fixed and moving targets in open terrain as well as in enclosed buildings and rooms. British incendiary hand grenade, model 74. Comparison of the British anti-tank grenade, model 73, and one from the pair of bombs found on May 27, 1942, at the scene of the assassination. The comparison was made by the German police. On October 20, 1941, both paratroopers were moved to Station XVII in Brickendonbury Manor, near London, which specialized in diversionist training. There they continued their practical exercises in handling explosives. The paratroopers learned to create all sorts of explosive booby traps on roads, railroads and in houses. They learned to use pressure, mechanical, chemical and electrical fuses. Under the watchful eyes of Cpt. Pritchard from the SOE they also learned to handle special bombs with very sensitive contact fuses made from modified anti-tank grenades, model 73. One of these was used half a year later in the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich. 37 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia november 1941 Heydrich’s concept of occupation policy relied on splitting Czech society into individual social groups, fully integrating them into war production activities, and gradually Germanizing them according to racial criteria. The Protectorate’s political representation – headed by State President Dr. Emil Hácha who was convinced that only full subordination to the occupants could ensure the very existence of the Czech nation – played an important role in the implementation of Heydrich’s plan of action. From the beginning Reinhard Heydrich took pleasure in the fact that State President Hácha, along with the Protectorate government, joined the anti-Beneš propaganda, pledged allegiance to Adolf Hitler as his Führer, used the Nazi salute, and was a compliant tool of the occupation’s politics. On November 19, 1941, State President Hácha handed Reinhard Heydrich four of the seven keys to the crown jewel chamber. He accompanied this symbolic act with the words: “...the crowning jewels deposited in St. Wenceslas’ Chapel in St. Vitus’ Cathedral in Prague are the symbols of Bohemia’s and Moravia’s allegiance to the Reich. On March 15, 1939, the Reich, from which the dignity of the kings of Bohemia once derived, took over the protection of these insignia and thereby the key to power. Mr. Reich Protector! I am personally handing over to you, as the Führer’s Commissioner in the Protectorate, the four keys to the crown jewels that were in my possession.” The National Centre of the Employees’ Union (NOUZ) played a substantial role in Heydrich’s policies, making an effort to convince workers that any resistance was dangerous. Workers in armament factories welcomed the announcement that factory cafeterias were to be established from October 1, 1941. Prague’s Abwehr Office noted that the workers were beginning to realize that it was best to fulfill their duties conscientiously. Heydrich held meetings with NOUZ delegates, increased the workers’ food rations, improved their social insurance, increased their social security insurance and annuity, and turned several luxury hotels into recreational facilities for them. With the help of NOUZ he was able to win over a part the Czech working class, especially those working in the armament industry. ABWEHR Established in 1925, the Abwehr was part of the German military intelligence and counter-intelligence services. From 1935 the Abwehr became part of the Nazi Wehrmacht (originally named Amtsgruppe Abwehr, from 1939 Amt Ausland/Abwehr, i.e., counter-intelligence abroad). During the years 1935–1944 it was headed by Admiral W. Canaris. In the Protectorate its head office was in Prague (Abwehrstelle Prag), with branch offices in Brno (Abwehrnebenstelle Brünn) and a detached counter-intelligence group in Ostrava. The Prague branch consisted of an Offensive Intelligence Section, Sabotage Section (later dissolved), and Defence Section. The activities of the Abwehr offices involved detecting foreign intelligence activities in the Protectorate, protecting military formations and enterprises that were important for war production. Years of rivalry between the Abwehr and the SD ended only with the integration of the Abwehr into the RSHA, i.e., its subordination to the SD in February 1944. Remnants of the Abwehr were transformed into the Military Administration (Militärisches Amt, AMT MIL), as part of RSHA. 38 november 1941 Britain From November 8, 1941, both paratroopers forming the ANTHROPOID group stayed in STS 2 in Villa Bellasis near Dorking. The MOD intelligence department in London in cooperation with the SOE had established a training Centre there for the Czechoslovak paratroopers. First-Lieutenant Rudolf Hrubec organised a graduate course there for sabotage groups. WO Jan Kubiš and WO Josef Gabčík were in Villa Bellasis to improve their skills in the use of motorized vehicles, the Morse code, and orientation in unknown territory. They drilled the necessary procedures after landing, demarcated drop zones for supply air-drops, practised shooting with pistols and machine guns and throwing hand grenades. First Lt. Hrubec with the STEN Mk II gun in front of Villa Bellasis. The British 9mm STEN Mk II machine gun fitted with a silencer, developed specially by the SOE for the purposes of paratroopers. RUDOLF HRUBEC (15. 11. 1914–11. 9. 1944) In the years 1937 and 1938 he studied at the Military Academy in Hranice, which he left as a cavalry lieutenant. In June 1939 he crossed the border to Poland and then left for France. Upon joining the French Foreign Legion he was posted to Africa. In September 1939 he enlisted with the 1st Czechoslovak Division in Agde and fought with it at the front. After the capitulation of France he was evacuated to Britain. For health reasons he was not enrolled in the Air Force. In May 1941 he attended the para course and, in the autumn of 1941, an assault course. Thereafter he was assigned to the 2nd MOD Department, Special Group D. He became an instructor of the para course and accompanied some of the paratroopers on their flights. From October 1943 he commanded a detached section of the Special Group D in Algeria. He was selected to take part in Operation SILICA II. His aircraft crashed into a mountain in Northern Italy. His entire family was executed at Luby near Klatovy on July 2, 1942. Protectorate documents were counterfeited in Britain for the needs of the paratroopers. Nearly perfect counterfeits were created with the aid of false stamps. The army ID of WO Josef Gabčík with the inserted photograph of his British girlfriend, Lorna Ellison. 39 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia december 1941 Hitler’s friend and chief architect, Albert Speer (second from right), upon arrival in Prague, on December 4, 1941, to negotiate with Reinhard Heydrich details of employing l6,000 Czech construction workers in the Reich. After a two-hour sightseeing drive around Prague Speer discussed with Prof. Hermann Wonderlich, Vice President of Prague’s planning commission, his “suggestions” for the improvement of the architectural appearance of the capital city. Among his “suggestions” were the demolition of the Petřín lookout tower, the construction of a new German university in Strahov, the monumental rebuilding of the Vltava riverbank, and the building of new German government quarters in Letná. The dinner seating arrangements modified by Heydrich at Prague Castle on December 4, 1941, on the occasion of Albert Speer’s visit. Dress code: Men in uniform, women in short evening dresses. Albrecht Speer announced to Reich Marshal Hermann Göring that only a workforce from the Protectorate could replace the departing Italian workers on the construction sites of aircraft factories. The entire matter had earlier been discussed with K.H. Frank, who started preparing a mandatory workforce deployment order. 40 december 1941 Britain Special Training School 25 Assault Course Buildings: Garramor House (STS 25a) Camusdarrach House (STS 25b) Traigh House (STS 25c) Commander: Major J. T. Young Special Training School 21 Assault Course Building: Arisaig House Commander: Lt. Col. A. D. Balden Special Training School 51 Para Course Buildings: Dunham House (STS 51a) Fulshaw Hall (STS 51b) Commander: Major C. J. Edwards Station XVII Special Diversion Course Building: Brickendonbury Manor Commander: Lt. Col. G. T. Rheam Special Training School 2 Graduate Course Building: Villa Bellasis Commander: Major A. M. Boal The training centres of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) which were used in the training of the ANTHROPOID Group. 41 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia december 1941 On December 5, 1941, Reinhard Heydrich received a delegation of Czech farmers. He listened to their assurances of willingness to cooperate, but at the same time reprimanded them for sabotaging the inventory of cattle and grain. This move was part of Heydrich’s fight against the black market, which reached such proportions in 1941 that a special agricultural police squad had to be established. The Czech farmers were threatened with the confiscation of their farms if they failed to report their true output. In the spirit of his speech of October 2, 1941, Heydrich demanded that farms be confiscated only from farmers unsuited for Germanization. Reinhard Heydrich combined the fight against the black market with terror directed against the entire population. The Martial Law Courts began to carry out dozens of death sentences on butchers, grocers and pub owners to a certain extent with the silent consent of the population. 42 The text on the plaque states: “Here stood the Wilson memorial, which was removed upon the order of Reich Protector, SS-Obergruppenführer Heydrich.” On December 7, 1941, the Japanese Air Force attacked the American Naval Base at Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian Islands. On December 11, 1941, Germany – as an ally of the Japanese Empire – declared war on the U.S.A. The following night, the order was given to demolish the memorial to American President Woodrow Wilson, which stood in front of the main railway station in Prague. december 1941 Britain In London on December 1, 1941, Warrant Officers Jan Kubiš and Josef Gabčík signed a pledge stating: “The substance of my mission basically is that I will be sent back to my homeland, with another member of the Czechoslovak Army, in order to commit an act of sabotage or terrorism at a place and in a situation depending on our findings at the given site and under the given circumstances, and I will do so effectively so as to generate the sought-after response not only in the home country but also abroad. I will do it to the extent of my best knowledge and conscience so that I can successfully fulfill this mission for which I have volunteered.” Half a year later they both fulfilled this pledge to the last bit. WO Jan Kubiš Two photographs that entered history, taken on December l8, 1942, in the courtyard of the Porchester Gate Building in London, site of the Command Section of Special Group D. Before departure both paratroopers were given instructions as to how to proceed after landing with their false Protectorate documents: Gabčík as Zdeněk Vyskočil and Kubiš as Otto Strnad. The building and the memorial wall, in front of which the entire group of Czech paratroopers were photographed before their departure into action, are still standing. WO Josef Gabčík 43 Britain december 1941 On December 28, 1941, shortly before departure for the occupied homeland, Josef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš made out their last will. On the same day at 22:00 hours, a heavily laden aeroplane carrying 15 men took off from Tangmere Airport in Sussex in southern England. The historic air-drop was carried out during the night of December 28-29, 1941, by the crew of a four-engine Handley-Page Halifax Mk.II/srs. (serial number 1a L9613 with the code NF-V) from the No 138 Special Duties Squadron under the command of F/Lt. Ronald C. Hockey. In addition to the seven- member crew on board were a dispatcher, GS Capt. 1st Class Jaroslav Šustr, and seven Czechoslovak paratroopers. In order to maximise the full capacity of this powerful plane, ANTHROPOID was joined by groups SILVER B and SILVER A (their flights into the homeland in the nights of November 7 and 30, 1941 on the underpowered Whitley Mk. VZ9125 NF-A, piloted by P/O Leo Anderle, had been unsuccessful). The Halifax flew over the French coast to the Le Crotoy area, and from there headed for Darmstadt, where they arrived at 00:42 hours. During their flight they twice met enemy night interceptor planes, which the Halifax was able to shake off. Orientation for the crew was made very difficult because most of the reference points, such as railroad tracks, rivers, and even small towns, had disappeared under heavy snow cover. This fact contributed to a navigation mistake as the crew mistook Prague for Pilsen (from which they were shot at by an anti-aircraft battery at 2:12 a.m.). As a result, the ANTHROPOID group was air-dropped at 2:24 a.m. close to Nehvizdy, a village near Čelákovice, east of Prague, instead of east of Pilsen. At 2:37 a.m. group SILVER A was air-dropped (First Lt. Alfréd Bartoš, WO Josef Valčík, and Lance-Corporal Jiří Potůček). According to the navigator this happened east of Čáslav but, in reality, it was between Poděbrady and Městec Králové. The SILVER B crew (Staff-Sergeant Jan Zemek and Sgt. Vladimír Škácha) was air-dropped at 02:56 a.m. but, instead of landing NW of Ždírec, they landed near Kasaličky, not far from Přelouč. After finishing this dangerous and demanding mission, the Halifax headed for Darmstadt and was shot at twice by anti- aircraft batteries. The Halifax flew over the French coast at 07:20 hours and the English coast at 08:07 and finally touched down at Tangmere Airport at 08:19. The four-engine Handley-Page Halifax Mk.II/srs. 1a L9613 (NF-V) plane, from which the paratroopers of Groups ANTHROPOID, SILVER A and SILVER B, were air-dropped during the night of December 28-29, 1941. 