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Second World War

Operation Anthropoid

Awards Croix de Guerre Czechoslovak
Czechoslovak
War Cross 1939–1945

Jan Kubiš
Jan Kubiš
(24 June 1913 – 18 June 1942) was a Czech soldier, one of a team of Czechoslovak
Czechoslovak
British-trained paratroopers sent to eliminate acting Reichsprotektor (Reich-Protector) of Bohemia and Moravia, SS- Obergruppenführer
Obergruppenführer
Reinhard Heydrich, in 1942 as part of Operation Anthropoid.

Contents

1 Biography 2 The elimination of Heydrich in Prague 3 Attempted capture of the parachutists 4 Honours and awards 5 Kubiš in popular culture 6 See also 7 References 8 Bibliography 9 External links

Biography[edit] Jan Kubiš
Jan Kubiš
was born in 1913 in Dolní Vilémovice, Moravia
Moravia
in the Austro-Hungarian Empire (present-day Czech Republic). Jan was a Boy Scout.[1][2] Jan Kubiš, having previously been an active member of Orel, started his military career as a Czechoslovak army
Czechoslovak army
conscript on 1 November 1935 by 31st Infantry Regiment "Arco" in Jihlava. After passing petty officer course and promotion to corporal, Kubiš served some time in Znojmo
Znojmo
before being transferred to 34th infantry regiment "Marksman Jan Čapek" in Opava, where he served at guard battalion stationed in Jakartovice. Here, Kubiš reached promotion to platoon sergeant. During the Czechoslovak
Czechoslovak
mobilization of 1938, Kubiš served as deputy commander of a platoon in Czechoslovak
Czechoslovak
border fortifications in the Opava
Opava
area. Following the Munich Agreement
Munich Agreement
and demobilization, Kubiš was discharged from army on 19 October 1938 and returned to his civilian life, working at a brick factory. At the eve of World War II, on 16 June 1939, Kubiš fled Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
and joined a forming Czechoslovak
Czechoslovak
unit in Kraków, Poland. Soon he was transferred to Algiers, where he entered the French Foreign Legion. He fought in France
France
during the early stage of World War II
World War II
and received his Croix de guerre
Croix de guerre
there. A month after the German victory in the Battle of France, Kubiš fled to Great Britain, where he received training as a paratrooper. The Free Czechoslovaks, as he and other self-exiled Czechoslovaks were called, were stationed at Cholmondeley Castle
Cholmondeley Castle
near Malpas in Cheshire. He and his best friend, Jozef Gabčík, both befriended the Ellison family, from Ightfield, Shropshire, whom they met while in Whitchurch, Shropshire. In 1941, Kubiš was dropped into Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
as part of Operation Anthropoid, where he died following the successful assassination of Reinhard Heydrich. His remains were buried secretly in a mass grave at the Ďáblice cemetery
Ďáblice cemetery
in Prague. Since this was unknown after World War II, Karel Čurda, the member of their squad who betrayed them to the Nazis, was coincidentally also buried at the cemetery. However, in 1990 mass graves were excavated and a memorial site with symbolic gravestones was established instead.[3] In 2009, a memorial was built at the place of the attack on Heydrich. The elimination of Heydrich in Prague[edit] Main article: Operation Anthropoid Jozef Gabčík
Jozef Gabčík
and Jan Kubiš
Jan Kubiš
were airlifted along with seven soldiers from Czechoslovakia’s army-in-exile in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and two other groups named Silver A and Silver B (who had different missions) by a Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
Halifax of No. 138 Squadron into Czechoslovakia at 10pm on 28 December 1941. In Prague, they contacted several families and anti-Nazi organizations who helped them during the preparations for the assassination.[4] On 27 May 1942, Heydrich had planned to meet Hitler in Berlin. German documents suggest that Hitler intended to transfer Heydrich to German occupied France, where the French resistance
French resistance
was gaining ground.[5] Heydrich would have to pass a section where the Dresden- Prague
Prague
road merged with a road to the Troja Bridge. The junction, in the Prague suburb of Libeň, was well-suited for the attack because motorists have to slow for a hairpin bend. At 10:30 AM, Heydrich proceeded on his daily commute from his home in Panenské Břežany
Panenské Břežany
to Prague Castle. Gabčík and Kubiš waited at the tram stop on the curve near Bulovka Hospital
Bulovka Hospital
in Prague
Prague
8-Libeň. As Heydrich’s open-topped Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz
neared the pair, Gabčík stepped in front of the vehicle, trying to open fire, but his Sten gun
Sten gun
jammed. Heydrich ordered his driver, SS- Oberscharführer
Oberscharführer
Klein, to stop the car. When Heydrich stood up to try to shoot Gabčík, Kubiš threw a modified anti-tank grenade at the vehicle, and its fragments ripped through the car’s right-rear fender, embedding shrapnel and fibres from the upholstery into Heydrich’s body, even though the grenade failed to enter the car. Kubiš was also injured by the shrapnel. Heydrich, apparently unaware of his shrapnel injuries, got out of the car, returned fire and tried to chase Gabčík but soon collapsed. Klein returned from his abortive attempt to chase Kubiš, and Heydrich ordered him to chase Gabčík. Klein was shot twice by Gabčík (who was now using his revolver) and wounded in the pursuit.[6][7] A Czech woman went to Heydrich's aid and flagged down a delivery van. Heydrich was first placed in the driver's cab, but complained that the van's movement was causing him pain. He was placed in the back of the van, on his stomach, and taken to the emergency room at Bulovka Hospital.[8] Heydrich had suffered severe injuries to his left side, with major damage to his diaphragm, spleen, and lung. He had also fractured a rib. Dr Slanina packed the chest wound, while Dr Walter Diek tried unsuccessfully to remove the splinters. He immediately decided to operate. This was carried out by Drs Diek, Slanina, and Hohlbaum. Heydrich was given several blood transfusions. A splenectomy was performed. The chest wound, left lung, and diaphragm were all debrided and the wounds closed.[8] Himmler ordered Dr Karl Gebhardt
Karl Gebhardt
to fly to Prague
Prague
to assume care. Despite a fever, Heydrich's recovery appeared to progress well. Dr Theodor Morell, Hitler's personal physician, suggested the use of sulfonamide (an antibacterial drug), but Gebhardt, thinking Heydrich would recover, refused.[9] On 2 June, during a visit by Himmler, Heydrich reconciled himself to his fate by reciting a part of one of his father's operas. Heydrich slipped into a coma after Himmler's visit and never regained consciousness. He died on 4 June, probably around 04:30. He was 38. The autopsy concluded that he died of sepsis. Heydrich's facial expression as he died betrayed an "uncanny spirituality and entirely perverted beauty, like a renaissance Cardinal," according to Bernhard Wehner, a Kripo police official who investigated the assassination.[10] Attempted capture of the parachutists[edit]

