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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Prague. View from Charles Bridge to St. Vitus' Cathedral; Gate Towers

PRAGUE:  VIEW TOWARD ST. VITUS' CATHEDRAL
Gate Towers

Prague, view from Charles Bridge toward the Lesser Town Bridge Tower, and Judith's Tower; and more distant St. Vitus' Cathedral


Petr Ginz lived with his family in Prague during the German occupation in World War II. He wrote poems and stories, drew, and kept a diary. He was sent to Theresienstadt ghetto (Terezin CZ), see  ://www.kennesaw.edu/holocaustmemorials/amsterdam.shtml; and then to Auschwitz (Osweicim PL) where he was killed at age 16.

Some of his art and writing survived and was held at Yad Vashem in Israel, see ://www.yadvashem.org/.

He became known as a particularly gifted child. An astronaut, Ilan Ramon, took one of Petr Ginz' drawings on board the Columbia space shuttle, the tragic voyage that ended in explosion, killing all on board. See ://www1.yadvashem.org/about_yad/press_room/press_releases/ilan_ramon.html.

Art and writing was discovered in the attic of the family's Prague home, in 1993, and translated into English in 2007: "The Diary of Petr Ginz 1841-1942," ed. Chava Pressburger (Petr's sister), Atlantic Monthly Press NY 2007.

  • Other resources:  See him, and read of his artwork, the diary and other writings, at ://isurvived.org/InTheNews/PetrGinz-diaries.html.  For an overview of listed facts, we are invited to link to Factbites, and do so here: Factbites, Petr Ginz.

This site: Photographs and informal research on places and issues from the Diary.

See our Czech Republic Road Ways for an expanded view of the country; and our Poland Road Ways for more information on the concentration camp complex of Auschwitz-Birkenau, where Petr was killed.

Lesser Town:  on the castle side of the Charles Bridge.  The two main towers there are the Lesser Town Bridge Tower, and the Judith, the lower of the two. The original bridge burned in 1342, and the Judith Tower is all that remains of it. The larger tower was built in the late 15th Century. See ://www.pragueexperience.com/places.asp?PlaceID=600/.

Why supplement The Diary with photographs.

Petr Ginz records, rather than narrates. The entries are succinct, not introspective, not a window into feelings: a child's inventory of the day. There are helpful and extensive editorial notes to explain places and events, but our brains wander without some Optics. 

For many of us, as well, the names are hard to remember.  Eastern European names, culture and locations are new. In its present, carefully historical form, the Diary may not even reach a child's library. The story, to us, asked for illustration, how the place appeared then (not our expertise) and now. The diary, particularly with its reference to the assassination of Nazi Reinhard Heydrich, would make a fine film or play.

Researching further.

As you read the Diary, look up any unfamiliar references online, including in Images. We may be out of school, or school is not covering WWII, but we can self-educate.

For a broader look at war itself, see World War 1, World War 2, Studying War; and Studying War.

There is also a 1975 film depicting the Resistance assassination of SS Obergruppenfuhrer Reynhard Heydrich in 1942 in Prague, ://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/holocaust/h-heydrich.htm, see "Operation Daybreak," ://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Daybreak. Petr also writes of this event, identified by the Resistance as Operation Anthropoid. The village of Lidice was destroyed in retaliation. See://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/holocaust/h-lidice.htm.

The informal Car-Dan Tour Company (us) has no connection to the book, except a deeply feeling one.





Saturday, July 24, 2010

Assignment in a Hierarchy - Petr as Mischling; Chava Chessburger, sister

 Mischling.
Mixed Blood
Formal Designation, Nazi
Degrees of Mischling

Petr Ginz is not only a boy, a son, a student, a brother, nephew, grandson, person. He also is a Mischling - the Nazi designation of someone of mixed "blood" - One parent, a Jew. One parent a Roman Catholic. Their child is a Mischling. See a Nazi Certificate for this category at Lotte's story at timewitnesses.org/english/2npreviw.html. A child of mixed blood. See also "Nazi classification for Germans of mixed race" at ://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/holoprelude/mischlinge.html/

Each degree of Mischling carried with it with different places and times for going to life or death. Definitions and consequences, Nazi, SS, Nuremberg Laws. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mischling. Petr and his sister.

His sister's recollections of what it was like to be a Mischling, and what it meant, (Chava Pressburger, who edited his diary) are in the introduction at the site here, www.guardian.co.uk/family/story/0,,2103166,00.html. She discusses the Mischling status, and their degree.

With a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother, Petr's sister writes that the children were allowed to stay home until 14, and only then were sent to the concentration camps. So, other children - full-blood Jews - could be sent earlier. Petr's father, a Jew, only was sent to Theresienstadt toward the end of the war. A delay-dispensation of the marriage. His mother, an Aryan, remained home, and survived, as did Petr's sister, Chava Pressburger See www.guardian.co.uk/family/story/0,,2103166,00.html.

Prague - Wenceslas Square; Krakovska Street

Good Duke Wenceslas, in Wenceslas Square, mounted, Prague CZ

Petr writes that, at one point, Jews were not allowed to walk in this Square. Page 111.

Here is Wenceslas at the Square, on his horse.

The area is not really a square - it is a long, wide boulevard that used to be a horse market. www.pragueexperience.com/places.asp?PlaceID=605. See also www.prague.net/wenceslas-square. See more on Wenceslas, and photos and post information at Czech Republic Road Ways, Wenceslas post.