44 december 1941 Britain The special night-time flights over occupied Europe were among the most dangerous missions undertaken by the RAF during WWII. The Halifax took off alone, with the prospect of ten or more hours of night-time flying over half of occupied Europe. Searchlights, anti-aircraft batteries, night-time interceptor aircraft, bad weather, and possible mechanical failures were all real dangers lying in wait. There was a heavy responsibility on the navigator’s shoulders as the success of the entire mission depended on him. The crew had to find a good drop zone for the planned jump of the paratroopers or the dropping off of supply containers. Orientation was hard not only because of night-time darkness and imperfect navigation equipment but also because landing points were usually chosen in forested regions away from large cities. These points were illuminated only by barely visible landing lights or fires (in the Protectorate, this system of receiving paratroops was never used in practice and the jumps were done blindly as a rule). Air-drops had to be carried out from a height of only 150-200 metres at the speed of about 200 km/h. This required total professionalism and teamwork on the part of the crew and the paratroopers under the constant danger of detection by the German defence. After completing their mission the crew had to endure the long hours of an exhausting return flight. Part of the ANTHROPOID equipment consisted of British Mills hand grenades, model 36M Mk.I, and what are called timing pencils. They were pencil fuses with different delay times. The crew that accomplished this historic flight. From the left: F/Lt Hockey, P/O Wilkin, F/Sgt. Holden, F/Sgt. Burke, Sgt. Hughes, Sgt. Berwick, Sgt. Walton, and an unknown crew member. For its mission, ANTHROPOID was equipped with two containers with operating material. The containers included, among other things, two pistols, a 38 COLT – with four full spare magazines and 100 bullets – six armour-piercing bombs filled with plastic explosives (one of which was ready for its target), two magazines of fuses, two model Mills grenades, one Tree Spigot bomb launcher with one bomb, four electric fuses, one STEN Mk.II machine gun with 100 bullets, 32 lbs. of plastic explosives, two yards of fuse rope, four smoke bombs, a reel of steel string and three timing pencils. On December 29, 1941, at approximately 2:30 a.m., Jan Kubiš and Josef Gabčík landed on a snow-covered field near Nehvizdy not far from Prague. RONALD CLIFFORD HOCKEY (4. 8. 1911–21. 2. 1992) Graduate of the Imperial College, London. In 1933 he attended a pilot course and was employed with the RAF in Farnborough. Following the breakout of the war he enlisted for military service in Hendon with the No 24 Squadron, a special unit designated for transporting VIP’s (he flew with W. S. Churchill and Ch. de Gaulle). After the defeat of France he was transferred to the No 1419 Special Duties Flight, later on transformed to the No 138 Special Duties Squadron, becoming its commander in April 1942. From April 1943 he performed secret missions with the No 334 Wing at the Brindisi Base in southern Italy. From February 1944 he was Commander of the No 38 Wing in Britain. He took part in the organisation of paratrooper operations as part of the invasion of Normandy by the Allied Armies. In 1946, he was transferred to the reserves. NO 138 SPECIAL DUTIES SQUADRON On August 21, 1940, a special unit was established for the purposes of the SOE agenda (No 419 Special Duties Flight) at North Weald Airport. To start with, all this unit had was three single-engine upper-winged aircraft, type Westland Lysander Mk.III, designated for taking and picking up agents to/from occupied France. Later on the Flight obtained three twin-engine aircraft, type Armstrong-Whithworth Whitley Mk.V, for the dropping off of agents in more distant areas. From March 1, 1941, the number of the Flight was changed to No 1419 and again six months later (25. 8. 1941), as there were a large number of special tasks. The formation had to be expanded yet again as the No 138 Special Duties Squadron. At first it was stationed in Newmarket, then from January 18, 1942, in Stradishall, and finally from March 11, 1942, in Tempsford. In June 1944 the Squadron was equipped with new aircraft, type Stirling Mk.IV, whereupon it continued to perform special duties until March 9, 1945. It was dissolved on September 1, 1950. 45 d de ec ce em mb be er r 1 19 94 41 1 – – m ma ay y 1 19 94 42 2 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia december 1941 It is December 29, 1941, a day like any other. The Protectorate has seen its third wartime Christmas. The state of civil emergency is still in effect and fear is omni-present among the people. Those who want to forget reality can go to watch a hockey match, for example. Yesterday the LTC Prague played against the SSC Říčany and won 21-0. Zábrodský scored four goals. Or one can go and buy tickets to the theatre. The Prozatímní Divadlo (Temporary Theatre) in Karlín will present a play with the attractive name, “A Sharp Curve”. But at this very moment, a short distance from Prague, two men are hiding who, less than five months later, will orchestrate a play that should have the same title. This time it will be a life-or-death play. It is going to be about the life of the Reich’s No. 3 and about the lives of thousands of Czechoslovak fellow citizens. After landing Jan Kubiš with Josef Gabčík hid their personal operation equipment and sabotage material in Antonín Sedláček’s garden shed, where they spent their first night in the Protectorate. In the morning they were to discover in the local parish house that there had been a great navigational error. Instead of the Pilsen area they had jumped near Nehvizdy, a short distance from Prague. Following the original instructions they departed for the region of Pilsen, where they searched out their contacts. Addresses of reliable members of the home resistance movement was an important component in the armoury of all parachutists. In many cases, unfortunately, air-dropped paratroopers ended up at the doors of already executed resistance members. In the case of the ANTHROPOID Group, the addresses proved to be good, and Josef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš received the help they needed. Gabčík, who had injured himself during the jump, even received medical treatment. The leading illegal JINDRA organization was headed by Prof. Ladislav Vaněk. This man was a controversial home resistance figure. After being arrested by the Gestapo, on September 4, 1942, he made a full confession, helped indict all others, and was even willing to participate in a planned radio counter-campaign against London. “We are ready for 1942!” A New Year’s greeting card of the Czechoslovak Army stationed in Britain. The first people to help the paratroopers were State Secret Police Inspector Václav Král in Pilsen (password: “Adina greets Pilsen – March 8th is good”) and the retired railway man Václav Stehlík at Rokycany (password: “Greetings from Hradecký”). Václav Stehlík was executed with his entire family in Pilsen-Lobzy on May 28, 1942. Václav Král was executed with his entire family in Mauthausen on October 24, 1942. Václav Stehlík Both members of ANTHROPOID headed through Prague back to Nehvizdy from the Pilsen area where they gathered up their hidden material, gradually relocated it into hiding places in Prague and the surrounding area. With the help of the local miller, Břetislav Bauman, they established contact with the Sokol resistance organization, JINDRA. This organization, jointly with a few members of the former Masaryk League Against Tuberculosis, provided both paratroopers with hideout flats in Prague and any help they needed. This proved crucial for the success of Operation ANTHROPOID. Břetislav Bauman and his wife Emilia were executed in Mauthausen on October 24, 1942. This printing machine used by the underground JINDRA organization. Václav Král Ladislav Vaněk Břetislav Bauman 48 december 1941 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia The arrival of the Czechoslovak parachutists did not escape the attention of the well-organized monitoring service of the Luftwaffe (Flugmeldedienst) that watched the airspace over the Protectorate. Reinhard Heydrich was immediately informed of the flight’s route and also, almost simultaneously, of the paratroopers’ moves in the homeland. Because an air-drop of paratroopers had been anticipated, the Wehrmacht units searched the areas of their overflight. BEDŘICH HOMOLA (2. 6. 1887–5. 1. 1943) He was a member of Czechoslovak Legion in Russia during the years of WWI. In 1920 and 1921 he was assigned to the General Staff in Prague. 1922-1923: 2nd in command at the Military Academy in Hranice. 1923-1925: Chief of Staff of the 7th Infantry Division. 1925-1928: Commander of the 27th Infantry Regiment. 1928-1934: Commander of the 14th Infantry Brigade, 1934-1935: Commander of the 1st Division. 1935-1939: Commander of the 7th Corps in Banská Bystrica. In March 1939 he directed a military intervention against Slovak Separatists (the “Homola Putsch”). From the beginning of the occupation, one of the leading actors of the Nation’s Defence, he headed the Special Regional Command – Greater Prague. Became Chief Commander of DoN after the arrest of Gen. Bílý. He was betrayed, arrested, sentenced to death and executed. On December 31, 1941, the home resistance movement was dealt another cruel blow. Div. Gen. Bedřich Homola, who headed the resistance organization, the Nation’s Defence, after the arrest of Army Gen. Josef Bílý, fell into the hands of the Gestapo. With his arrest the Gestapo finalized the annihilation of the second level of the Nation’s Defence. On January 5, 1943 Div. Gen. Bedřich Homola was executed in Berlin-Plötzensee. In his last letter he wrote: “I am not writing about my sacrifice, it is a matter of course.” Shortly after the arrival of the paratroopers, the Police Search Division Centre issued a confidential memorandum to all police stations, containing orders to search the entire Protectorate for suspicious persons who appeared after December 29, 1941. 49 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia december 1941 ALFRÉD BARTOŠ (23. 9. 1916–21. 6. 1942) Was a graduate of the Military Academy in Hranice, from which he graduated as a Cavalry Lieutenant. In May 1939 he left the Protectorate for France, where he joined the Foreign Legion. Until the start of the war he served in Tunis. In October 1939 he was stationed in Agde, where he served as 2nd Adjutant of the Commander of the 2nd Infantry Regiment. In the battles on the front he worked as an Intelligence Officer. In Britain he was given the position of Commander of the 1st Troop of the 2nd Infantry Battalion. He volunteered for special missions in the homeland, where he departed as Commander of the SILVER A air-drop. During his mission he achieved outstanding success in his assignment in the Protectorate. He committed suicide in order not to be captured while being pursued by the Gestapo. During the night of December 28 and December 29, 1941, simultaneously with ANTHROPOID, the SILVER A group was air- dropped. SILVER A was composed of First Lt. Alfréd Bartoš, WO Josef Valčík and Lance- Corporal Jiří Potůček. Their mission was to search out members of the home resistance movement and to renew radio-telegraphic communication with London. SILVER A operated primarily in the area of Pardubice. Here they could rely on a wide illegal network of colleagues, who not only helped them to hide but also supplied them with the information that was awaited by London headquarters. All the news sent out from the occupied homeland was received by military radio headquarters, set up on Duke’s Hill in Woldingham, approximately 50 km from London. An experienced radio telegrapher, Jiří Potůček, with the help of the radio transmitter model MARK III, code named LIBUŠE, was able to establish contact with the military radio headquarters at Woldingham as early as the night of January 14-15, 1942. SILVER A was very successful in gathering intelligence and organizing tasks. Its activities were disrupted by Karel Čurda’s betrayal. Karel Čurda, from the air-drop OUT DISTANCE, informed the Gestapo about the hiding places of other paratroopers. First Lt. Alfréd Bartoš, on the run from the Gestapo, shot himself in Pardubice on June 21, 1942. On July 2, 1942, Lance-Corporal Jiří Potůček also died on the run after being shot to death, while sleeping, by a Protectorate gendarme, Sgt. Karel Pulpán, near Rosice. WO Josef Valčík was forced to leave SILVER A earlier and went into hiding in Prague, where he worked with the ANTHROPOID group. JOSEF VALČÍK (2. 11. 1914–18. 6. 1942) Upon completing apprenticeship as a tanner, he worked in the Ba a Shoe Factories in Zlín. Between 1936-1938 he completed his conscription duty with the 22nd Infantry Regiment. Through Yugoslavia, Turkey, and Syria he arrived in France where he was placed in March 1940 with the 2nd Czechoslovak Infantry Regiment, with which he lived through the entire French campaign. In Britain he served as a Company Sgt. Maj. of the 1st Company of the 2nd Battalion. He volunteered to be deployed behind enemy lines and after graduating from the training course, he was put 2nd in command of SILVER A. In the Protectorate he took part in the creation of a widely branched intelligence organization. After his hideout was discovered as a result of betrayal, he escaped to Prague, where he took part in the assassination of R. Heydrich. He shot himselve in the crypt of the church on Resslova street. JIŘÍ POTŮČEK (12. 7. 1912–2. 7. 1942) He was apprenticed as shoemaker in the rubber division with the Ba a Factory in Zlín, where he later on became an instructor in its rubber division. He had an outstanding aptitude for foreign languages. In the year 1938 he was sent as franchise director to Ba a’s subsidiary in Osiyek, Yugoslavia. In the year 1939 he left employment in Yugoslavia to go to France where on January 14, 1940, he joined the Czechoslovak Army. In Agde he was placed with the GS communications unit. After evacuation to Britain he was placed in the communications squad of the GS platoon. He volunteered to be air-dropped into the homeland. He attended special training in communications and other special courses. He was sent into the Protectorate as radio telegrapher with the SILVER A group. He accomplished his mission in an outstanding manner. On the run from the Gestapo he was killed by a Protectorate gendarme. JAN ZEMEK (3. 