Prague

What is the name of the church that was used by some Czeck men to escape the Nazis during World War 11? The men either killed a German higher up or they blew up a German train, I believe. The men eventually were drowned by the flooding of the basement of the church that the Nazia did. Is that church still in Prague?

Posted by Ilja
Seattle
1466 posts

The church is on Resslova Streeet. The assassinated Nazi name was Reinhard Heydrich. He was groomed to be event. Hitler successor. At the time of his assassination I think he was only 38 years old. He was feared even by Nazis. He was a head of Sicherheitsdien {not sure about spelling but it was Nazi secret service). Also head or something like that of Gestapo. Hitler sent him to Prague to suppress resistance, sabotages etc., his nickname was Prague butcher. Nazis retaliated severely his death. They d many thousands Czechs. In the town of Lidice they shot all men and sent women and children to concentration camp. Town was then burnt and erased by bulldozers. There is a memorial there. It's about 15 miles from Prague. There were several movies about this event. The name of one of the movies was Assassination.

Posted by Ilja
Seattle
1466 posts

"They d many thousands Czechs" should be executed. There is some problem with editing so I could not correct it.

Posted by JB
Redding, CA, USA
1568 posts

I saw a movie based on this event. It was VERY well done and acted. I do not know the name of it. Very moving.

Posted by Dawn
Denver, CO
258 posts

Was the movie called "Operation Daybreak" from 1975?

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17780 posts

Christine, The others have provided a good summary of the events surrounding the Heydrich assassination. There's much more to the story, not all of which would be appropriate to mention here. The Saints Cyril & Methodius Church is indeed still in Prague, and still bears signs of the events. The Church has a Museum at ground level, with an entrance from there to the Crypts. The Museum is small but well done. The Czech soldiers did not drown, but rather shot themselves to avoid capture. There were a few more soldiers that perished in the Choir Lofts on the main floor. Heydrich was a very nasty individual, and I believe he was also chairman of the Wansee Conference where the "final solution" was decided. In the vague reaches of my memory, I recall at least two villages were completely razed as a result of the assassination - Lidice and one other. The operation was officially called Operation Anthropoid, but the movie was called Operation Daybreak (starred Timothy Bottoms as I recall - you might be able to find it on Netflix?). There is a Walking Tour in Prague that covers that event, but it doesn't include the Church. I'd have to check my notes for the details. The tour starts at the Black Tower. If you're interested, I could post a photo link later that shows what the Church looks like (I'm using an iPhone at the moment, which is a bit awkward). Happy travels!

Posted by christine
dallas
2 posts

Thank you all for the information. I'm going to Prague soon and really appreciate your answers. You all rock!!!

Posted by Ilja
Seattle
1466 posts

The other village razed by Nazis was Lezaky (pronounced Lezhake).

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17780 posts

@Ilja, Thanks for the info. I knew there was a second village, but had forgotten the name.

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
2696 posts

"I saw a movie based on this event." Hollywood made a movie based on the assassination of Heydrich while the war was going on.... "Hangmen Also Die" (1943) with Brian Donlevy. Was that the movie you saw?

Posted by Keith
United Kingdom
683 posts

Another film referencing this was "The Silent Village". As with the one Fred mentions it was made during the war and it "re-imagined" the destruction of Lidice but as it might have happened in a British mining village if the Germans had invaded here. Lidice was a mining village, hence the connection. http://www.screenonline.org.uk/film/id/998098/index.html Also, I have visited the church and I believe that the Germans did flood the church basement where the soldiers were but that they chose to shoot themselves rather than surrender or be drowned. Ken - yes, Heydrich did open the Wannsee Conference. Kenneth Branagh portrayed him in "Conspiracy"

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17780 posts

From what I remember, the flooding of the Crypt area was somewhat ineffective, as the Czech soldiers climbed up onto platforms on the walls, so they were out of the water for the most part. However, the cold water would have made the atmosphere in there quite "chilly". The Church is only a short distance from the river, so it wouldn't have been difficult to draw water from there. In any case, with ammunition almost expended and no hope of escape, there was really only one logical conclusion......