Commemorative mass at St. Vitus for victims of Heydrich Terror

A commemorative mass at St. Vitus Cathedral on Saturday paid tribute to the victims of the Heydrich Terror, the Nazi backlash following the assassination of Reich Protector Reinhard Heydrich by Czech paratroopers in 1942.

In the aftermath of the attack, the paratroopers hid in the crypt of an Orthodox church in Prague for three weeks until their hiding place was betrayed. Three were killed in crossfire with the Nazis; the other four took their own lives rather than surrender. The priest and bishop who sheltered the soldiers were later murdered.

Some 13,000 people who were suspected of having helped the paratroopers were imprisoned and interrogated, many of them were transported to the Mauthausen concentration camp and subsequently executed. 300 people were killed.

The tradition of holding a mass in memory of the victims of this heroic act was established in 1945, broken off by the communist regime three years later, and re-established in 2011.