5. 1915–6. 7. 1994) In the years 1935-1937 he did his military service with the 15th Infantry Regiment. He remained in the army as a professional soldier. From August 1939 he was placed with the 11th Battalion of the governmental army. In December 1939 he unsuccessfully tried to leave the country and spent three months in a Hungarian prison. He succeeded the second time around. He arrived in Agde through the Balkans and Syria, where he was recruited in May 1940. He went through the French campaign. He missed the boat to Britain but arrived on his own through Africa, Martinique and Bermudas in March 1941. He volunteered to be air-dropped into the homeland and was placed into the SILVER B group. He was unable to establish contact. He was hiding from the Gestapo and then, towards the end of the war, joined the guerrillas. After February 1948 he was expelled from the army. During 1950-1951, he was a prisoner in the forced labour camp at Mírov. At the beginning of the year 1942 London anxiously awaited dispatches from LIBUŠE. On the same night that groups ANTHROPOID and SILVER A were air-dropped, SILVER B also landed near Přelouč. The mission of the two-member team, Staff-Sergeant Jan Zemek and Sgt. Vladimír Škácha, was to deliver a radio transmitter to the home front resistance movement and help them maintain contact with London. The radio station was damaged during the jump and the group was unable to establish contact with London or with the local resistance movement. SILVER B was unsuccessful in its mission. Both paratroopers lived to see the end of the war: Zemek in the underground, Škácha (arrested by the Gestapo in January 1945) in the concentration camp of Flossenbürg. 50 january 1942 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia Emanuel Moravec On January 19, 1942, a new Protectorate government was named, replacing the old government (entirely according to Heydrich’s ideas), which was in effect non-functional from September 27, 1941, onwards. The reason behind the reorganization of the government was the destruction of the Protectorate’s autonomous administration. The number of ministries was reduced to seven. A single German minister in the Protectorate government, SS-Oberführer Walther Bertsch, directed a newly created key ministry of economy and labour. The greatest change to take place, apart from changes in personnel, was the establishment of the Office for People’s Enlightenment. The affairs of the press, theatre, literature, art, film and foreign tourism were subordinate to this office. The ministry, in turn, was subordinate to the newly named Minister of Education, Emanuel Moravec. This former Czechoslovak legionnaire and later General Staff Colonel and a professor of war history and strategy at the University of War Studies in Prague was – prior to Munich – the most ardent defender of fighting against Nazi Germany. After the occupation, however, he sided with the Nazis entirely and became a symbol of extreme collaboration. Moravec was, in Heydrich’s opinion, unusually well suited for collaboration. While being part of the government, he was to become the synonym for Czech collaboration. As soon as he took office as Minister of Education, he came to terms with the idea that the universities would never be reopened as was originally proclaimed in 1942, and admitted that: “...this question has become passé due to recent developments....” Whenever there were governmental appointments, Heydrich released some of the students who had been arrested during the demonstrations of November 17, 1939, and abolished the state of civil emergency. Less than four months after his arrival in the Protectorate, a cruel, bloody tax was paid. From September 27, 1941, after being sentenced by martial law courts, a total of 486 people were executed and 2,242 others were dragged away to concentration camps. VLADIMÍR ŠKÁCHA (17. 5. 1920 – 23. 3. 1987) Apprenticed as a mason and worked as a builder’s assistant until he left the country in the middle of 1939. From Poland he went to France, where he served in the Foreign Legion. In October 1939 he enlisted for military service in the Czechoslovak Army in Agde, where he joined his unit and was fighting on the frontline. Upon arrival in Britain he was placed with the 3rd Company of the 2nd Battalion. After completing special training he became part of the SILVER B air-drop. He survived several shootouts with the Gestapo. Finally he was arrested by the Gestapo in Ostrava and imprisoned in a concentration camp until the end of the war. After liberation he worked shortly with the Ministry of National Defence. In the year 1946, he left the army and worked as a manager of a food store in Brno. He left for Canada in 1968, where he died in Toronto in the mid 1980’s. Moravec’s Office for People’s Enlightenment was to oversee film production. Films were to make people forget the reality of everyday life. People were to work for the good of the Third Reich and not to worry about anything else. January 20, 1942, in Berlin-Wannsee, a secret meeting took place that was to coordinate the systematic extermination of European Jews. One of the leading architects of the “final solution to the Jewish problem (Endlösung der Judenfrage)” was Reinhard Heydrich. After the Wannsee meeting, which laid the foundations for the extermination of six million European Jews, he stated that the “final solution to the Jewish problem” would involve 11 million people, of which 74,000 were living in the Protectorate. Five days after the meeting in Wannsee, Reinhard Heydrich advised K. H. Frank that Göring, had appointed him on July 31, 1941, to take all the steps necessary for implementing the “final solution to the Jewish problem”. 51 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia february 1942 One the most important mission objectives of the SILVER A group was to establish contact with Capt. 1st Class Václav Morávek. Through this last member of the most famous section of the Nation’s Defence still on the run, whom the Gestapo called with respect “the three Czech kings of the resistance”, the Czechoslovak Intelligence Service in London was trying to reestablish the flow of information from Agent A-54, interrupted from October 4, 1941, by the confiscation of the last remaining transmitter, SPARTA I, in Jinonice . Agent A-54, with whom the Czechoslovak Intelligence Service had cooperated since as early as 1936, was – with an unsuspecting Intelligence Office Service – Paul Thümmel, the Chief Resident of the Counter Espionage Section, Dept. III.F, of the Prague Abwehr Station. This double agent supplied the Czechoslovak Intelligence with valuable information, for no small amount of money and also a lot of disinformation. Bartoš had been trying to make a contact with Morávek for a long time without any success. No one could suspect that the effort to gain more information from A-54 (otherwise known as RENÉ or EVA) as well as all other efforts were pointless because the Gestapo, along with the transmitter SPARTA I, obtained many dispatches which they were able to decipher. The Gestapo therefore knew already that the most important news sent by the home resistance movement to London was coming from someone sitting high up in German military circles and using the cover name RENÉ. On October 19, 1941, on the basis of uncovered facts, Paul Thümmel was arrested with Heydrich’s consent. Since they were unable to prove anything against him, he was released on November 25, 1941, following interventions from prominent representatives of the Nazi war machinery. After more evidence was gathered, Thümmel was arrested again on February 22, 1942. He confessed, trying to convince the Gestapo that his intent was to capture the entire leadership of the Czechoslovak resistance movement. On March 2, 1942, he was released on condition that he would bring Capt. 1st Class Morávek to a meeting. One of the “three kings” the Gestapo caught, apart from Capt. 1st Class Václav Morávek, was Lt. Col. Josef Balabán, who was arrested on April 22, 1941, with the aid of Gestapo informer A. Nerad. He was executed by shooting in Ruzyně Barracks on October 3, 1941. The last of the trio was Lt. Col. Josef Mašín, arrested on May 13, 1941, during a transmission to London. He was executed on June 30, 1942 in Prague-Kobylisy. During the process of getting rid of Lt. Col. J. Mašín the Gestapo confiscated this makeshift baton. Václav Morávek Sabotage was an important part of the activities of the members of the Nation’s Defence. Lt. Col. Josef Mašín’s group manufactured special bombs, masked as coal briquettes, which they would plant in the coal bins of target buildings. Walther PPK Cal. 7,65mm pistol used by Gestapo members. JOSEF BALABÁN (5. 6. 1894–3. 10. 1941) In the years of WWI he was a member of the Czechoslovak Legion in Russia. In the years of the First Republic he held many posts in various artillery formations and staffs (commander of a battery, commander of a division, 2nd in command of a regiment), He also held the position of head of a department of the MNO (Ministry of National Defence). After the occupation of CSR, as part of the liquidation of the Czechoslovak military establishment, he was assigned to a commission that was to find employment for former officers in the civil sector. From the spring of 1939 he was involved in the Nation’s Defence. He made a personal and determined effort to coordinate individual groups of the home resistance movement. As a result of being betrayedl by a former colleague, he was arrested by the Gestapo. During the interrogation he conducted himself with courage and did not betray any of his colleagues. He was executed in Prague-Ruzyně during the first martial law period. JOSEF MAŠÍN (26. 8. 1896–30. 6. 1942) During WWI he was a member of the Czechoslovak Legion in Russia. From March 1928 he served with the 1st Artillery Regiment in Prague-Ruzyně. In March 1939 he wanted to blow up the army barracks, including its stores of weapons and explosives, but was prevented from doing so. After the occupation he created an intelligence diversion group, as part of the Nation’s Defence, and was able to carry out a string of actions even on German territory (the attack on the Luftwaffe headquarters and the Anhalt railway station in Berlin). In mid-May 1941 the Gestapo arrested him. His heroic resistance during the arrest enabled Cpt. Morávek and radio operator F. Peltán to escape. Despite inhumane torture he did not betray any of his colleagues. He was executed with his colleagues in Prague-Kobylisy during the second martial law period. VÁCLAV MORÁVEK (8. 8. 1904–21. 3. 1942) Between 1923-1925 he graduated from the Military Academy in Hranice, which he left as artillery lieutenant. Until March 1939 he served with the 107th Artillery Regiment in Olomouc. He was an exceptional horse rider and sharpshooter. He tried to cross the border to Poland, but his attempt was unsuccessful. In the autumn of 1939 he established contact with Lt. Col. J. Balabán and J. Mašín. His credo was: “I believe in God and my pistols”. After the arrest of his colleagues he continued to pursue his intelligence activities. He maintained contact with London and also agent Paul Thümmel (A-54). His meeting with a colleague was betrayed to the Gestapo. He was wounded in the ensuing shootout and, in order not to fall into the hands of the enemy, he committed suicide. 52 february 1942 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia At the beginning of 1942 Heydrich began to implement his plan of racial mapping within the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. He started to fulfill ideas that he expressly defined shortly after taking office: “In order to have an idea as to which of these people living in the area are suitable for Germanization, I have to have a racial and nationalist census. This involves the use of various methods and all kinds of back door approaches so that I can classify the entire population by nationality and race.” Buses fitted with X-ray apparatus started to cross the country, while workers were conducting racial examinations of children in schools. These examinations were given under the pretext of protection against tuberculosis. In his speech of February 4, 1942, to the leading representatives of the occupying power, Heydrich addressed the racial issue as follows: “...Clearly, if I am to germanize the country, I must know who is suitable for germanization. I reckon the number is somewhere between 40 and 60 percent ...Those who are suitable for germanization will, whenever feasible be, sent to work in the Reich in a manner precluding their return. Those who are not suitable, we could use around the Arctic Ocean, where we will take over the Russian concentration camps... Those camps would make an ideal home for the 11 million European Jews. Czechs who are not suitable for germanization could serve there in the name of positive service for Germany as guards, foremen, and so on...” Racial research was carried out also with the aid of tables that were to determine race, based on the color of the skin, hair, and eyes. The largest “cultural event” of the Heydrich Era was an exposition named “Soviet Paradise”, ceremoniously opened by K.H. Frank on February 28, 1942. The exposition that had been shipped to Prague from Vienna at Heydrich’s initiative showed visitors the poor living conditions of the Soviet Union and the dangers of Bolshevism. Among the exhibits were samples of captured Soviet military hardware. The State President, Dr. Emil Hácha, too, was obliged to visit the Exposition as he had to accompany the new Minister of Education, Emanuel Moravec. Most Czech visitors considered the Exposition a product of Nazi propaganda. During four weeks of organized mass visits, approximately half a million people saw