Wenceslas was not a king, but a  Duke of Bohemia who lived from 907-929 AD, see the Carol for St. Stephen's Day, December 26 (not a Christmas Carol, technically). See "Good King Wenceslas" at ://www.hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com/Hymns_and_Carols/good_king_wenceslas.htm/ and correct the lyrics to "Good Prince Wenceslas" or "Good Duke Wenceslas".

Krakovska Street.

Friends: Adlers.  Family friends, the Adlers, live there, at number 13. Page 72. The street is next to Wenceslas Square, info from one of the rental ads from a simple search on Krakovska Street Prague. There is also a hostel there.  Mrs. Chessburger, if you ever see this and have corrections, do let us know.

Prague, Nazi Assassination. Events: "Operation Daybreak" . See 1976 Film, Prague WW II: Petr Ginz's View

 Operation Anthropoid
Assassination of Nazi Reinhard Heidrich
and the Czech Resistance
Later Film:  Operation Daybreak 

What Petr tells us about the events in Prague that came to be known as "Operation Daybreak."

For an experience of the Heydrich assassination in film, see the 1976 or 1975 film about the Czech Resistance assassinating Nazi Reinhard Heydrich*, see post here, including at Places of Petr Ginz, Assassination of Reinhard Heydrich. The film says that the assassination attack took place at Holesovice, a part of Prague referenced here: Places of Petr Ginz, Holesovice.

This Nazi resistance account is an exciting war story, but a tragic one, and somebody should reissue it - or do a faithful redo. Schools aren't teaching WWI or WWII much, I understand. Bring it home yourself. The Czech resistance - bravery, betrayal, superhuman effort and sacrifice.

1. Petr adds to the film story, and what he says is consistent with other sources. Having just seen the film, a scene jumps out as missing -

He writes that girls in the schools were taken out and their hair examined to help the Nazis find a brown-haired girl with a bicycle who was seen helping the assassins as they escaped from the scene. He describes those events, and they are left out of the movie.

2. Hollywood left out. Also left out: the parts of the Czech Radio and Czech Army sources about the young woman in the red hat who drove ahead of the motorcade as a signal that Heydrich was not "armed" - as I recall, that he did or did not have the armored vehicles surrounding his car as usual. That would have been a good addition to the film as well.

Next director, put it back in. Be authentic. It would be a small but needed as a realistic followup to Nazi efforts to find the assassins.

...............................................................................................................
*This 1976 Hollywood film, see ://www.answers.com/topic/operation-daybreak?cat=entertainment, is available for purchase but hard to find in any video store. Some sources list it as 1975 - see ://www.imdb.com/title/tt0075019/plotsummary.

Either way, it is worth your time and money if you are interested in life for people like Petr Ginz in Prague - the streets, the people, the events - during the Nazi Occupation.

Prague, Liben district. Reinhard Heydrich assassination background.

 Assassination of Nazi Reinhard Heydrich

Petr wrote of one of the most memorable and history-changing events in Prague of his time:  the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, the highest ranking Nazi in Czechoslovakia and other areas contiguous, an architect of the Holocaust, and known as the Butcher of Prague.

We put together here Petr Ginz' references to that event, its aftermath, and some research about the references.

Liben.

 Liben itself was of lesser importance to the event than the places where it took place, but Petr wrote of Liben particularly, and was conscious of the Nazi response. See Heydrich at FN 1.


Swastika shape, adopted and adapted by Nazis, but not original to them

Nazi:  The swastika shape is also from the Sanskritl  This illustration is a long big-hat hatpin, predating World War II. See Hatpins Collection Tour, Swastika or Sanskrit

Liben.

Liben was a district of Prague that was closed while the Germans tried to find those who helped partisans who attacked high-ranking Nazi, Reinhard Heydrich, see ://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/biographies/index.html/. Petr writes that Germans shoot others in reaction. Diary Pages 110, 113. The History Place notes thousands killed.

Look up the Liben area.

Noted resident:  Novelist Bohumil Hrabal lived in Liben, and painted a wall with himself and cats, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bohumil_Hrabal.  Hrabal wrote "Closely Observed Trains," at www.sensesofcinema.com/contents/cteq/02/23/closely_observed.html, and it was the basis of a 1966 film, same name. See also art-bin.com/art/ahrabaleng.html.
  • Petr Ginz - Theatrical.
There is now a play about Petr Ginz, adapted by Peter Went, see ://closelyobservedproductions.blogspot.com/2008/01/petr-ginz-latest-news.html.  That "Closely Observed Productions" site takes its name from the same Bohumil Hrabal, and his "Closely Observed Trains." See also ://www.jewishmuseum.cz/en/avice19.htm, and the play at the Prague Fringe Festival 2008. See also sister of Petr Ginz, Chava Pressburger, approving the work so it must be authentic, see ://www.expats.cz/prague/article/fringe-fest-2008/the-diary-of-petr-ginz/

Context of Heydrich, importance - see FN 1


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

FN 1   Reinhard Heydrich:  An Introduction, two starting sources. Then go to Youtube and see footage of the funeral, at which Himmler spoke; and other film.  This event features frequently in Petr Ginz' diary, sometimes in passing mention, others offer new details.

