​​The Král family: Resistance​ and punishment

Czech Republic




It was in this building that the Král family lived; Václav Král, his wife Pavla Králova, and their daughter, Helena Králova. The family was executed in Mauthausen Concentration Camp for helping the local Resistance.

​​During their time in Pilsen, Jozef Gabcik and Jan Kubis both stayed at this address with the Král family. Gabcik and Kubiš were Czech paratroopers and members of the Resistance, involved in the famous assassination attempt, code-maned Operation Android, of Reichsprotektor (Governor) Reinhard Heydrich, a key Nazi Official from Germany.

On 30 December 1941, as per mission instructions, the two arrived here to meet Václav, Chief Police Inspector of Pilsen. With the password “Ada says hello to Pilsen – March 8 is good.”, they proved themselves at the apartment, and after a moment’s hesitation, Václav willingly accepted them both. He ensured they were issued false workbooks, and mediated contact in Prague, a contact he had got from his former police force colleague, Jan Bejbl. With the departure of the parachutists to Prague to continue their mission, Václav’s address remained inactive for a short time.

Václav also took part in the preparations for Operation Canonbury in April 1942, a bombing raid on the Škoda armaments factory in Pilsen in which Gabčík and Kubiš were also active.

However, on 16 June, Karel Čurda, another Czech paratrooper who had been involved in Operation Canonbury, reported to the Gestapo headquarters in Prague. He gradually revealed all the supporters who helped him during his clandestine activities. This included the Král family, who were arrested in their apartment on Wednesday 17 June, the day after Čurda's betrayal.

On 22 October 1942, a transport numbering more than 460 people left the town of Bohušovice nad Ohří. The next day, it arrived at Mauthausen Concentration Camp. In the morning of 24 October, just before 09:30, the first calling of names began. At 08:56, Helena Králová, Václav’s daughter, was murdered. At exactly 10:04, a bullet aimed at the back of the head killed Pavla Králova, Václav’s wife. Václav himself was executed at 16:58. All this was overseen by a specially formed commission of Gestapo Officers from Prague, which arrived in Mauthausen the day before.

At this same location there is also a memorial to Gabcik and Kubiš.