the Exposition, including Josef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš. 53 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia march 1942 In March 1942 the SILVER A group was finally able to establish contact with Capt. 1st Class Václav Morávek. On March 14, 1942 the LIBUŠE radio station was able to inform London that contact was established and added eagerly-awaited dispatches from Morávek with news from Agent A-54. With the establishment of contact with Morávek (and Agent A-54) and the representatives of ÚVOD, about which London had had no news from October 4, 1941, SILVER A fulfilled its mission and became one of the most successful paratroop groups ever sent to the Protectorate. However, it was no longer possible to send new information from Agent A-54. Paul Thümmel was already under constant surveillance by the Gestapo. On his own initiative he was still able to warn Morávek in time (had Morávek spoken, it would have meant the death sentence for him). Then, on March 20, 1942, Thümmel was arrested, imprisoned in the Small Fortress in Terezín, and shot on March 20, 1945. On March 1942, Capt. 1st Class Václav Morávek met with First Lt. Alfréd Bartoš in Prague for the last time, to give him more messages for the LIBUŠE radio transmitter. Bartoš gave him in turn photographs of the paratroopers in group SILVER A for their new false documents. On the following day, March 21, 1942, Capt. 1st Class Václav Morávek committed suicide near Prašný Bridge, while being chased by the Gestapo. One of the most courageous members of the Czechoslovak home resistance movement had died. On March 28, 1942, the OUT DISTANCE Group was air-dropped near Ořechov. This sabotage group was made up of First Lt. Adolf Opálka, WO Karel Čurda, and Corporal Cadet Ivan Kolařík, who were to join up with the SILVER A group. Most importantly, they brought into the Protectorate a BEACON radio to guide incoming flights (forerunner of the better known EURECA) and a MARK III radio transmitter. Ivan Kolařík lost his false documents upon landing, which later led Gestapo to his trace. In an attempt to save his relatives from retribution, he poisoned himself near Zlín, This monthly tram pass made out in the name Miloš Votava was one of Morávek’s false documents. on April 1, 1942. The Gestapo managed to find all of the group’s operational material, hidden in a dugout pit. Adolf Opálka made contact with Alfréd Bartoš in Pardubice, who was in charge of the paratroopers hiding in Prague. Karel Čurda found his way to Prague in the same manner. As part of the same flight, Halifax Mk.II/srs. 1a L9618 (NF-W) took off with a Polish crew under the command of F/Lt Mariusz Wódzicki, Group ZINC comprised of First Lt. Oldřich Pechal, WO Arnošt Mikš, and Sgt. Vilém Gerik. The Group, whose task was to form an intelligence outpost (like SILVER A) for operations in the Moravia region, was airdropped as far as Gbely, Slovakia, due to a navigation error, with fatal consequences for the group. While attempting to cross the border into the Protectorate, Pechal was arrested. He managed to escape, but the Gestapo got hold of his personal documents and were able to identify him. He was arrested on June 2, 1942. In the meantime, Gerik voluntarily approached the Gestapo and helped them trap his own commander. WO Arnošt Mikš, who was wounded during an attempted takeover of materials from other groups, shot himself on April 30, 1942. ADOLF OPÁLKA (4. 1. 1915–18. 6. 1942) Between 1937 and 1938 he studied at the Military Academy in Hranice and graduated with the rank of Lt. of Infantry. In July 1939 he left for France through Poland, served in the Foreign Legion in Sidi bel Abbes ́ andlaterinOran.Heenlistedin Agde in September 1939. He progressively went through all the regiments of the 1st Czechoslovak Division. He participated in battles on the French front. Upon arrival in Britain he served in a machine gun company. He volunteered for missions behind enemy lines. He was sent to the occupied homeland as a commander of OUT DISTANCE. He established contact with Capt. A. Bartoš, whereupon he was sent to Prague to become the Commander of the “Prague Paratroopers”. He participated in preparations of Heydrich’s assassination. He died in the Church on Resslova Street. KAREL ČURDA (10. 10. 1911–29. 4. 1947) After doing his military service with the 29th Infantry Regiment in Jindřichův Hradec (1933-1935), he remained in Czechoslovak Army. He became supervisor of a Financial Guard on June 8, 1938, and served in Lošov near Olomouc. In June 1939 he left for France through Poland, where he joined the Foreign Legion and from 1939 the Czechoslovak Army Abroad (the 10th Company of the 1st Infantry Regiment). He did not participate in battles on the front. In Britain he was placed on the automobile company. He volunteered for missions behind enemy lines and, following the necessary training, he was assigned to OUT DISTANCE. On June 16, 1942 he voluntarily presented himself to the Gestapo. For his treason he was arrested on May 14, 1945, sentenced to death, and executed. IVAN KOLAŘÍK (22. 3. 1920–1. 4. 1942) After graduating from high school in Valašské Meziříčí, he studied medicine. After the closure of the universities he left the country for France via Slovakia and the Balkans. He was placed there as a private in the Czechoslovak Army Abroad on March 6, 1940. He served with the 8th Company of the 1st Infantry Regiment with which he participated in battles against the Germans. After the fall of France he evacuated to Britain on the ship Rod-el-Farag. There he was placed with the 2nd Company of the 1st Infantry Battalion. He volunteered for special missions in the homeland and after attending mandatory training was placed with OUT DISTANCE. After the airdrop, by an unfortunate series of coincidences, he found himself in a hopeless situation and committed suicide. He was the first Czechoslovak paratrooper to die in the Protectorate. 54 march – april 1942 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia OLDŘICH PECHAL (12. 5. 1913–22. 9. 1942) During the years 1935-1937 he studied at the Military Academy in Hranice. He graduated as Lt. of Infantry. After the occupation of CSR he left for France via Poland and, on September 8, 1939, enlisted in Agde. He first served with the 3rd Infantry Regiment and later as Company Commander of accompanying weaponry with the 2nd Infantry Regiment. After evacuating to Britain he served with a Machine Gun Company and was later placed with the Command Reserve. He volunteered for Special Missions in the homeland and after graduating from the training course was made Commander of ZINC group. After the dramatic events that took place in the Protectorate he was arrested on June 2, 1942. Following the Gestapo’s futile attempts at forcing him into collaboration, he was sentenced to death and executed in Mauthausen. ARNOŠT MIKŠ (27. 6. 1913–30. 4. 1942) He was apprenticed as a mason and, during 1936-1938, he completed his military service and was discharged as Sergeant. After the occupation of CSR he went to France via the Balkans. There he enlisted in Agde on January 13, 1940, with the Czechoslovak Army as 2nd in command of the Machine Gun Platoon, whereupon he participated with his unit in French battles. After the battles ended, he was shipped out to Britain, where he became 2nd in command of a platoon in one of the companies in the 1st Battalion. He completed all the courses and was placed with ZINC. While searching for some airdropped material, he ran into a gendarme patrol and was wounded in the ensuing battle. So as not to fall into the hands of the enemy, he committed suicide. VILIAM GERIK (28. 12. 1920–29. 4. 1947) He was apprenticed as a radio mechanic. In November 1939, he left via Hungary, Yugoslavia, and Beirut for France where, in April 1940, he was placed with the 8th Company of the 1st Czechoslovak Infantry Regiment with which he took part in battles against the Germans. In Britain, he served with the communications platoon of the 2nd Battalion. He was airdropped into the homeland as a radio operator of ZINC. He was unable to establish contact and on April 4, 1942, he presented himself to the Prague Police Headquarters. Being a Slovak citizen, he presumed he would be sent home but was handed over to the Gestapo instead. He did not prove to be a good informer and tried to break away from the Gestapo. As a result, he was arrested in the autumn of 1942 and was imprisoned in Dachau Concentration Camp for the remainder of the war. After the war, on May 25, 1945, he was arrested by the Czechoslovak authorities, given the death sentence for high treason and executed. The airdrop of OUT DISTANCE near Ořechov was detected and reported to the police. In their search of the drop zone area, the police eventually discovered a container with material for the operation, parachutes and, most importantly, the falsified documents of Ivan Kolařík. Reinhard Heydrich was informed about the discovery by teleprint on April 1, 1942. The photograph of Josef Valčík from airdrop SILVER A, found by the Gestapo, led to an extensive search action. The announcement, giving the wrong Christian name, was posted in all cities and villages of the Protectorate. Valčík was forced to leave SILVER A and began hiding in Prague where he started to cooperate with ANTHROPOID. As a result of the discovery of Kolařík’s documents, as well as documents for all the paratroopers already in the Protectorate, their personal falsified documents became potentially fatal. Their passes in London were stamped with a single falsified stamp from the police headquarters in Brno. This detail was noted by the Gestapo and, on April 7, 1942, the Ministry of Interior sent a strictly confidential file to the police headquarters in Prague with orders to scrutinize all persons who registered for residency after February 1, 1942, and whose documents were issued by the police headquarters in Brno. 55 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia april 1942 One of the mission objectives the paratroopers were to accomplish in the homeland was to help organize a British attempt to bomb the Škoda Works in Pilsen. This factory was among the three most prominent armament factories that were supplying the Third Reich. The target was distant (1200 km) from the British Isles and was at the end of the range for the bombers and the British navigation skills of the day. There were four unsuccessful attempts made on this target between October 1940 and October 1941. A new attempt on this target was made in the night of April 25, 1942, under the code name CANONBURY. It was carried out with the aid of six four-engine Short Sterling Mk.I bombers of the No 218 Squadron. On April 25, at 6 pm, the Czech BBC Broadcast sounded a password which was a signal for the members of airdrops OUT DISTANCE, ANTHROPOID and SILVER A to demarcate the target. The paratroopers ignited two barns to guide the bombing run. This time, the pilots were able to locate the Škoda Works but the target was covered in clouds at an altitude of approximately 300 metres. Only one of the crews was able to detect the signal fires and the remaining five Sterling Bombers dropped their bombs blindly. Not a single bomb fell on the Škoda Works and the entire operation was a failure. During the night of April 27 to 28, 1942 the Halifax Mk.II/sts 1a L9613 (NF-V), containing a Czechoslovak crew under the command of F/O Leo Anderle, airdropped BIOSCOP, BIVOUAC and STEEL in the Křivoklát area. During the night of April 29 to 30, 1942, Commander Anderle airdropped near Věšín, in the area of Rožmitál, from the Halifax aircraft MkII/srs. 1a L9618 (NF-W) groups INTRANSITIVE and TIN. SPRING ROUND OF AIRDROPS 1942 BIVOUAC TIN The objective of the mission, composed of Staff Sgt. Ludvík Cupal and Staff Sgt. Jaroslav Švarc, was to assassinate the Minister of Education, Emanuel Moravec. Staff Sgt. Švarc made contact with First Lt. Opálka and joined the other paratroopers in Prague, whereas Staff Sgt. Cupal moved to Moravia. On January 15, 1943, in Velehrad, Staff Sgt. Cupal shot himself during the Gestapo’s attempt to arrest him. BIOSCOP The sabotage group composed of WO Bohuslav Kouba, Sgt. Jan Hrubý and Sgt. Josef Bublík were able to make a contact with Zelenka-Hajský (see p. 60) who secured their accommodation and put them in touch with First Lt. Opálka. The attempt to retrieve the group’s buried operating material, which had already been discovered by the Germans, gave the Gestapo a direct lead to them. WO Kouba took poison on May 3, 1942, at a police station in Kutná Hora. The remaining two paratroopers managed to stay in hiding in Prague. STEEL Its only member was Lance-Corporal Oldřich Dvořák. He was carrying a new radio transmitter, new radio crystals for LIBUŠE, and poison for SILVER A. Upon landing he hid the transmitter in a field, where it was found the very next day during work in the field and handed over to the Gestapo. Dvořák joined SILVER A and, until June 30, 1942, worked with the amateur radio station for ÚVOD as a radio operator. After its discovery he tried to escape into Slovakia. Lcpl. Dvořák was shot on the run in Radošovice near Skalica on July 10, 1942. The sabotage group composed of WO František Pospíšil, Staff Sgt. Jindřich Čoupek, and Cpl. Libor Zapletal moved to Moravia. After the betrayal by Pospíšil’s school friend, the Gestapo started to search for them. Zapletal was arrested and disclosed to the Gestapo the hiding places of the others. Staff Sgt. Čoupek was arrested and executed on September 22, 1942, in Mauthausen. On September 27, 1944 Zapletal (who escaped from service for the Gestapo) was also executed there. Pospíšil managed to avoid capture by the Gestapo and organized many sabotage actions until the spring of 1943. The Gestapo arrested him with the help of their informer, Čurda. WO Pospíšil was executed in Terezín toward the end of 1944. INTRANSITIVE The mission objective of a sabotage and diversion group composed of First Lt. Václav Kindl, Sgt. Bohuslav Grabovský, and Cpl. Vojtěch Lukaštík was to damage the Mineral Oil Refinery in Kolín. At the beginning of May the Gestapo located the operating material, which meant that the mission’s objective could not be accomplished. Cpl. Lukaštík was shot on January 8, 1943, in a skirmish with the Gestapo in Janovice. In the middle of March 1943 the Gestapo arrested Kindl along with Grabovský. They both joined the services of the Gestapo. Grabovský was arrested again in October 1944 and executed in Terezín. Kindl became one of the leading confidants of the Gestapo. He was shot accidentally by Gestapo member in May 1944. LEO ANDERLE (25. 