National Memorial to the Heroes of the Heydrich Terror – We will not surrender. Never. We are Czech.
Those were the last words of the paratroopers which could be heard from the crypt of the Czech Orthodox Church of Sts. Cyrillus and Method where 7 Czechoslovakian paratroopers of the western army were defending against 700 German soldiers on June 18th, 1942. There is a museum in place of the crypt nowadays – the National Memorial to the Heroes of the Heydrich Terror.
Reason for the foundation of the museum and what had happened here:
The staff seargants have completed the military mission of our exiled goverment in London. On May 27th 1942 in Kobylisy turning in Prague 8 they offended the Deputy Reich-Protector Reinhard Heydrich who was in charge to solve the „Czech Matter“ in our country. That concerned the liquidation of two thirds of the Czech population, the final solution of the „Jewish Matter“ and performance of other horrible actions of the Third Empire. The military operation called the Anthropoid was successful. Heydrich died of the injuries on June 4th.
Description of the event inside the crypt and of the fight: here
A group of the paratroopers numbering besides Jan Kubiš and Josef Gabčík another 5 members needed to find a suitable hiding place for the attack. It was provided to them in collaboration with the home non-communist resistance movement by Jan Sonnevend and the Orthodox priest ThDr. Vladimír Petřek in the crypt underneath the Church of Sts. Cyrillus and Method in Reslova street. Despite extensive German search for nearly one month the hiding place of the paratroopers remained undiscovered, it was not given away by the Czechoslovakian citizens.
On June 18th,1942 the hiding place went detected. After a long, uneven fight the staff sergeant Jan Kubiš, lieutenant Adolf Opálka, sergeant abs. Josef Bublík in the church and further staff sergeant Jozef Gabčík, staff sergeant Josef Valčík, staff sergeant Jaroslav Švarc, staff sergeant Jan Hrubý in the crypt, finished their lives by themselves or they fell in the fight. They had not surrendered to the enemies. The Orthodox bishop Gorazd, Reverend Petřek, Čikl and brother Sonnevend, another 9 executed Orthodox believers from the church and 265 collaborators of the resistance movement were executed for complicity and help to the paratroopers.
Hardly anybody knows these days that the military operation Anthropoid was the only successful assassination of such a high-ranked Nazi officer around the world. And the revenge for this assassination also corresponded to the format of the deed. Thousands of people died and the villages Lidice and Ležáky were levelled to the ground. It is very important to remind of that and be proud of the paratroopers who had sacrificed their lives for their homeland.
Bravery and sacrifice of our citizens during the Heydrich period had a great historical and moral significance. Honors to their commemoration.
The newly conceived enlarged exposition hightlights the authenticity of the hiding place, it reminds of the hard and hopeless fight and the final place of death of the paratroopers who decided for honourable and and heroic death instead of getting captured. Seven busts of the brave paratroopers were erected in the crypt to show respect for their commemoration.
In the vestibule you can afterwards view the exposition dedicated to the operation Anthropoid and learn about the circumstances why the assassination had been planned, who was concerned, about the actual course of the assassination and fights in the church crypt and at last about the description of the terrors which the Nazis carried out as revenge to the Czech inhabitants. In the seconf part you will directly enter the crypt and see with your own eyes the place of the final fight of the Czech paratroopers.
Národní památník hrdinů Heydrichiády:
Resslova / Na Zderaze
120 00 Praha 2 – Nové Město
Phone: +420 224 916 100
BARRIER-FREE ACCESS: YES
GPS: Loc: 50°4’33.969″N, 14°25’0.787″E
Metro(Underground) line - B – Karlovo náměstí station (then walk downhill along Resslova street)
Tram – 3, 4, 10, 14, 16, 18, 24, 52, 53, 54, 55 – Karlovo náměstí (then walk downhill along Resslova street)
Tram 17, 21 Jiráskovo náměstí station (then walk uphill along Resslova street)
Bus – 291 – Karlovo náměstí
March – October
Tue – Sun 9:00 am – 05:00 pm
November – February
Tue – Sat 9:00 am – 05:00 pm
Standard 75 Kč
Student groups 50 Kč (incl. program)
Reduced 35 Kč (students, pensioners, pupils of the 1st degree)
Family 150 Kč (2 adults and 3 children)
All groups need to make a reservation in advance
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