1.  Heydrich.  See biography and historical chronology of events at the cited History Place, at ://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/biographies/heydrich-biography.htm/ That provides the traditional format for a narrative chronology.  Scroll down and find the Heydrich as Protector of Czechoslovakia.  He is the one who set up the ghetto at Theresienstadt for Jews as soon as he took over his position; he liked his green Mercedes; and then read about the assassination. Details: he didn't die from fragments of the bomb, he died from the blood poisoning from the bits of car upholstery, steel, and even his own uniform that lodged in his spleen.  Where else would you learn that?

2.  Heydrich.  The History Site gives much scholarly detail.  More interesting, though, and with the same basic information but given with a voice that has an authentic real-person flair, is a site about Heydrich in a different format - would you believe the History of Clothing, at  ://histclo.com/bio/h/bio-heyd.html/. See introduction to the biographical details at http://histclo.com/bio/bio.html.  There is also a main Holocaust page. But clothing?

This source is odd - "Historical Boys Clothing"- is a large site that consists of photographs accompanied by discussion and biographies - odd and interesting. So, enjoy the web, and vet everything on your own.

  • Heydrich appears at that Historical Boys Clothing site in lederhosen with his wife in dirndl and small son, in his biographical section.
  • The biographical account appears to be typed into English by a non-English-speaker, with spelling or proof-reading errors, but the information to us (not expert); looks overall reliable. And we read the words more closely because we had to figure out some of them. Skimming not as easy.
  • Note that the assassination was by Czechs trained in Britain by British, and not actually carried out by British operatives, but that fact is corrected later by the speaker himself in the section entitled "Asassination - May 1942" and the Czech operatives Jan Kubis and Josef Gabcik are named.
  • Who is speaking-writing? We would like a name. The sources for the information are given, but not the identity of the voice.

Fair use quote, spellings retained: a real human being did this, and one who is not a spell-checker-proofer. Fine.
Heydrich, is today known to the world as "The Hangman". He is considered by most to be the architect of the Holocaust. Adolf Eichmann is often seen as the director of the Holocaust. Eichmannwas in fact was primarily the administrator working on logistical problems. It is Heydrich more than any other single individual who planned the Holocaust and set the machinery of industrial killing in motion. Only his assisanation by British agents prevented him from seeing it through to fruition. And he would have been central to plans being prepared for the Slavs. He was beginning plans for an ethnic cleaning operation in Czechoslovakia aimed at deporting the Czechs. Heydrich at the time of his death was the third most powerful individual in NAZI Germany and in all liklihood if he had lived and the NAZIs had won the War would have been the second F├╝hrer.

Was Heydrich the first to use the term, "final solution?" Again, a fair use quote unedited:

Heydrich eventuallycame to believce that the "Jewish question" could not be solved by emmigration. About 200,000 German Jews had emmigrated, but because of the Anschluss and the seizure of Czecheslovakia, there were more Jews in the Reich and NAZI-controlled teritory than when the NAZIs seized power in 1933. After the success in the West and the defeat of the French, Heydrich wrote to the Reich Foreign Secretary Joachim von Ribbentrop that emigration no longer be seen as a sollution and that "A territorial Final Solution has thus become necessary." [Fleming, p. 44.] Not only did Heydrich change his mind about emmigration, he evebtually prohibited emiigration so that more Jews could be killed, referring to the "Final Sollution" (May 1941).

Prague, Vinobrady. Residential. Fafek family, Rela Fafek. Balbinova Street.

1. Vinohrady, or Vinobrady

And the girlfriend of one of the Czech resistance fighters, Rela Fafek.  The paratroopers who assassinated Reinhard Heydrich, known as the Butcher of Prague, were often guests of the Fafek family who lived in the Vinohrady District. See www.army.cz/images/id_7001_8000/7419/assassination-en.pdf/  See Heydrich and an account of the assassination plot at ://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/GERheydrich.htm/  Search that spelling as well as Heidrich, see ://archiv.radio.cz/history/history11.html

The Nazis were looking for Rela Fafek after the assassination.

Read the google book, Bodyguard of Lies:  The Extraordinary True Story Behind D-Day, by Anthony Cave Brown, pages 223ff.

Find her role in the the assassination, and her role as girlfriend of one of the assassins, Joseph Gabcik (the other paratrooper assassin was Jan Kubis). The men were Czech, trained in Britain, and dropped into the area to accomplish the objective of killing Heydrich. Others were part of the group, waiting for them.  It would be a spoiler to tell you what happens, other than that Heydrich did die. See the old "Operation Daybreak" - Hollywood's version, but a good one, considering, from the 1970's. 

She was to drive ahead of the car in which Reinhard Heydrich was riding, and if he was unaccompanied by other guard cars, she was to wear a hat.  If he was escorted, she would wear no hat. See ://books.google.com/books?id=Q0UBW_KysgMC&pg=PA224&lpg=PA224&dq=Rela+Fafek&source=bl&ots=lNBWZnDELv&sig=6WObrd0nyberokmOnttOQIyWfc0&hl=en&ei=3zxLTKTxD4H58AaCook0&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CBoQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=Rela%20Fafek&f=false/  Gabcik stepped out, aimed and fired, but his gun jammed. So Kubis threw a bomb, and shrapnel hit Heydrich, with blood poisoning and gangrene causing his death after a day or so.