4. 1913–10. 12. 1942) He was apprenticed as an aircraft mechanic and graduated from a pilot’s course with VLU in Prostějov and, until the German invasion, he served with the air force. In 1939, after the occupation, he left for France via Poland. After the fall of France he continued his journey to North Africa and on to Britain, where he was placed with the No 311 (Czechoslovak) Bomber Squadron on July, 1940. He carried out a total of 27 night flights over Germany, for which he was promoted to officer. On October 9, 1941, he volunteered and joined the No 138 Squadron. He carried out 28 special missions over occupied Europe, six of which were over Czechoslovakia. In the spring of 1942, he airdropped BIOSCOP, BIVOUAC, STEEL, INTRANSITIVE, TIN, and ANTIMONY. His plane did not return from a night flight from Cairo to Malta. A paratrooper has just deplaned from a Halifax Mk.VII A aircraft. 56 april 1942 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia Compulsory labour was introduced in the Reich as early as the beginning of 1942 for all unmarried Czechs. Many tried to avoid this duty by marrying hastily, so compulsory labour was extended to all able-bodied citizens. In the year 1941, 45,999 Czech workers were sent to work in the Reich and, by 1942, that number had increased to 135,158. The forced labour arrangement also generated unforeseen problems for the guardians of pure race. In a report of RSHA, we read: “From many locations in the Reich, where millions of foreign workers are employed, we hear of cases of sexual contact with German women... and the danger of biological weakening of the German nation is constantly increasing ... the number of complaints about girls of German blood actually chasing Czech workers to establish a romantic relationship keeps growing...” The find of a parachuted container in Věšín led to the discovery of two other buried containers with operation material for INTRANSITIVE and TIN. On April 20, 1942, President Emil Hácha gave Adolf Hitler a military hospital train as a birthday gift from “all the citizens of the Protectorate”. Reinhard Heydrich received this gift in Prague’s main railway station. In no time at all a joke started to go around in the Protectorate, saying that Hitler must be in poor health to need an entire train. Photographed shortly before the departure of INTRANSITIVE and TIN for the homeland, from the left: GS Cpt. 1st Class Jaroslav Šustr with INTRANSITIVE members Cpl. Vojtěch Lukaštík, First Lt. Václav Kindl and Sgt. Bohuslav Grabovský. In front of them, Staff Sgt. Jaroslav Švarc and Staff Sgt. Ludvík Cupal, constituting TIN. 57 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia may 1942 The paratroopers devised various plans for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich. At the beginning of April 1942 Heydrich himself contributed to the options for his own assassination when he moved from his temporary quarters in Prague Castle to a Château in Panenské Břežany. In the end a sharp right-hand curve, straddling the streets Kirchmayerova and V Holešovičkách, below a school in Kobylisy, was chosen for the attack. It was known that his car was driven through this curve daily on the way to Prague Castle and that his chauffeur, SS-Oberscharführer Johannes Klein, had to slow down significantly. At the beginning of May Alfréd Bartoš attempted to contact the paratroopers from the spring round of air-drops through advertising, using agreed-upon passwords from which the address of a contact person could be composed. The home resistance movement’s representatives realised from the preparations of the paratroopers that they were trying to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich. Fearing a major reprisal, they decided to contact London through the LIBUŠE transmitter, with a dispatch warning not to continue with assassination plans. In an operation directed against the SILVER A group, the Gestapo intercepted one of these warnings on May 12, 1942: “From the preparations that Ota and Zdeněk are working on and the place where it is happening, we guess, despite their silence, that they’re preparing to assassinate H. This assassination would not help the Allies and would bring immense consequences upon our nation... we ask you to give an order through SILVER not to carry out the assassination. There is a danger of delay, issue the order immediately. If necessary, for international reasons, assassinate a local Quisling... the first choice would be E(manuel) M(oravec).” The reply from Col. František Moravec was sent two days later using the radio transmitter of Prof. Vladimír Krajina: “Don’t worry when it comes to terrorist actions. We believe we see the situation clearly, therefore, given the situation, any actions against officials of the German Reich do not come into consideration. Let ÚVOD know...”. To date it remains an unexplained mystery why Col. Moravec did not order, through SILVER A, the cancellation of Operation ANTHROPOID right then. The Château in Panenské Břežany 58 One person who made a major contribution to the success of Operation ANTHROPOID was an official in the Karlín Sokol organisation, Antonín Oktábec. With the aid of the Organization JINDRA he coordinated help for the paratroopers and was an advocate of the assassination. His wife Vlasta was executed in Mauthausen on October 24, 1942, and Antonín Oktábec on January 26, 1943. may 1942 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia “Prague’s Musical Weeks” were to start a new cultural tradition, with Reinhard Heydrich himself planning the first opening of the event. He personally invited Protectorate celebrities to the Opening Concert. On May 26, 1942, on the eve of the assassination, an extraordinary performance was given by the String Quartet of Arthur Bonhardt accompanied by the pianist Kurt Sanke. The highlight of this evening concert in Valdštejn Palace was the Piano Concerto in C-minor by composer Bruno Heydrich, the father of the Reich Protector. One of the last photographs of Reinhard Heydrich. The Acting Reich Protector, only a few hours before the assassination, listening attentively to his favourite violin composition of G. F. Händel. Pictured from left to right with their wives: K.H.Frank, Reinhard Heydrich, Gen. Rudolf Toussaint, RAD Commander Alexander Commichau, and Waffen-SS Commander SS-Brigadeführer Karl von Treuenfeld. On the same day, May 26, 1942, Heydrich was appointed to the Protectorate government and announced the establishment of a Curatorium for the Education of Youth. He had begun to plan setting up this organization as early as 1942. With the help of the Curatorium, all Czech youth between the ages of 10-18 were to be “reformed”. The Curatorium was subordinate to Minister of Education Moravec and inherited the gymnasiums of the Sokol organization. A badge from a hat of a leading member of the Curatorium. 59 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia spring 1942 The apartment of the Moravec family was the paratroopers’ main Prague sanctuary. It was located at 1795/7 Biskupcova Street (Biskupec Strasse) in the Žižkov District. Marie Moravcová (centre) was able to obtain aid for the paratroopers through former colleagues from the Volunteer Sisters of the Czech Red Cross. Her son Vlastimil, nicknamed A a (on the left), acted as a messenger for the paratroopers and was actively involved in setting up of the assassination. Her second son, Miroslav (on the right), fought as a pilot of the No 310 (Czechoslovak) Fighter Squadron in Britain; he died on June 7, 1944 in a plane crash. Marie Moravcová committed suicide during her arrest by the Gestapo on June 17, 1942. Vlastimil Moravec and his father Alois were executed in Mauthausen on October 24, 1942. Jan Zelenka-Hajský (right bottom) was one of the leading supporters of the paratroopers. This teacher, a former station leader of the Krušnohorská Sokol Group and a member of the Czechoslovak Intelligence Service, unreservedly supported plans to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich. Along with his son, Jan Milíč, and his wife, Františka, he helped the paratroopers in every way possible, and supplied them with accommodation in his apartment at 1837/4 Biskupec Street in the Žižkov District (across from Moravec’s apartment). Jan Zelenka and his son, Jan Milíč, committed suicide on June 17, 1942. Františka Zelenková was executed in Mauthausen on October 24, 1942. Jan Kubiš and Josef Gabčík slept at the flat of the Novák family at 5 Stránského Street (now Novákových Street) in the Libeň District. The entire family was arrested on July 9, 1942, and on October 24, 1942, Václav Novák (above) and his wife Marie, daughters Jindriška, Anna, Miroslava, and son Václav, were executed in Mauthausen. 60 spring 1942 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia Another important hiding place the paratroopers used in 1942 was the Svatoš family home at 15 Melantrichova Street in the Old Town District. Josef Svatoš with his wife, Marie, were executed in Mauthausen on October 24, 1942. The paratroopers were frequent guests of the Fafek family at 1718/11 Kolínská Street, in the Vinohrady District. Petr Fafek with his wife, Liběna (right), and daughters Rela and Liběna were executed in Mauthausen on October 24, 1942. Thanks to the courage of the Fafek family, the Ogoun family home at 338/18 Václavkova Street remained a secret hiding place. Josef Ogoun, his wife Marie, and sons Milan and Luboš therefore survived the war. The paratroopers often slept in the flat of Emanuela and Václav Khodl in what is Kolbenova Street today, in the Vysočany District. The entire family, including son Václav (first from left), were executed in Mauthausen on October 24, 1942. 61 Czernin Palace Seat of the Reich Protector Flat of the Ogoun family Prague Castle Seat of the State President Regional SS Headquarters Flat of the Svatoš family Army Headquarters Cyril and Methodius Church Flat of the Novák family Flat of the Moravec family Flat of the Zelenka family Regional SA Headquarters Petschek Palace Headquarters of the Gestapo Flat of the Fafek family Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia may 1942 It is the morning of May 27, 1942. A black Mercedes 320 C, chauffeured by SS-Oberscharführer Johannes Klein, is approaching Kirchmayer Street from Kobylisy. The red standard of the Reich Protector on the right fender and the license plates SS-3 indicate who is sitting in the front seat next to the driver. SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich is arriving from his summer residence in Panenské Břežany. He has a long trip ahead of him. A long time has passed since he has had a personal invitation from Adolf Hitler. He will never make it to his destination, thanks to two men. It is 10:35 a.m., and the vehicle is braking in the sharp curve leading into V Holešovičkách Street. Josef Gabčík jumps in front of the vehicle, holding a STEN machine gun with which he was to spray Heydrich with deadly bullets. At the critical moment, however, the machine gun fails. At this point lessons learned in the SOE course come into play. Jan Kubiš pulls one of the special bombs out of his briefcase. It is fitted with a highly sensitive impact fuse which - after a safety device is pulled out - triggers an explosion upon the minutest of impacts. It is modified to maximize its effect around the target without harming the attacker with shrapnel. Kubiš throws the bomb with a pre-rehearsed underhand toss in the direction of the Reich Protector’s vehicle. The bomb misses the target. If it had exploded in the vehicle, Heydrich would not have been able to escape. At this moment, the following words from the STS 25 examiner are possibly passing through Kubiš’ head: “slow at handling explosives”. The bomb explodes above the running board just in front of the right rear fender. The explosion punctures the vehicle’s body, rips out the right door and does apparently nothing else. During their escape, neither paratrooper knew that a small part of the vehicle’s shell and small particles of upholstery punctured the right front seat, making May 27, 1942, one of the most significant days in our recent history. For the assassination Josef Gabčík used a machine gun, type STEN, without the collapsible shoulder prop in order to be able to hide it in a briefcase. 64 Two objects that changed the fate of many: the magazine from Josef Gabčík’s STEN machine gun and one of the two bombs that Jan Kubiš left at the place of the assassination. may 1942 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia While a passing supply truck takes the wounded Heydrich away to the neighbouring Bulovka Hospital, Jan Kubiš is searching out a colleague of ANTHROPOID, Karlín’s Dr. Břetislav Lyčka (right). This important member of the Sokol resistance organization JINDRA had supplied the paratroopers in previous months with many important contacts. He now treats Kubiš, who suffered a head wound from a fragment of the vehicle’s shell. The Gestapo, on July 21, 1942, in Ouběnice, discovered Dr. Břetislav Lyčka. In a hopeless situation, Lyčka chose suicide. SS-Standartenführer Horst Böhme reported, at 3:26 pm on May 27, 1942, the results of Heydrich’s first operation to Berlin via teleprint: “...a lacerated wound to the left of the back vertebrae without damage to the spinal cord. The projectile, a piece of sheet metal, shattered the 11th rib, punctured the stomach lining, and finally lodged in the spleen. The wound contains a number of horsehair and hair, probably material originating from the upholstery. The dangers: festering of the pleura due to pleurisy. During the operation the spleen was removed.” On May 27, 1942, by the decision of K. H. Frank, a state of civil emergency with immediate effect was announced. Posters appeared in the streets offering a reward for information on the perpetrators. Heinrich Himmler notified Frank the same day via teleprint: 1) I agree with going public. 