Czech Republic / Monument

​​Commemorative plaque and bust: Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš​




​​This commemorative plaque and bust is dedicated to Jozef Gabcik and Jan Kubis. They were Czech soldiers and Resistance operatives involved in the well-known assassination attempt,code-named Operation Anthropoid, on Reichsprotektor (Governor) Reinhard Heydrich, a key Nazi Official from Germany.

Gabčík and Kubiš were also active in the Škoda armaments factory bombing mission. From 17 April 1942, they stayed in Pilsen alongside fellow paratroopers Adolf Opálka and Josef Valčík. On 23 April, paratrooper Karel Čurda of the Out Distance airdrop joined their ranks. On 27 May 1942, Gabčík and Kubiš carried out Operation Anthropoid. Heydrich was wounded in the attack and died of his wounds on 4 June 1942.

The assailants initially hid with two Prague families and later took refuge in the Cathedral of Saints Cyril and Methodius (known as Karel Boromejsky Church until 1935), a cathedral of the Czech and Slovak Orthodox Church in Prague. The German troops were unable to locate them until Čurda turned himself in to the Gestapo. He gave up the names of the team's local contacts for the bounty of 1,000,000 Reichsmarks. This included the Král family, who in December 1942 had housed the Resistance operatives in their apartment, at this address, and were arrested here on Wednesday 17 June, the day after Čurda's betrayal.

Waffen-SS troops laid siege to the church, but were unable to take the assailants alive, despite the best efforts of 750 SS soldiers under the command of SS-Gruppendführer Karl Fischer von Treuenfeld. They also brought Čurda, who tried to get them to surrender by shouting: "Kamarádi, vzdejte se! Nic se vám nestane! Mně se také nic nestalo." (transl. Comrades, surrender! Nothing will happen to you! Nothing happened to me either.) To this, the paratroopers fired back and shouted: "Jsme Češi! Nikdy se nevzdáme, slyšíte? Nikdy!" (transl. We are Czechs! We will never surrender, you hear? Never!).

Opálka and Josef Bublík were killed in the prayer loft after a two-hour gun battle. Kubiš was reportedly found unconscious and died shortly after from injuries. Gabčík, Valčík, Jaroslav Švarc and Jan Hrubý killed themselves after repeated SS attacks. This included attempts to force them out of the crypt with tear gas and flooding by fire brigade trucks. The SS report on the fight mentioned five wounded SS soldiers. The men in the church had only pistols, while the attackers had machine guns, submachine guns and hand grenades. After the battle, Čurda confirmed the identity of the dead Czech resistance fighters, including Kubiš and Gabčík.

The commemorative plaque here was unveiled in 1997, the two busts were added in 2014. 

​​Pod Záhorskem 22/1​, 301 00, Pilsen