2.  Daily life. 

On a more benign note, in this district, Petr helped put new school desks together. Page 36.

Friends, Milose or Milos.  Friends, the Miloses, were moving to an apartment there. Page 66. It seems to be a residential area with an elegant background. See myczechrepublic.com/prague/sightseeing/vinohrady.html. See photo and description of solid pre-war apartments and wide boulevards at allpraha.com/?page=resourcedetail&category=100195&resource=20375&resourcename=Vinohrady

This site calls it "leafy Vinohrady," and notes good chicken wings there. See www.allpraha.com/?page=cat&category=100346&catname=Chicken%20Wings%20Tour.
  • From those images, move to Operation Anthropoid again. See post on Boromejsky Church here.
2. Balbinova Street.

Petr goes here to paint numbers at #18. Page 116. This is in Vinohrady, looks like apartments still.

    Prague, Troja - Recreation Area; Operation Anthropoid

     Troja

    1.  Recreation.  Here Petr and Eva (sister Chava Pressburger, who later edited the diary) got a boat ride. Page 28; or Petr would walk there with his friend, Popper. Page 44.

    Once he and Eva were walking there, and she cried from the cold. Page 64.  Petr seems never to talk about himself and his reactions, but does refer to others. Ms. Pressburger says that Troja is a suburb and Jews were allowed to go there.  But Jews could only get there on the embankment of the Vltava River that was in the direction of Old Town. Page 143.

    Troja still is a recreation area, with a zoo, garden and chateau. See abcprague.com/2006/04/12/to-visit-troja; and prague.net/troja-chateau. Do an Images search.

    2.  Troja and Operation Anthropoid.

    Troja also is the name of the bridge at this suburb of Prague.

    It was the place, at a "hairpin" curve near the bridge, where the Czech partisans attacked the Nazi official, Reinhard Heydrich (also spelled Reinhard Heidrich), and his ultimate death.  This assassination led to the destruction of the town of Lidice, among other acts, in reprisal.  See this video about him, at Reinhard Heydrich Waffen SS 1/5 at  ://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rV25qUZcZt8

    See entry May 11, 2005 www.militaryphotos.net/forums/archive/index.php/t-15776.html; www.deathcamps.org/reinhard/heydrich.html;

    See also here concerning the Boromejsky Church, the Orthodox Church of St. Cyril and St. Methodius,  where the partisans, betrayed, were finally cornered and died.

    Prague - Wilson's (Woodrow Wilson) Main Train Station, Other Train Stations

    Train Stations 

    Railroads:  the targeted populations could not have been transported to the camps without them. Is that so? The perversions of technology. 

    1.  Prague Main Train Station - Woodrow Wilson.

    This is the train station where there is a commotion celebrating Hitler's 53rd birthday. Page 100.  This was the occasion where the British-trained Czech resistance operatives (and others) carried out Operation Anthropoid that up the assassination of Nazi Reinhard Heydrich.  See a video of his funeral at ://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9P17nUoG0Q

    This station is the main station for Prague, and is undergoing improvements. See /www.abcprague.com/2006/05/17/prague-main-station-will-be-strongly-changed.  See also http://www.travelpod.com/travel-photo/russchid/06_craziness/1139001000/cimg3486.jpg/tpod.html

    Is it named for Woodrow?? Yes. Woodrow Wilson was instrumental in severing the Czech lands from the Habsburgs in 1918. See hedgie.org/ma/me/consult/ansP/Train.php.

    2.  Hybernska Street.

    Petr went to Mr. Repa's for glasses. Page 41. Ms. Pressburger says (I think this is correct) that this is now 146 Jachymova Street in the Old Town. Josefov, the Jewish Quarter.  Page 146.

    There is a train station at Hybernska, with German flags. Page 85.

    3.  Branik.

    A German soldier was shot here. Page 110. From Images, Branik is a village, and the name of a Prague station, and a beer.

    The station is in Prague 4, see www.livingprague.com/pragueareas.htm; and here is a nice night train picture: michaelkenna.net/html/books/nitework/branik.html.

    4.  Bubenec.

    There is a train station here and Grandma is leaving from there. Page 119. Near Prague Castle area, embassies near?

    Prague. Museum, Assassination of Reynhard Heydrich; The Occupation;

    The Czech Resistance Assassination of Nazi Reinhard Heydrich
    Exhibit, Boromejsky Church
    Orthodox Church of St. Cyril and Methodius


    Reinhard Heydrich assassination, Prague, Czech Resistance exhibit, Boromejsky Orthodox Church

    Readers of Petr's Diary, who do not have a firm grounding in WWII history, may be misled by the reporter-type detached entries of Petr Ginz. His listing of the Occupation events can be bland.

    For a more gut-level start in understanding what life was like and how it evolved under the Nazi regime and aided by Czech protectionists, look into this event as an example, and go deeper.

    Find Operation Anthropoid, leading to the assassination of a high-ranking Nazi official, Reinhard Heydrich. He ordered the methodical deportation and death of tens of thousands of Jews, Gypsies, and others. See Gypsies, Roma - Holocaust. See a detailed chronology of the German occupation in Prague and the surrounding area, and photos, see http://www.army.cz/images/id_7001_8000/7419/assassination-en.pdf. "Assassination" refers to Operation Anthropoid, and includes events in the years preceding, and the reprisals afterwards, especially in Lidice, the town that was decimated.