2) The entire Czech intelligentsia must be arrested among the first 10,000 hostages. 3) The first 100 most important adversaries among the Czech intelligentsia must be shot tonight. I will call you tonight. The day after the assassination Jan Kubiš left a note in the Khodl home. He left this unique message for Josef Gabčík: “If Dulíšek shows up, tell him I am in Flora. Greetings Dulich.” Just as miraculously as this document was preserved, all of the paratroopers were invisible to the Gestapo for many long days. Frightening the population and home searches proved fruitless. 65 june 1942 – october 1942 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia june 1942 Despite the fact that the state of civil emergency was still in effect on May 31, 1942, the German citizens of Prague were able to attend the concert of German military bands in the Prague Castle gardens. The new Reich Protector, SS-Obergruppenführer Kurt Daluege (third from left), attended this last event of the “Prague Musical Weeks”. On the evening of June 2, 1942, the Protectorate government called a public meeting in the Old Town Square, in line with Nazi propaganda, to denounce the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich and proclaim the Czech nation’s allegiance to Hitler’s Reich. Sixty thousand Prague residents participated in the demonstration. At 7:30am on June 4, 1942, Reinhard Heydrich died. At midnight on June 6, 1942, his coffin was transported by torchlight procession to Prague Castle. Lina Heydrich with their children showed gratitude for the condolences expressed on the death of her husband. 68 june 1942 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia On the morning of June 7, 1942, Heydrich’s coffin was exhibited in the courtyard in front of Matthias Gate, where crowds of German and Czech citizens streamed past until late afternoon. A collar rank insignia of the SS-Obergruppenführer. The Protectorate government was required to attend the funeral. A sword for SS officers. The procession route went via the Charles Bridge to the Central Railway Station, from where the coffin was transported to Berlin. The grandiose funeral came to a close in Berlin on June 9, 1942. 69 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia june 1942 The eulogy was still sounding in Berlin over Heydrich’s coffin when a decision was taken on the bloody end of a small Czech village “to atone his death”. The village, its name and the crime linked to it, would enter history. The name of the village is Lidice. The village, situated near Kladno, had a population of 483 people living in 96 homes in the early hours of June 10, 1942. Five other homes were on territory of village Makotřasy. A Baroque St. Martin Church dominated the centre of Lidice. Most of the buildings in the village were made up of small workers’ houses. Their owners worked mostly in the mines and in Kladno’s steel mills. Larger farms were few and far between. The village had a reader’s club called “Motherland”, with a public library, a sports club and a volunteer firefighters’ brigade. The one-storey school standing in the middle of the village (the picture dates from 1906). It used to be a five-classroom school until Hřebeč, a nearby community, built its own school. From then on Lidice school had only two classrooms with two teachers working there: Zdeněk Petřík, born in nearby Kladno, who married into Lidice, and the principal teacher Šimandl from nearby Buštěhrad. The difference in their permanent address cruelly divided their lives. Teacher Petřík became one of the mass murder victims at the Horák’s farm, whereas Šimandl, the principal, escaped the fate of his colleague and his pupils. Like other children in the Protectorate the children of Lidice had to undergo the pseudo-scientific racial research that applied on the whole territory. Testament to this is this card of Věnceslava Puchmeltrová, a pupil of a town school in Buštěhrad. No one suspected at the time that she and her friends had only a few months of life ahead of them. Věnceslava was – along with 81 other children of Lidice – murdered by the exhaust fumes of specially modified trucks in the German extermination camp in Chelmno (Kulmhof) on Ner. 70 june 1942 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia A week before the Lidice tragedy (June 3, 1942), a letter appeared in the afternoon mail at the factory that manufactured batteries (Palaba) in Slaný, addressed to a worker named Anna Maruščáková. As she was on sick leave at that time, the factory owner, Jaroslav Pála, opened the letter. Its contents read: “Dear Annie, excuse me for writing you so late, but maybe you’ll understand, because you know that I have many worries. What I wanted to do, I have done. On the fatal day, I slept somewhere in Čabárna. I’m fine, I’ll see you this week, and then we will never see each other again. Milan.” The letter appeared suspicious to the factory owner, so he notified the security forces. Anna Maruščáková was arrested in Holousy the same day, as was the author of the letter, Václav Říha, a day later. He wrote the letter in an attempt to create an impression of his resistance activities in order to end his extra- marital affair with Maruščáková. The interrogation of this young couple gave the Gestapo a lead to the Lidice residence of Lt. Horák and Lt. Stříbrný, who were Czech pilots in Britain. The Gestapo presumed they had a direct connection with the assassination. During the night of June 4, 1942, they arrested the family members of Horák and Stříbrný in Lidice. Although it became evident shortly afterwards that this was a false lead, the fate of Lidice was decided. Anna Maruščáková and Václav Říha, inconvenient as witnesses, were executed in Mauthausen on October 24, 1942. The men from Lidice and members of the No 311 (Czechoslovak) Bomber Squadron in Britain – Lt. Josef Stříbrný (on the left) and Lt. Josef Horák. Josef Šroubek’s farm in Lidice (house no. 3), Teacher Petřík used to live in the neighbouring new building (house no. 97). The picture directly above shows the centre of Lidice, dating back to the end of 1920’s. 71 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia june 1942 During the night of June 9, 1942, the village of Lidice was surrounded and all the men between the ages of 15 and 84 were taken to the Horák farm’s cellar and barn. The women and children were taken to the schoolhouse, from which they were transported to Kladno. One by one the village’s houses were set on fire with the help of inflammable liquids. In the early morning hours, the Germans started executing the village men in the gardens of Horák’s farm. Initially the men were taken in front of the firing squad in groups of five, but then the executioners felt that their “work of art” was progressing too slowly. They doubled the firing squad, executing ten men at a time. The murdering continued, with short breaks, until the next afternoon. The remaining nine men who happened not to be in the village on the fatal night – mainly because of night shifts – and two boys who were discovered to have recently turned 15 were also executed in Prague. The women of Lidice were transported from Kladno to the Ravensbrück concentration camp on June 13, 1942. Their 104 children were sent for “proper upbringing”, already mentioned above. Only 17 returned to Lidice. Fifty-three Lidice women did not survive the horrors of the concentration camp. The wedding photograph of Stanislav Horák and Anastázie Horáková, the owners of the farm, where the mass murders occurred. They were shot along with their relatives and the Stříbrný family in Prague on June 16, 1942. The upper photograph shows the gate leading into the courtyard of the Horák farm (house no. 13), which became the focal point of the tragedy. All of the 173 Lidice martyrs had to pass through this gate before their execution. The next photograph is a typical example of a Nazi family album photograph. A trio of security police members (Schutzpolizei-Schupo) is posing in the courtyard of the Horák farm. The entrance to the cellar is clearly seen in the background (to the right of the policeman in the helmet), where the detained Lidice men were kept prior to their execution. 72 The bodies of 173 men murdered on June 10, 1942, in the garden of the Horák farm. A Schupo unit came to Lidice from as far as Halle an der Salle, Heydrich’s birthplace, to conduct the executions. The photograph shows the straw mattresses that the murderers propped up along the farm’s wall so as not to be wounded by ricocheting bullets. Portrait of the Mayor of Lidice, František Hejma. He was among the last murdered, because he had to identify each man before he was shot. june 1942 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia Josef Štemberka, a native from Pecka near Nová Paka, was Lidice’s priest from 1909. At the time of the village’s annihilation he was 73 years old. It was he who prepared the Lidice men for their execution in the cellar of the Horák’s farm. He prayed with them, gave them a blessing and offered them the last rites. He was among the last to be murdered. As the murders on the Horák farm were taking place, flames gradually consumed the entire village. The parish house (above) and St. Martin’s church were not spared. The interior is captured after the devastating fire in this rare photograph. To the right, the last letter from Father Štemberka to his sister Anežka Štemberková, written on June 8, 1942, two days before the tragedy. 73 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia june 1942 The Lidice schoolhouse is shown, almost entirely destroyed by fire. Like accusing fingers, its two chimneys – previously on the roof – point towards heaven. To the right is one of the Schupo members inspecting the buildings inside the destroyed village. A view of the Lidice town square with St. Martin’s church, taken shortly after the village was burned down. It is almost the same place as the one printed on page 70. Identical, yet so different. How much terror separates these two photographs... 74 The burned-out butcher shop of Mrs. Marie Houbová that used to stand across from the church. Its last “customers” were the members of the Schupo who looted the store after their “work” in Lidice was completed, looking for snacks and refreshments. The store’s owner never had the chance to learn this. After WWI, as in dozens of other Czech towns and villages, a memorial was built in Lidice to commemorate the victims of the war. During its unveiling in the mid-1920’s, none of those attending could possibly suspect that the approaching war would write itself into the community’s history with considerably bloodier letters. june 1942 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia Such a scene greeted a chance passerby who managed to get into Lidice through the cordon of guards in the first days after June 10, 1942. The photo captures the burned out Lidice with its dominant feature – the church of St. Martin – as seen when looking from Hřebeč in the direction of Buštěhrad. Behind the burnt-down house, in the foreground, lies the Lidice graveyard. We will speak about it in more detail later. The next photograph shows the centre of Lidice immediately after the village was burnt. Beer barrels, a basket used to carry sausages and a beach chair became silent witnesses to the Schupo members’ feast amidst the terror. Yet another view of the burnt-down Lidice schoolhouse and of St. Martin’s Church. On the far left of the photograph one can see a pram. Perhaps it is the same one which the head of the Kladno Gestapo, Harald Wiesmann, stole in Lidice, and which his own wife used later. 75 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia june 1942 During the cruel repression unleashed by the Nazis immediately after the assassination, the paratroopers – thanks to the representatives of the Orthodox Church – found safe refuge in the Church of St. Cyril and Methodius (during the Occupation it was known as St. Charles Borromeo) in Resslova Street in Prague. Under the pressure of the raids all seven paratroopers staying in Prague eventually gathered in the church building: Josef Bublík, Josef Gabčík, Jan Hrubý, Jan Kubiš, Adolf Opálka, Jaroslav Švarc and Josef Valčík. The combination of terror generated by the massacre of entire families and the annihilation of Lidice, and the promise of pardons and huge financial rewards, eventually bore results. The paratrooper Karel Čurda from the OUT DISTANCE unit, who left Prague immediately after the assassination and hid out with his mother in Nová Hlína near Třeboň, finally gave in to his own fear and the reproaches of those closest to him. He betrayed. First, on June 13, 1942, he wrote a traitorous letter in which he identified Gabčík and Kubiš as the assassins. When the expected reaction did not materialize, he personally set out for Prague on 16 June 1942, and, shortly before noon, reported to the Gestapo administrative headquarters in Petschek Palace. There he caused a sensation with his all-encompassing testimony, because up to that point, all of the Nazis’ efforts to find the assassins had proved fruitless. Čurda betrayed to the Gestapo everyone he knew personally who had assisted the paratroopers, not only in Prague but in Pardubice, Lázně Bělohrad and Pilsen. Through his betrayal he caused the deaths of dozens of patriots and their families. The very next morning, the Gestapo began extended raids on the apartments of the people who had assisted the paratroopers. The first in line was the Moravec family in Biskupcova Street in Prague. More and more patriots followed. By using the most brutal interrogation techniques, the Gestapo succeeded in the afternoon of June 17, 1942, in finding out where the paratroopers were hiding. At 3:45 am on June 18, 1942, the Commander of the SS forces in Bohemia and Moravia, SS-Brigadeführer Karl von Treuenfeld, issued an order to the Reserve Battalion Deutschland and the Guard Battalion Prag to surround the area around the Church of St. Cyril and Methodius. The inner and outer perimeters closed at 4:15 a.m. During the siege of the Church of St. Cyril and Methodius German 9 mm Bergmann MP 18/I automatic rifles, and fragment grenades, type 24, were used. The automatic rifle in the photograph was the personal weapon of K.H. Frank. The Germans first searched the churchwarden’s apartment. They quickly found the window with an unscrewed inside grating, which would have been used in the event of the paratroopers’ escape. A ladder jutting out from the drain below the window bears witness to the thoroughness of the search (left bottom). The Gestapo and SS then proceeded to the inner section of the Church of St. Cyril and Methodius, where Adolf Opálka, Josef Bublík and Jan Kubiš were keeping guard in the gallery and the choir. 