Slew of events marking Anthropoid anniversary Friday
A whole slew of events will be held in Prague on Friday marking the 80th anniversary of the assassination of the Nazi governor of Bohemia and Moravia in 1942. The Slovak president and UK foreign secretary are among the dignitaries taking part.
On May 27, 1942 the UK-trained Czechoslovak paratroopers Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš carried out one of the most daring moves of WWII, the assassination in Prague of the Nazi governor of Bohemia and Moravia, Reinhard Heydrich.
Eighty years later their audacious operation and the actions of those who supported them are being remembered by a series of events in Prague and elsewhere around the Czech Republic.
One will take place at the Ohrada Park in Prague 3, where at 3:00 pm the Slovak president, Zuzana Čaputová, will join the Czech interior minister, Vít Rakušan, and lower house speaker, Markéta Pekarová Adamová, at a commemorative ceremony for the heroes of Anthropoid.
Jiří Ptáček is the mayor of the district.
“Ohrada Park is near Biskupcova St. and also near Zelenky-Hajského St. The paratroopers hid there both before and after the assassination. They drew on the support that they received from residents of Žižkov and Vinohrady – because there were also other apartments, and other families, where they received help.”
The Prague 3 official says he is particularly pleased that the Slovak president is coming to the Žižkov ceremony.
“Gabčík was Slovak. It was the most important operation of the resistance, but not just the Czech resistance – also the Slovak resistance. It was a Czechoslovak operation. Madam President would like to commemorate that fact, and for us it is an honour that she will visit us.”
Mr. Ptáček said an Anthropoid exhibition was also due to open in Žižkov on Thursday evening.
The Libeň district – where the actual assassination was carried out in 1942 – will see a whole day of commemorative events on Friday.
They will kick off with the flypast of a historic WWII Hurricane fighter plane, with a recreation of the attack on Heydrich’s open-topped car set to start at 10:30 am.
Among those in attendance in Libeň will be the UK foreign secretary, Liz Truss, and the Slovak minister of defence, Jaroslav Naď.
The biggest single event of the day will be at the city centre National Museum, which at 6:00 pm will see the official opening of We Will Never Give Up!, a major exhibition that documents the assassination and the period of brutal martial law that followed it.
Present at the National Museum will be Czech President Miloš Zeman, his Slovak counterpart Zuzana Čaputová and the Czech ministers of defence and culture, Jana Černochová and Martin Baxa.
Further afield a commemorative event will be held in Rokycany at the home of railway worker Václav Stehlík. His entire family was murdered on 28 May 1942 for hiding the Anthropoid group.
The Czech Centre in London is marking the anniversary with a screening of the 2016 movie Anthropoid, which introduced the heroes’ story to viewers around the world.
A comprehensive overview of the events being held can be found (in Czech) at https://1942.cz/