    This is an exhibit in the Boromejsky Orthodox Church (Orthodox Catholic, not Roman Catholic), also known as the Orthodox Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius (www.radio.cz/en/article/85056) where some of the partisans had been hidden by the priest. Then one of the partisans who had participated, but escaped, revealed their location to the Nazis apparently in hopes of saving his family from retribution, and the others were trapped there.

    These events were scripted into a film in the 1970's, "Operation Daybreak," available on the internet. The copies are poor in audio - feel free to return for a better. There may be foreign language subtitles. Worth a remake, Hollywood.

    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.

    Prague. Streets; Squares, Miscellaneous Towns

     Streets of Prague
    Squares Mentioned in Diary of Petr Ginz 
    Shorter reference
    Miscellany - in passing

    Prague is visual riches. Facades vary, there is ornamentation on street lamps, doorways, windows.  Its streets are livable:  narrow enough to walk across easily, but traffic still flows reasonably. As in much of Europe, older buildings are perhaps 4-5 stories tall, no more. This is a typical street in Prague.

    Prague street; ornamentation. Places of Petr Ginz 

    Petr writes of many streets and many addresses of specific people; or his sister, Chava Pressburger includes them in her portions of the book.

    Get an idea of the varied days of Petr Ginz, a child of the city. Think of a panoramic camera, slowly moving about, filming the boy as he goes.


    Smaller references - references to streets and squares with a longer history are listed separately

     21 Norimberska Street

    This is the location of the legal department of the Jewish community. Page 16. There is a Norymberska restaurant in Cracow, but I see no other reference to the word.

    Veletrh in Prague VII (the district) opposite Vinarska Street.

    This remains a puzzle. Page 20. We see Czech references to Veletrh; and Vinarska seems to be in the town of Brno?

    Jachimova Street, Josevof, Old Town (Jewish Quarter) 

    The Statnii Zidovske Museum is at Jachimova 3, see www.jewishgen.org/cemetery/e-europe/czech-p.html.

    Chava Pressburger's notes suggest that this is the new name for Regnart Street? Page 146. Ms. Chessburger is Peter Ginz' sister, the editor of his diary.

    Regnart Street.

    Regnart was a composer and musician in the court of Rudolf II. Page 146. [See statue, "Iron Man," supposed to be Rudolf II, Czech Republic Road Ways . See more on Regnart at www.bach-cantatas.com/Lib/Regnart-Jacob.htm. We see no Regnart Street.

    Letenska Street.

    Petr goes here to register for school. Page 44. Used to be Belcredi's Avenue? Page 46. Do an Images search for this one - and a regular search shows the Wallenstein Gardens there, see www.gardenvisit.com/ge/wallen.htm, and we missed that. The Wallenstein Palace now houses the Czech Republic Senate. Belcredi: We see a hotel Belcredi, but not a street.

    Kelly's Street.

    The Germans changed the name from U stare skoly. Page 87. See U Stare skoly 3 as the address of the Jewish Museum, Robert Guttman Gallery, at www.jewishmuseum.cz/en/aexhibition.htm.

    Krivoklat.

    Uncles go to work by way of the motorway there, get 1000 crowns a month and can visit home. See 99. A splendid castle is here. See www.czech.cz/en/culture/most-beautiful-sights-and-places-of-interest/castles-and-chateaux/krivoklat/. Do an Images search as well. We did not get there. See also ://www.czechtourism.com/eng/uk/docs/what-to-see/castles-chateaux/all/krivoklat/

    Fair use thumbnail of Krivoklat Castle from ://www.mestokladno.cz/EN/vismo/dokumenty2.asp?id_org=100977&p1=1032&id=1017
    Krivoklat Castle

    Suchdol. It takes a tram and a bus to get here. Page 121. Near airport? University near here? Park and greenery, impressions from Images and overview of real estate sites.

    Lodecka Street. They are removing postal horses (?) Page 122. This seems to be Prague 1, Josefov or the Jewish Quarter?



    Prague. Where Jews Cannot Walk. Prikopy; Narodny Ave.

    Places of no access for Jews

    Prikopy.

    Jews are not allowed to walk here. Page 110. This now is the pedestrian way at the lower end of Wenceslas Square. See www.radio.cz/en/article/60725. A place for shopping, and you can choose a walking tour focusing on that. See www.accommodation.cz/t/sight.html

    Narodny Avenue.

    Jews cannot walk here, either. Page 111. Take a long detour to a tunnel that goes under it in order to get places. Page 114. Fast forward to August 15, 1969, and the "human barricade of Czech militia" at Narodny Street. Read back at the struggles 1938 against Nazis, 1948 against soviet union, and 1968ff again. Young's Prague Story at http://www.stanfordalumni.org/travelswithrico/42PragueYoungB.htm.


    Prague, Petrske Square

    Petrske Square.

    Petr goes there to say goodbye to friends being transported to Theresienstadt. Page 100. Transport to Terezin - same.  Terezin is the Czech name for the German Theresienstadt.

    It looks like an area of shops and restaurants. Do an Images search for Petrske Street, and find the map that shows also how close Dlouha Street is, above.

    Prague, Lublanska Street. Jewish hospital. Bulovska Hospital

    Lublanska Street.