76 june 1942 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia The attackers tried to reach the choir through a narrow staircase, defended by the gunfire of Adolf Opálka. Finding himself in a hopeless situation with a shattered-bone fracture in his right arm, First Lieutenant Adolf Opálka took poison and simultaneously ended his life with a pistol shot to the left temple. The shoe of Josef Bublík, destroyed by grenade fragments. The trousers of Adolf Opálka with traces of grenade fragments and a shin-holster with a 6.35 mm Browning pistol. Sergeant Cadet Josef Bublík, wounded by many fragments, ended his life with a bullet from his own pistol. A 6.35 mm Browning pistol. 77 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia june 1942 A church window, destroyed by rifle fire directed by attackers from surrounding buildings. The attackers used a 7.92 mm MG 34 light machine gun to shoot through the church windows. A pool of Jan Kubiš’ blood in the church gallery. The suit of Jan Kubiš, destroyed with grenade fragments and pieces of the wall. The staircase leading from the choir to the gallery, to where the battle gradually shifted. After the inside of the church was overrun, the battle shifted to the crypt, the only entrance to which led through a small ventilation opening in the western part of the church. A tram ticket used in the beginning of June 1942, found in the jacket of Jan Kubiš. Warrant Officer Jan Kubiš bled to death from multiple wounds. 78 june 1942 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia The Germans called the Prague fire brigade to their assistance and they drove water and teargas into the crypt through a street window. Staff Sergeant Jaroslav Švarc took poison and simultaneously ended his life with a shot from his pistol. The tombs intended for coffins became the last refuge of the paratroopers. In the hopeless situation they all chose a heroic death. Near the altar, under a carpet, the attackers found an entrance into the crypt covered with a stone slab. After destroying it with explosives, they discovered steep stairs leading underground. The shirt and underarm holster of Jan Hrubý. Sergeant Jan Hrubý ended his life with a shot from his 9 mm Browning pistol. 79 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia june 1942 Second Lieutenant Josef Valčík ended his life with a pistol shot. A 38 caliber Colt Pocket Model 1903. The ANTHROPOID paratroop was equipped with weapons of this type. Corresponding shells were found at the scene of the assassination. Warrant Officer Josef Gabčík ended his life with a shot from his own pistol. The bloodstained shirt of Josef Gabčík. The dead paratroopers were carried out in front of the church and identified by the traitor Karel Čurda (third from right). K.H. Frank is bending over the corpses. Items used by the paratroopers in the crypt of the Church of St. Cyril and Methodius. Group photo of “the victors”. 80 june – july 1942 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia On June 27, 1942, citizens of Olomouc were forced to listen to Emanuel Moravec’s anti-Beneš tirades. Ten days after the Lidice massacre and two days after the heroic deaths of the paratroopers in the Church of St. Cyril and Methodius, the Protectorate government continued to organize activist demonstrations. On June 20, 1942, Ministers Jaroslav Krejčí, Adolf Hrubý, and Emanuel Moravec gave speeches in Tábor. The propaganda campaign, in which 1.5 million people eventually took part according to Nazi estimates, culminated on the evening of July 3, 1942, with a mass gathering on Wenceslas Square in Prague. The start of the demonstration was timed to coincide with the official end of martial law. An assembly of Czech workers in Ostrava on June 29, 1942 was the last stop on Emanuel Moravec’s propaganda tour. With the aim of fostering a Heydrich cult, 19 Czech streets, squares and parks including the present Rašín’s Riverbank in Prague were renamed. The sign “Butcher” (on the shop-window), beneath the sign “Heydrich’s Riverbank”, must have generated many jokes. 81 􏰍 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia june 1942 With the betrayal by Karel Čurda, the Gestapo’s search for the assassins was also directed to the Pardubice region, where the SILVER A group was active. As a result of Čurda’s betrayal not only did its commander, Captain Alfréd Bartoš, lose his life (he shot himself in Pardubice on June 21, 1942) but another beastly crime took place in the village of Ležáky in the Chrudim District where the LIBUŠE transmitter had been located since January 1942. After obtaining information about the existence of the illegal transmitter in Ležáky, the Gestapo, on June 20, 1942, began making arrests in the villages of Ležáky, Dachov, Včelákov and Miřetice. Four weeks later, on Wednesday, June 24, an assault was carried out against the entire village of Ležáky, in which members of the Gestapo, Schupo, and SS from Pardubice and Hradec Králové took part. The entire village was closed off, and its inhabitants were crowded into an abandoned quarry from where they were later transported to Pardubice. All nine dwellings in the village were raided and subsequently set on fire. At the Pardubice Château the children taken away from the Ležáky women, and they were later sent to Prague (and from there to Lodž and than to Chelmno, where all traces of them disappear – after the war only the sisters Jarmila and Marie Š ulíková were found). That very evening 33 adult inhabitants of Ležáky were shot on the execution grounds of the Pardubice Château. The remaining adults were murdered in the same place later, or they died in a concentration camp, and one SILVER A contributor committed suicide. The Ležáky tragedy hence cost the lives of a total of 57 patriots. The upper photograph captures the mill in Ležáky-Dachov in the years of the first world war. In the foreground stand its erstwhile owners Václav Š Š ulíková. Both died in a concentration camp. ulík and Růžena Lt. Jindřich Vaško, the foreman of the Hluboká quarry. He was executed in Pardubice on July 2, 1942. He told the executioners, “I don’t want to be blindfolded, let me see my murderers!” Karel Svoboda from Miřetice, a mechanic at the Hluboká quarry and a contributor of SILVER A. He, too, was executed, along with his friends at the Pardubice Château on July 2, 1942. The Schwarz system handcuffs used by the Gestapo. The Hluboká quarry, not far from Ležáky (above). The building in the photograph is the engine room of the quarry. The LIBUŠE station of paratroop SILVER A was located in a false ceiling inside the first door on the left. WO Jiří Potůček transmitted from here. Ležáky shortly after being razed on June 24, 1942, is depicted in the accompanying photograph. 82 june 1942 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia The miller, Jindřich Švanda, from Ležáky, a significant contributor of the SILVER A group. He was shot with his wife Františka at the Pardubice Château on July 2, 1942. František Vaško, a tenant of the Hluboká quarry. Along with his brother Jindřich he collaborated with the SILVER A group. He was executed in Pardubice on July 2, 1942. House no. 23, rebuilt not long before the razing of the village, inhabited by Josef Boháč and his wife Marie along with the families of their children Břetislav and Františka. Čeněk Bureš, the Boháč’s son- in-law, was among the closest contributors of SILVER A. A sign from the Ležáky mill destroyed by fire (at the very top a view of the main entrance of the burnt-out mill building). The newly-built house of families of brothers František and Adolf Sýkora (No. 12) destroyed by fire. This was the only modern building in the entire village. The remaining eight houses in Ležáky were significantly older. A cup from the razed Ležáky signed by fire. 83 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia june 1942 Senior gendarme officer Karel Kněz, the Commander of the station in Vrbatův Kostelec, who worked fearlessly with the SILVER A group. After the start of arrests in Ležáky he realized the hopelessness of the situation and shot himself on June 22, 1942. A German 7.92 mm caliber Mauser 98 K rifle. A fate similar to Lidice and Ležáky should have been met by the village of Bernartice near Tábor, which collaborated with the INTRANSITIVE paratroop that landed in the Rožmitál district on the night of April 29 and 30, 1942, and the villages of Bohdašín and Končiny in the Náchod district, which were connected with SILVER A paratroop’s LIBUŠE transmitter. But the wave of resistance which arose abroad in reaction to the Lidice massacre apparently caused the Nazis to refrain from committing these crimes, and they therefore limited themselves to murdering only those who directly assisted the paratroopers. In Bernartice, 24 people were executed under martial law (22 in Luby near Klatovy and 2 in Tábor). Another 22 citizens of Bernartice did not return from concentration camps. The Nazis carried out a number of punitive measures against the villages of Bohdašín and Končiny, where radio telegrapher Jiří Potůček from SILVER A had hidden. They arrested 18 people during the operation. Fifteen of them were executed on July 9, 1942, at the execution grounds of the Pardubice Château. The execution grounds at the Pardubice Château. During the second period of martial law, 194 patriots were murdered here. Among them were the citizens of Ležáky, those who assisted the paratroopers from Pardubice and a group of inhabitants from the Červený Kostelec region who hid Jiří Potůček. The sword for police officers. It was used to give execution squads the order to fire. The final message from the LIBUŠE transmitter sent by Jiří Potůček to London on the night of June 25-26, 1942. It contains, among other things, the sentences: “...Instead of my radio station, they have levelled Ležáky near Vrb. Kostelec (Skuteč) to the ground. People helping us arrested. Fred’s location unknown. People suspicious. Impossible to establish contacts. I am alone...” Less than one week of life was left for Jiří Potůček at that point. On Thursday, July 2, 1942, while on the run from the Gestapo, he was murdered in his sleep by Czech gendarme Karel Pulpán near Rosice nad Labem. 84 june 1942 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia The destruction of the village continued with the use of heavy explosives until July 1, 1942. In addition to RAD, SS units and Wehrmacht engineering units participated in the work. The latter are directly responsible for the greatest number of buildings destroyed – 83. Two photographs on this page depict the vicinity of the Lidice church at the time when the destruction of the village with explosives began. In both photographs, house No. 5, of Josef Krunt and his wife Anna are clearly visible (on far left, lower photograph). While the SS was victoriously celebrating the capture of the assassins, the levelling of Lidice continued. The destruction of the village was entrusted to the Reich Work Forces (Reichsarbeitsdienst – RAD), whose first units had arrived at the site on June 11, 1942. From that moment on, members of the RAD reported to work each day at the place of destruction with a flag and a song on their lips. Even Protectorate RAD Commander Alexander Commichau came for occasional tours of inspection. A dagger for members of the German police. A Schupo brigadiers’ cap. A police officer in the left photograph is wearing one on his head. 85 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia june – september 1942 The RAD commander’s cap. The plan for levelling Lidice to the ground. The destruction of Lidice took place under the flying banner of the RAD. On their daggers, model 34, its members had the proud motto “Work ennobles”. THE RAD The Reich’s Work Force (Reichsarbeitsdienst, henceforth RAD) began its activities in 1935 on the basis of the law on forced labour. According to the law, all young men between the ages of 18 and 25 were to go through a half-year of work training within the RAD. But in view of the financial problems associated with launching the entire project until 1939, service in the RAD was founded on a voluntary basis. At the helm of RAD stood Konstantin Hierl, who had the rank of a Reich Workforce Commander. The RAD was divided into work regions, each of which was made up of individual work formations, which were further subdivided into work units consisting of roughly 150 men. Service in the RAD was viewed as “honorary service to the German nation.” RAD members were deployed as auxiliary work forces for the construction of highways, airports and industrial concerns. 86 A view of the ruins of Lidice from the former school when looking towards Buštěhrad. june – september 1942 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia Another view of the destroyed Lidice. The enormous pile of debris in the right half of the photograph had been the Church of St. Martin not long before. The adjoining photograph of members of the RAD eating lunch would look like a photo from a summer camp if it weren’t for the ruins of Lidice in the background... This was where the Lidice village square used to lie. A sign from the wagon of Lidice field hand Václav Šilhan. The report of RAD Commander Alexander Commichau to K. H. Frank about the progress of work in Lidice between June 11 and July 3, 1942 (right centre). It states that during this time an average of 100 RAD members a day worked on the annihilation of Lidice. They put in 20,000 work hours and found cash worth 14,000 marks in the ruins of the destroyed houses. 