Saturday, July 24, 2010

Prague - Boromejsky Orthodox Church - Assassination, Reynhard Heydrich, reported by Petr Ginz: Obergroppenfuhrer Reinhard Heidrich

The Orthodox Church of St. Cyril and St. Methodius, Prague

The Resistance Hid Here 
after their Assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, the Nazi Butcher of Prague


Petr Ginz followed the story as it unfolded.

Orthodox Church of  St.  Cyril and St. Methodius (Boromejsky) interior exhibit, WWII Czech resistance, assassination Reinhard Heydrich, Prague

The report unfolds in Petr's diary: In summary, with some of the factual statements in boldface, page cites, and explanations:

1. Hitler's 53rd Birthday: There was a "commotion" that Petr connects with Hacha's handing over to Reinhard Heydrich an ambulance train, Heydrich representing Hitler. Page 100.

Emil Hacha was President of the Republic. See him (and a detailed account of the assassination events, with news photographs including Hitler and Churchill, at www.army.cz/images/id_7001_8000/7419/assassination-en.pdf. Scroll down, or do a "find" for Hacha and other topics)

2. Then, on Wednesday, May 27, 1942, he records a "bomb assassination attempt against SS Gruppenfuhrer Heydrich." Then followed a state of emergency, curfew with all who are seen out and who do not stop being shot with his entire family, and a reward of ten million crowns for information. Page 108.

3. Thursday. At school, there is an announcement that "Heydrich's life is not in danger." Later, the loudspeakers announce the shooting of 8 people for "sheltering unregistered persons. Among them was a seventeen-year old boy." Page 108.

4. Friday through Monday. Word is out that someone named Valcik is being sought, reward 100,000 crowns, Petr sees a poster about another assassin, reward 10,000 crowns (how much was a crown?), "Forty-five people have been shot for publicly approving the assassination," and he family stops reading a certain magazine; increases in rewards, and exactly by whom and by how much; eighteen more shot for harboring unregistered persons, a Berlin event sparked
killing and deportation of total 500 Jews there.

This was Operation Anthropoid. Valcik was one of the lookouts watching for Heydrich to approach the Troja Bridge. See map at sw3d.mff.cuni.cz/consort/troja.htm. Sgt. Josef Valcik and Lt. Adolf Opalka. The other two were Sgt. Jan Kubis and Sgt. Josef Gabchik. Six allied-trained Czech assassins had parachuted in for the mission. Read a detailed account at www.everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1509938; and at the entry May 11, 2005 at www.militaryphotos.net/forums/archive/index.php/t-15776.html.

Read and see photos of the time in a historical overview - huge detail - at http://www.army.cz/images/id_7001_8000/7419/assassination-en.pdf. See Kubis and Gabcik, scroll down and read captions for them, or do a "find." Note to Hartford: Part of the equipment was a 38 Colt. Read about it at that site.

For more on Hartford, Connecticut's Colt Armaments Manufacturing Company, see World Wars I & II Sites, Hartford CT and Colt Firearms.

Here is a video about the Church and the assassination:  at ://www.pravoslavnacirkev.cz/pamatnik/Heydrichiada.pdf
.

5. Tuesday through Thursday: Liben (see photos of this district now at prague.elfineer.cz/prague-districts/liben/) is closed off, Germans shot someone looking out a window, older girls taken and hair washed as they are looking for one who helped the assassins, more events in Berlin and another 500 Jews executed or transported, then finally flags to to half mast. "Heydrich probably died," so school is out and a new transport is to be called up, Page 110. Earlier, at page 47, Petr notes that 5000 people were sent to Poland in 5 transports (trains), so a single transport would mean about 1000 people?

One account has Gabchik's girlfriend keeping watch. www.everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1509938. Another names her as Rela Fafek, and has her signaling as she drives a car in front of that of Heydrich, by wearing a hat, that he is indeed in a car following and unescorted. See http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/archive/index.php/t-15776.html.

6. Then, at page 114, he says that the assassins were caught at Bormomejsky Church,

The town of Lidice was flattened in reprisal. See the memorial to the children, and report at www.zchor.org/lidice1.htm

The parachutists had landed near Lidice. See .everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1509938

..................................

The Church:

The Orthodox Church of Sts. Cyril and Methodius is known as the Boromejsky Church.  Boromejsky was Karel Boromejsky, a Roman Catholic priest, elevated to Archbishop of Prague, and then a Cardinal.  He died in 1941. See www.catholic-hierarchy.org/bishop/bkaspar.html.

Escaping from the Nazis looking for the assassins of Reinhard Heydrich the paratroopers went to safe houses, then finally to this Church.

The Church is now a museum, with exhibits showing the events surrounding and following the assassination of Nazi second in command to Hitler, Reinhard Heydrich.

Enter down the stairs to the crypt below street level.

Boromejsky Orthodox Church is also known more familiarly as St. Cyril's Church, a shorthand. The comment below correctly points out that this is an Orthodox Church, not Roman Catholic, and its full name is Orthodox Church of St. Cyril and Methodius. The comment notes that only the Orthodox Christians stood up to the Nazis.

We need to find out more about the relationship of the Boromejsky name, a Roman Catholic Cardinal, see below, and this older designation. Are both or were both used simultaneously?

Reynhard Heidrich (Heydrich) - the Butcher of Prague. His policies led to the deportation of tens of thousands of Jews and Gypsies, see Gypsies, Roma: the Holocaust, and others.

Boromejsky Church, Saints Cyril and Methodius. Those are the saints who originally converted the people in this region to Christianity, and before there was a division between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic interpretations, see http://www.radio.cz/en/article/85056).

Here, Orthodox priests hid the remaining members of a partisan-allied assassination squad, who had killed Obergruppenfuhrer Reinhard Heydrich. They were finally cornered here. See the news articles and displays. And the film, "Operation Daybreak," 1075-76.  Some spellings say Heidrich, but those are probably incorrect.

Safe Houses in Wartime:

Map, showing safe houses, Prague, Czech Resistance WWII, Orthodox Church of St. Cyril and Methodius

The map in this area shows where the safe houses were, where fugitives could hope to find shelter. The reprisals against the helpers were horrendous, and the overall event led to the massacre at Lidice, see www.lidice-memorial.cz/book_en.aspx, that soft-pedals; and then www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/holocaust/h-lidice.htm that photos the real hardball.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The church was Orthodox Church of St. Cyril and Methodius.
No one else was willing to shelter the members of resistance.
No roman catholic, no protestant church. they were all collaborators.
Orthodox church!
Do not forget that!