To Travel Slide 1             Previous        Next             TO GALLERY PAGE             TO HOME PAGE   

This spot in Prague is where SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich, the "Butcher of Prague," fell victim to one of only two successful targeted assassinations of  major Axis officials in WW2 (the other being Isoroku Yamamoto). Two Czech commandos ambushed his staff car here, knowing it would have to slow down for the hairpin. One man's weapon failed to fire, but his partner threw a grenade which went off behind the car. The car crashed; Heydrich got out and fired his pistol at the retreating men; then he collapsed with grenade fragments in his back.

Heydrich's wounds would not normally have been fatal, but the fragments had passed through a seat cushion stuffed with untreated horsehair and they set off a massive infection. Doctors fought it with the limited antibiotics of the time, but Heydrich died of septicemia in a few days. The SS killed the inhabitants of a small nearby town called Lidice in reprisal, but the Czechs consider that a bearable price for taking out a chief architect of the Holocaust; a monument to the commandos stands in the Church of Sts. Basil and Methodius.