    The Jewish hospital, that treated Petr's father, and where doctors removed "...three litres of water from Daddy's lungs!" writes Petr. Page 85.

    A violin-maker also is there, a master craftsman and restorer, www.housle-vavra.cz/en/history.php, still in business since 1870 despite all. See the family faces and talent shown there. Also Earth Day celebrations. See /archiv.radio.cz/listings/fest.html

    Bulovka. A second hospital?  Is this for non-Jews?

    Petr goes with Auntie Anda across the ferry and under the cliff under Bulovka. Page 96. We find a town Bulovka in the Liberec area, north-northwest CZ.

    Here it is - a hospital, Hospital Bulovka in Prague. www.prague-info.cz/en/prague/addresses/bulovka_hospital_pharmacy

    Petr's mother was Christian, his father Jewish.  If Auntie Anda is his mother's sister, then as a Christian she would go to a different hospital fro the Jews?

    Prague. Vezenska Street - Gestapo; and Jewish Ambulatory Clinic

    Vezenska Street.

    There was a "pub the Gestapo chased people out and into a van." Page 48.

    A Jewish ambulatory clinic was also there. Page 86. Looks like this is still a victuals place, also hotels.

    Prague. Klimentska Street

    Klimentska Street.

    Peter goes here early to help Mr. Emil Bondy * with his luggage for his forced transport to Poland. Petr needed a pass: curfew for Jews until 6 AM. Page 45. Here it is: down from Stefanik's Bridge - www.mapy.cz/searchScreen?query=ulice%20Klimentska,%20Praha.

    From the websites, it appears to be a residential street. See a picture and fine narrative article - human interest - at www.radio.cz/en/article/75954/limit, "A Window in Klimentska Street," by Linda Mastalier, February 19, 2006.  Shorthand customs for recording dates:  We would write month-day-year 2/19/06. Europe writes day-month-year 19/2/06.

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

    *  Yad Vashem record, Emil Bondy:  Perished.  See these public records at ://www.yadvashem.org/wps/portal   Note that his spouse is "Anda".  Is that Petr's Auntie Anda?

    "Full Record Details for  Bondi Emil
    Source      Pages of Testimony
    Last Name      BONDI
    First Name      EMIL
    Father's First Name      BERNARD
    Mother's First Name      ZOFIA
    Mother's First Name      SOFIA
    Gender      Male
    Date of Birth      16/05/1889
    Age      53
    Place of Birth      PRAHA,PRAHA HLAVNI MESTO,BOHEMIA,CZECHOSLOVAKIA
    Marital Status      MARRIED
    Spouse's First Name      ANDA
    Spouse's First Name      ANNA
    Spouse's First Name      ANA
    Permanent residence      PRAHA,PRAHA HLAVNI MESTO,BOHEMIA,CZECHOSLOVAKIA
    Profession      MERCHANT
    Place during the war      LODZ,LODZ,LODZ,POLAND
    Place of Death      LODZ,LODZ,LODZ,POLAND
    Date of Death      03/05/1942
    Type of material      Page of Testimony
    Submitter's Last Name      BONDI
    Submitter's First Name      RUT
    Relationship to victim      NEPHEW"

    Prague: Hagibor Club, Sports, Social, Political

    Hagibor.

    This sounds like a skating area, see Page 57.  Rather, it is a larger enterprise - a sports club, sponsoring track and skating - see Hagibor Club at www.jewishsports.net/historical_view.htm.

    Site summaries: After WWI, many Jewish sports clubs emerged, with an umbrella organization, the Maccabi World Union. It goal was stated this way,

    "The goal of the Union is the physical and moral regeneration of Jews for the sake of restoration and existence of the Jewish lands and people." 

    They also held social and cultural events. Hagibor was one of the clubs fostering activities of the MWU.

    Maninsky Canal.

    Skating - a favorite activity.  Petr writes that the Maninsky canal was frozen and good for skating. Page 40. Haven't found yet. See Meninsky, but as a surname, not a canal.

    Prague: Podskalska Street

    Podskalska Street.

    Friends sublet an apartment there at number 22. Page 56.

    Libri Prohibiti:  During the Nazi and Communist years, writers continued to create and publish underground literature. These are displayed and preserved in a Prague second-floor downtown apartment. The original location of the Library of Prohibited Books was Podskalska Street; now it is at Senovazne. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libri_Prohibiti.   See also  bol.praguepost.com/categories/93/2673/. See also ://www.kontakt.erstegroup.net/report/stories/Libri+Prohibiti/en 

    Libraries have a long and distinguished history in Czech lands, beginning with the 9th Century. Societies, castles, towns, monasteries. See the Czech Library and Information Portal, History of Libraries in the Czech Republic, at ://knihovnam.nkp.cz/english/sekce.php3?page=05_History.htm&PHPSESSID=4d3a4a7b5879ed2ca11802f0c8878362.  The Strahov Library, in the Strahov Monastery near Prague Castle, houses collections dating from the 12th Century, but with materials predating that by centuries, is open to the public but materials do not circulate, see ://www.prague.cz/strahov-library/.  Stay in the Hall and read.