87 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia june – september 1942 In Lidice the Nazis were not even stopped by the majesty of the dead, and they completely destroyed the town’s cemetery. Sixty tombs were systematically plundered, 140 large family gravesites and 200 individual graves were systematically destroyed. This barbaric destruction of Lidice, according to the Nazis, had an extraordinary educational influence on members of the RAD. On August 6, 1942 Alexander Commichau wrote the following on the matter to the Reich RAD Commander: “The young men of the Reich work force see that the German sword descends heavily and, without remnants, will destroy the sources of unrest not only at the front, but also in the rear areas, and especially wherever the secret front forms and dark forces are at work...” A gravesite number from the Lidice cemetery. The stone from tombstones was used for the foundation of the RAD barracks in Prague-Veleslavín. Christ from one of the Lidice gravestones. A part of a cemetery slab from the Lidice cemetery. 88 june – september 1942 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia A bulletin from the Association of Savings Banks, announcing the confiscation of property from the murdered inhabitants of Lidice and Ležáky. Part of a horse’s harness belonging to farmer Jaroslav Podhora. In the future, nothing was to remain to remember the vanished Lidice. For that reason even the course of the streambed, which once flowed through the centre of the village (pictured top right), was changed. All of the trees in the village were chopped down, and the village pond was also gradually filled in with piles of debris (pictured centre). It can be clearly seen in the photograph that simple means of transport were not sufficient in the early days, which is why a narrow-gauge railway was built in a few locations in Lidice. A silent witness of the erstwhile fame of the Lidice ice hockey club. The remains of a coffee mill from Lidice. The place, where once stood Lidice, pictured in May 1945. 89 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia june – september 1942 Schupo helmet. The massacres in Lidice and Ležáky were only part of the revenge for Heydrich’s death. There were also hundreds of executions of Czech patriots. From May 28 to June 24, 1942, (i.e. in less than one month) the martial law tribunal in Prague condemned 448 people to death, of whom 381 were men and 67 were women. At the same time the convening tribunal in Brno condemned to death another 247 people, of whom 208 were men and 39 were women. During the time that the martial law courts were active, 1,585 patriots (including the 173 men murdered in Lidice, with whom the Prague court did not concern itself) were executed on the territory of the Protectorate. The punitive measures were designed deliberately to wipe out the Czech intelligentsia. In other words, its members accounted for 21 % of those executed. Of the execution grounds in the Protectorate, the firing range in Kobylisy and the Kounic’s dormitories in Brno were most often used. In June 1942 the following officers were murdered there (from left to right): Div. Gen. Alois Eliáš, GS Col. Josef Churavý, Brig. Gen. Otakar Zahálka, and GS Maj. František Kopuletý. One of the most terrible Nazi execution grounds was the prison in Berlin – Plötzensee. Here, along with hundreds of others in the second half of 1942, these four officers lost their lives (left to right): GS Maj. Vladimír Talášek, GS Cpt. 1st Class Čestmír Jelínek, GS Cpt. 1st Class František Blabolil, and GS Lt. Col. Josef Jirka. As a result of the assassination the Nazis undertook a series of steps to perfect their murderous machinery in the Protectorate. One of these was the construction of the “chopper shop” (torture chamber) in the Pankrác prison, which took place in the Spring of 1943. By April 26, 1945, 1,075 patriots had been executed there. Among the members of the Nation’s Defence murdered in Plötzensee were GS Col. Josef Tacl (left) and GS Cpt. 1st Class Zdeněk Tvrz, former leading members of the regional command of the Nation’s Defence in Eastern Bohemia. 90 september 1942 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia BISHOP GORAZD (26. 5. 1879–4. 9. 1942) Originally named Matěj Pavlík. In 1899, he finished school at the Gymnasium in Kroměříž and continued his studies at the Olomouc Theological Faculty. Shortly after graduation he accepted the post of spiritual pastor at the hospital for the mentally ill in Kroměříž, where he remained for 15 years. During WWI he parted ideologically from the Catholic Church. On September 9, 1921, in Belgrade, he was confirmed as the first Bishop of the Czech Orthodox Church (at that time he took the name Gorazd). Thanks to his efforts, in 1933 the Czech Orthodox Church was granted the deconsecrated former Church of St. Charles Borromeo. From the beginning of the Occupation he helped members of the anti-Nazi resistance. Major Jan Sadílek, a close contributor of Lt. Col. Josef Mašín, hid out in the church. On Thursday September 3, 1942, in Petschek Palace in Prague, the Nazis conducted a “public” trial of the members of the Orthodox Church who cooperated in the hiding of paratroopers. From left to right, the photograph shows Jan Sonnevend, Václav Čikl, Doctor of Theology Vladimír Petřek, and Bishop Gorazd. The verdict was prepared in advance. Václav Čikl, Bishop Gorazd, and Jan Sonnevend were executed in Kobylisy on September 4, 1942, at 2:35 p.m., Dr. Petřek a day later. On one occasion K.H. Frank said: “If the Czech nation is to survive, it cannot be a nation of Petřeks!” On September 26, 1942, based on its “treasonable activity,” the Orthodox Church was disbanded, and its property was confiscated. VLADIMÍR PETŘEK (19. 6. 1908–5. 9. 1942) Urged by Bishop Gorazd, he went to Yugoslavia in 1924 to study at the Theological Academy in Sremska Karlovica. After that he continued his studies at the Theological Faculty in Belgrade, which he ended in 1933. After returning to Czechoslovakia he completed mandatory military service in Kroměříž. In September 1934 he was elected Chaplain at the Church of Cyril and Methodius in Prague and ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Gorazd. In 1937 he submitted his dissertation at the Hus Theological Faculty in Prague and graduated to Doctor of Theology. From the beginning of the Occupation he was involved in the resistance against the Nazis. He took part in hiding persecuted individuals and obtained baptismal certificates for Jewish compatriots, which was to protect them from persecution. 91 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia september – october 1942 The Small Fortress in Terezín – the police prison of the Prague Gestapo. It was here that the contributors and relatives of those paratroopers who personally took part in the assassination were sent from custody in Pankrác prison, i.e., the families of Jan Kubiš and Josef Valčík. Gabčík’s relatives were saved from imprisonment and subsequent death by the fact that they were citizens of the Slovak Republic. On Friday, October 23, 1942, the group of “paratroopers”, as they were called, were sent to the concentration camp in Mauthausen. On the following day, all of its members were murdered. Among the victims of this time we must also include 3,000 citizens of Jewish origin who, on the days between 10 and 13 June 1942, were shipped in three transports (AAh, AAi, AAk) to extermination camps, where they were murdered. In this wave of terror, triggered by the assassination, it is also necessary to include the tightened regime and the increased number of murdered Czech prisoners in the prisons and concentration camps. We will probably never know the exact number of those murdered in this group. A message to the living from behind the barbed wire – a letter from Veronika Valčíková of Terezín. The gate to the first Terezín courtyard “adorned” with the mocking sign “ARBEIT MACHT FREI“ (Work is Liberating). 92 october 1942 Third Reich A brigadier’s cap used by concentration camp guards. After arriving in Mauthausen, none of the large group of people who had helped the paratroopers and their relatives suspected that they only had a few hours of life left. The largest execution in the history of the camp began on October 24, 1942, at 8.30 am. Shortly before 5.45 pm it was over. On that day, 257 collaborators of the paratroopers were murdered by a shot to the back of the head. A second 31-one member group had its turn in Mauthausen on January 26, 1943. A view of the “bunker” in the Mauthausen concentration camp. It was here that on October 24, 1942, and January 26, 1943, the collaborators of the paratroopers were executed. A total of 288 patriots. The ashes of thousands of Nazi victims ended on this rubbish heap on a mound next to the Mauthausen concentration camp. This was the final resting place of the patriots, without whom the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich could never have been realized. 93 Britain august – september 1942 On Wednesday, August 5, 1942 the British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden sent Czechoslovak Foreign Minister Jan Masaryk a letter containing an extraordinarily important statement regarding the standpoint of Her Majesty’s Government on the Munich Agreement. It was through this act, following the assassination and bloody repressions of the Nazis on the Czech citizenry, that Britain finally revoked the Munich Agreement. Less than two months later – on September 29, 1942 – in the presence of Gen. Charles de Gaulle and the Prime Minister of the Czechoslovak Government in exile, Msgr. Jan Šrámek, Foreign Minister Jan Masaryk signed the proclamation of the French National Assembly that it considered the Munich Agreement null and void from the very beginning. The mission assigned to the ANTHROPOID paratroop was accomplished. 94 Recommended Literature ANDREJS, Jaroslav: Smrt boha smrti (The Death of a Deadly God). JOTA. Brno 1997. BRANDES, Detlef: Češi pod německým protektorátem (The Czechs under the German Protectorate). Prostor. Prague 1999. Český fašismus a odboj (Czech Anti-Fascism and the Resistance Movement). Lexicon Manual. Naše vojsko-SČSB. Prague 1988. ČVANČARA, Jaroslav: Akce atentát (Operation Assassination). Magnet-Press. Prague 1991. ČVANČARA, Jaroslav: Někomu život, někomu smrt (Let Live or Let Kill). Laguna, jointly with Proxima. Prague 1997. DREJS, Jan: Za Heydrichem stín (A Shadow Behind Heydrich). Naše vojsko. Prague 1947. JELÍNEK, Zdeněk: Operace Siver A (Operation Silver A). Naše vojsko. Prague 1992. KÁRNÝ, Miroslav. MILOTOVÁ, Jaroslava. KÁRNÁ, Margita: Protektorátní politika Reinharda Heydricha (Reinhard Heydrich’s Protectorate Policy). Tisková, ediční a propagační služba / Press, Editing, and Promotional Services. Prague 1991. KOKOŠKA, Jaroslav. KOKOŠKA, Stanislav: Spor o agenta A-54 (Argument Over Agent A-54). Naše vojsko. Prague 1994. MacDONALD, Callum: Úder z Londýna (An Assault from London). BB art. Prague 1997. MacDONALD, Callum - KAPLAN, Jan: Praha ve stínu hákového kříže (Prague in the Shade of the Swastika). Melantrich. Prague 1995. MAREK, Jindřich: Pátou kartu bere smrt (The Fifth Card Takes Death). Svět křídel. Cheb 2000. PASÁK, Tomáš: Po ochranou říše (Under the Reich’s Protection). Práh. Prague 1998. SLÁDEK, Oldřich: Přicházeli z nebe (They Dropped from the Sky). Naše vojsko. Prague 1993. SLÁDEK, Oldřich: Zločinná role gestapa (The Gestapo’s Criminal Role). Naše vojsko-ČSPB. Prague 1986. ŠÍMA, Ladislav: Ležáky. Ministry of Internal Affairs. Prague 1947. ŠOLC, Jiří: A zpívali jsme Tipperary (And We Sang Tipperary). Merkur. Prague 1993. ŠOLC, Jiří: Bylo málo mužů (Too Few Men). Merkur. Prague 1990. ŠOLC, Jiří: Nikdo nás nezastaví (Nobody Can Stop Us). Merkur. Prague 1992. VÁCLAVÍK, Zdeněk - LANER, Štěpán. Lidé z nebes (People from Heavens). Naše vojsko. Prague 1947. Ever since 1942 the assassination has been a hard-to-resist challenge to the world’s film-makers: HITLER`S MADMAN USA 1942, 85 min Director: Douglas Sirk Script: Peretz Hirshbein, Melvin Levy HANGMEN ALSO DIE USA 1943, 131 min Director:: Fritz Lang Script: Fritz Lang, Bertold Brecht, John Wexley ASSASSINATION Czechoslovakia 1964, 104 min Director: Jiří Sequens Script: Miloslav Fábera, Kamil Pixa, Jiří Sequens OPERATION DAYBREAK USA 1975, 119 min Director: Lewis Gilbert Script: Ronald Harwood SS-3: THE ASSASSINATION OF REINHARD HEYDRICH GB 1991, 52 min Director: Jan and Krystyna Kaplan Script: Callum MacDonald, Jan Kaplan 95 Michal BURIAN, M.A.; Maj. Aleš KNÍŽEK, M.A. Jiří RAJLICH, M.A.; Maj. Eduard STEHLÍK, Ph.D. ASSASSINATION Operation ANTHROPOID 1941–1942 The authors wish to thank the Minister of Defence of the Czech Republic, Jaroslav TVRDÍK, for his kind initiative in helping with the preparation of this publication, and for the valuable suggestions and comments during the compilation of relevant materials. The authors furthermore wish to express their gratitude to the people who have helped to make this publication possible, namely: Jaroslav ČVANČARA Jan KAPLAN Stanislav KOKOŠKA, Ph.D. Maj. Jaroslav NOVOTNÝ, Ing. Jaroslava PŘIBYLOVÁ, Ing. Milan ŘEPKA Gen. Maj. (ret.) Jaroslav ŠVÁBÍK, JUDr. Other contributors to the publication: Július BALÁŽ, Ph.D., Jaroslav BERÁNEK, Eva DRAŠAROVÁ, CSc., Ph.D., Ludmila KAKUŠKOVÁ Zdeňka KOKOŠKOVÁ, Ph.D., František KRÁL, Ilona KRBCOVÁ, M.A. Ančo MARINOV, Ing., Hana PUSTELNÍKOVÁ, M.A., Maj. Vladimír ŠLOSAR, Dr. Marie TĚLUPILOVÁ, Ing., Hana TICHÁ, Ph.D., Alois VESELÝ, Jitka ZINKOVÁ, M.A. The following institutes have contributed materials to this publication: Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Prague The History Institute of the Army of the Czech Republic The Imperial War Museum, London The District Museum of Chrudim The Lidice Memorial The Collection of Jaroslav Čvančara The Central State Archives, Prague The Central Military Archives, Prague & The exhibition