U.S. Embassy Prague Chief of the Office of Defense Cooperation LTC Stephanie Bagley participated in a commemorative ceremony at the Church of Cyril and Methodius in Prague on June 18 commemorating the brave act of resistance by Czechoslovak paratroopers who assassinated Acting Reich Protector Reinhard Heydrich in 1942.
Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš, together with five others who were part of Operation Anthropoid, hid in this Prague church for five days until they were tracked down by the SS, leading to a final, desperate gun battle on June 18, 1942. LTC Bagley was honored to meet General Jaroslav Klemes, the last surviving paratrooper to jump into the then-Protectorate of Moravia and Bohemia during WWII.
Heydrich’s assassination became a symbol of Czech independence and was later hailed as an important moment in the resistance movement. His death led to a wave of revenge acts, including the Lidice and Ležáky massacres.
Operation Anthropoid is the basis for the upcoming film Anthropoid directed by Sean Ellis and starring Jamie Dornan and Cillian Murphy. The film will have its world premiere at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival on July 1, 2016.