    During the Nazi Occupation, 1939-1945, books with democratic or progressive themes that did not support the political ideology were removed, and Fascist materials fostered. In 1945, with liberation, libraries again stocked shelves with the previously forbidden materials. Then the shift back again: There was a continuing limit on availability of topics during the Communist years.  There was a strict censorship by 1970. And, in 1989, with the "Velvet Revolution", libraries again displayed a wide range of subject matter.  See the History of Libraries site at ://knihovnam.nkp.cz/english/sekce.php3?page=06_Transf.htm&PHPSESSID=4d3a4a7b5879ed2ca11802f0c8878362/

    The Library faces Gorky Square, and this article gives the flavor of it, its history and vibes - findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1295/is_n8_v57/ai_13201825; also libpro.cts.cuni.cz/clan32.htm

    Library buffs may like a summer program in Prague, see ://sils.unc.edu/programs/international/SamplePragueSchedule.pdf

    Prague: Holesovice - Petr's Home; Petrin Hill; Stefanik's Bridge; Strossmayer Square

    PETRIN HILL, STEFANIK'S BRIDGE

    Prague, Petrin Hill, Stefanik's Bridge, Vltava River, CZ

    This Prague view looks across the Charles Bridge toward Petrin Hill. Petrin Hill has a network of parks near Prague Castle. See photos here: www.pragueholiday.cz/fotogal/galery.php?d=0; and at www.prague.net/gallery/petrin-hill/.

    Home. Petr lived near the Prague central slaughterhouse, near Petrin Hill (page 15), and I think this is in the Holesovice area. See his sister's notes at page 144. Not clear here on how close it is to Petrin? Here is more on Holesovice: /www.pragueholiday.cz/holesovice.php.

    FILM. There is a 1975-76 film about Nazi resistance in the Czech Republic, the assassination of Ubergroppenfuhrer Reynhard Heydrich, "Operation Daybreak." The film says that the assassination attack took place at Holesovice, and there is substantial footage about it. See Places of Petr Ginz, "Operation Daybreak". The operation was called Operation Anthropoid in reality, and triggered that terrible retribution in the Nazi destruction of the entire town of Lidvice.

    Holesovice had been an agricultural area, then incorporated into Prague as its 7th District. It expanded with factories, and further with the Masaryk railroad station being connected to other lines.

    Strossmayer Place. At 92 Strossmayer Place, he watched a bell being taken from its tower. See post on the bells. The name looks like an honor to Bishop Strossmayer, who in 1870 gave a speech at the Vatican that did not support infallibility and such issues. See www.mtc.org/bishop_s.html. He was Croatian. See Croatia Road Ways, posts about Bishop Strossmayer.

    Stefanik Bridge.

    This was called the "hanging bridge" I think because it was a suspension bridge, not for any executions. It was soon closed to pedestrians. Page 49. Search Images search to see it.

    Milan Rastilav Stefanik was a co-founder of Czechoslovakia in 1917-1918. See www.radio.cz/en/article/68765 and a fine history and map at www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/2WWczech.htm.

    Czechoslovakia later divided into The Czech Republic and Slovakia. There is a Cardinal Stepinak in Croatia who is controversial for his conversion of the Orthodox in the concentration camps prior to their executions, instead of standing in the way of the executions, but I don't think the reference here is to him. For Stepinak, see Croatia Road Ways, Zagreb entries on Cardinal Stepinac and Jasenovac Concentration Camp entry.

    Friday, July 23, 2010

    Prague, Dlouha Avenue - Property Administration, Book Depository

     Dlouha Avenue

    This street is called (writes Petr) the "Milky Way" because of all the sheriffs there. Page 28.

    The Central Jewish Museum was there, and administrators there processed the property of Jews being deported. Nazi property administration. The Reich collected a portion of assets in some cases, in exchange for small living stipend, or required that the person being transported to the camps pay his or her own way, made certain items of clothing (the warm ones) forbidden, and the like.  See the account of Rosa Abeles' situation at Czech Republic Road Ways, Pilsner-Urquell, Rosa Abeles.

    The book depository was at Dlouha Avenue 33 in Prague. By the end of 1949, there were nearly 480,000 books there. The employees sometimes organized exhibits of the different property for the Nazis. See www.jewishmuseum.cz/en/aexhibition.htm, under the bold-faced heading for "Central Jewish Museum 1942-1945."

    A handy maplet is at an Images search for another street, Petrske Street. It shows Dlouha better than the one here. Petr mentioned Petrske Square, below.

    Prague - Veletrzni Palace, Exhibition Grounds, Holesovice

     Veletrzni Palace

    This was a large palace with courtyard used as a transit stop and holding place for collecting people to send to the ghettoes and concentration camps.  People had to go to get on the transports out to Theresienstadt or Poland. Page 19.

    Jews stayed there 5 days before transport, sleeping on sawdust sacks (that people helped fill) Page 35. The modern picture of Veletrzni, the "Trade Fair Palace," does not look like a 1940's building. See www.prague.net/veletrzni-palace. No wonder. The old one burned down in 1974. See lava.ds.arch.tue.nl/GAlLery/PraHA/tmoma.html. I am looking for a photo of the old one.

    Exhibition Grounds.

    Grandmother.  Petr writes that his grandmother's tenants have to report there to be transported to Poland,   Petr's father was also called up, but was ill and got a reprieve, Pages 11, 69, 111; Petr's grandmother went there and got notice of when she was to be transported as well.

