Pilsen Uprising - 5 May 1945

Czech Republic




The Pilsen Uprising was an armed demonstration of the inhabitants of Pilsen against the German occupiers in the early morning hours of May 5, 1945.

The Pilsen Uprising was part of a larger demonstration known as the Czech May Uprising that effected the entire region. In Pilsen, the Pilsen Revolutionary National Committee, led by Colonel Jindřich Krejčík as commander of the resistance organization the Second Light Secret Division, took the lead in cooperation with other resistance organisations from the surrounding region.

Despite the lack of equipment and the number of Wehrmacht forces (7.500 in the city), the Revolutionary National Committee seized city hall while resistance fighters took over the main post office and the railway station. At the same time, factory workers took control of the Škoda factories, and local police secured their stations. A resistance group led by Karel Šindler captured the German military broadcasting station "Na Obcizně", broadcasting the famous words at 0:05 pm on May 5, 1945: “Pilsen speaks, free Pilsen speaks.”

Though capturing many strategic locations in the city, the resistance groups failed to occupy the German military headquarters at Klatovská Street 19 as General Georg von Majewski, commander of the German garrison in Pilsen, refused to surrender to the Czechs.

The Pilsen Uprising ended with the arrival of American soldiers of General Patton's Third Army in the morning hours of May 6, 1945, who eliminated the final pockets of German resistance. Thanks to the Pilsen insurgents and the German soldiers' interest in getting captured by the Americans, there was no major bloodshed in Pilsen and a large number of German soldiers waited for the arrival of the American army in their barracks.

A monument dedicated to the fighters of the Czech Popular uprising is located on Peace Square.