    • What happened to the Grandmother:  Yad Vashem lists several Ginz family members who could be the Grandmother. Anna, born 1894, and Berta, born 1867,  The surname, however, is Ginzova, and is that a feminine form of Ginz, or is she not in the list. See yadvashem.org. for the Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names,  Shoah meaning Holocaust.

    Ms. Pressburger says at page 145 that this palace area had been build in the 1920's for trade fairs. Is this the same as the "exhibition grounds?" See information on the exibition grounds at section hh here.

    Friends Bardach.   The Bardach's whole family was called up there for Theresienstadt; and Petr's grandmother ultimately also had to go. Pages 69, 70, 111, 116.

    "The Final Solution":  At the Yad Vashem site, click on "final solution" for a narrative of Nazi policy in exterminating Jews.

    • There are many Bardach's in the Yad Vashem Database.  A page of testimony signifies that someone submitted information as to a missing person, or known other facts, such as the death.  The list of inmates for the destination ghetto or camp would supply confirmation of death. There are not always records, as the database is incomplete and some deaths were not recorded.

    For each victim, there is also a narrative summary, and the viewer can click to the more complete record.  For Frieda Bardach, for example: "Frieda Bardach nee Scheinhaut was born in Tarnopol to Avraham. She was a housewife and married to Yosef. Prior to WWII she lived in Praha, Czechoslovakia. During the war she was in Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia. Frieda perished in the Shoah. This information is based on a Page of Testimony (displayed on left) submitted by her son."

    Public record, Sample Summary page of persons with same surname, same town.

    At the Yad Vashem site, click on the name to find further details.

     BARDACH SURNAME, PRAGUE
    An entire family, says Petr, was transported.
    What were their names. It is time to remember.
    Which of these Bardach surnames are the friends of Petr's family we do not know.
    Even so, remember them all.

    Information only, no death notice, 
    person missing or records not yet transcribed.

    Reinhold Bardach,
    Margit Bardach,
    Pinkhas Bardach,
    Shalon Bardach,
    Meir Bardach

    Death notice as well as information:
    Bedrich Bardach,
    Felix Bardach,
    Hermann Bardach,
    Valtr Bardach,
    Josef Bardach,
    Karel Bardach,
    Valtr Bardach
    Khaim Bardach
    Frieda Bardach

    This list may not be completely accurate, done hastily, so do a search at the Yad Vashem dot org for each one.

    Holesovice

    The palace, we think, is is in Holesovice, where I believe Petr lived. See www.pragueholiday.cz/holesovice.php.; and www.radio.cz/en/issue/93800. See this big trade fair place at www.prague.net/prague-exhibition-ground.

    The Exhibition Grounds were built for a centennial in 1891, and are in the "picturesque basin" called Troja. See photo and information at .travel.cz/guide/597/index_en.html. See s. "d" above. It is also identified as in "Vystaviste." See tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g274707-d590468-Reviews-Vystaviste_Prague_Exhibition_Grounds-Prague_Bohemia.html

    Prague, Josefovka Street - Typewriter Repair, Jewish Quarter

    7 Josefovka Street - Josefov Street

    Petr worked at a typewriter repair shop here. Page 17.

    Josefov is the old Jewish Quarter. See the Old-New Synagogue there at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/CzechRepublic/Prague/Josefov/OldNew.html. I find the street, but no special news. The best approach is to do your own Images search for Josefov Street - see many angles on the Jewish Quarter.

    Prague, Jungmannovo Square - A Grandfather's Antique Shop Was There

    Jungmannovo Square

    A grandfather had an antiques shop there. Page 7. There is a cubist streetlight post near an interesting old-looking gate. See www.guide-prague.cz/gallery/ten-centuries-architecture-gui/42. There are still antique auction houses in the area. www.papilio.cz/en/archiv.php?PHPSESSID=ef2b762053d61ab3bd32a06d2a8cd73b.

    Jungmannovo, Square, is named in honor of one Josef Jungmann, a lexicographer and scholar.  The word for square is Namesti.  See it in click-and-drag panorama at ://www.360cities.net/image/jungmannovo-namesti#-1081.31,-90.00,70.0/.  He translated Paradise Lost and constructed a huge Czech-German dictionary, see ://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/308271/Josef-Jungmann

    Which of these might be Petr's Grandfather? Without knowing the family members, we do not know, but a quick look at birthdates may narrow.  The Yad Vashem site - do a search for victims at http://www.yadvashem.org/wps/portal/IY_HON_Welcome - gives helpful information, and shows that records can vary.

    Yad Vashem lists these persons with the surname Ginz, in addition to Petr: 
    • Emil Ginz born 1899 (testimony page), and then Emil Ginz born 1898 (record shows transported to Theresienstadt, then perished at Auschwitz), 
    • Pavel Ginz born 1927 (near Petr's age), transported to Theresienstadt, perished at Auschwitz
    • Viktor Ginz born 1892, transported to Theresienstadt, perished at Auschwitz

































































    Prague, St. Vitus' Cathedral, view to the Little Quarter,


    The photographs. Parts of Petr's world.


    Here is a view of Prague that Petr would have seen often: toward the section known as the Little Quarter, looking at St. Vitus Cathedral up the hill. Petr writes of the huge bell at St. Vitus Cathedral, the bell named Zikmund. See Diary at p. 94.