Bullet-scarred window of the Church of St Cyril and St Methodious in Prague
Prague
where Kubiš and his compatriots were cornered.

Kubiš and his group were found on 18 June in the Church of St Cyril and St Methodious in Resslova Street in Prague. In a bloody battle that lasted for six hours, Kubiš was wounded and died shortly after arrival at the hospital.[11] The other parachutists committed suicide to avoid capture after an additional four-hour battle with the SS.[12] In revenge, the Nazis murdered 24 family members and close relatives of Jan Kubiš
Jan Kubiš
in the concentration camp Mauthausen: his father, both own and half-siblings, including their wives and husbands, cousins, aunts and uncles.[13] Honours and awards[edit] Shortly after his successful mission, Kubiš (as well as Gabčík) was promoted to the rank of second lieutenant in memoriam. After the liberation of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
he was further promoted to the rank of staff captain in memoriam. During the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the assassination of Heydrich in 2002, Kubiš was again promoted in memoriam, to the rank of colonel.[14][15][16] Apart from the Czechoslovak
Czechoslovak
Military Cross 1939 and Croix de Guerre (both he received in 1940), Kubiš was posthumously decorated with the Commemorative Medal of the Czechoslovak
Czechoslovak
Army, F, GB (1944), another two Czechoslovak
Czechoslovak
Military Crosses (1942, 1945), King's Commendation for Brave Conduct (1947), Czechoslovak
Czechoslovak
Military Order for Liberty (1949), Military Order of the White Lion
Military Order of the White Lion
"For Victory" 1st Class (1968), Order of Milan Rastislav Štefánik (1992) and Cross of Defence of the Minister of Defence of the Czech Republic (2008).[14][15][16] There are streets named after Jan Kubiš
Jan Kubiš
in the cities of Prague (close to the Operation Anthropoid
Operation Anthropoid
Memorial), Pardubice, Tábor, Třebíč
Třebíč
and other places.[17][18] In 2013 (100th anniversary of Kubiš's birth) a small memorial and museum was open in the house where Jan Kubiš
Jan Kubiš
was born. Since 2010 a National memorial and museum dedicated to all heroes related to the assassination of Heydrich is open in the crypt of Ss. Cyril and Methodius Cathedral
Ss. Cyril and Methodius Cathedral
in Prague.[19][20] Kubiš in popular culture[edit] Since the 1960s the assassination of Heydrich became the subject of numerous war novels and war movies. Jan Kubiš
Jan Kubiš
has been portrayed by numerous actors over the decades, such as Rudolf Jelínek in the 1965 film Atentát, Timothy Bottoms in the film Operation Daybreak
Operation Daybreak
and Miroslav Rataj in the film Sokolovo (both released in 1975), Patrik Staněk in the 2011 film Lidice, by Jamie Dornan
Jamie Dornan
in the 2016 film Anthropoid[21] and by Jack O'Connell in the 2017 film The Man with the Iron Heart. Coinciding with the release of the 2016 film, campaigners called for Kubiš's body to be identified and exhumed from the mass-grave at the cemetery in Ďáblice, Prague, and to be given a dignified burial fitting "the heroes of anti-Nazi resistance".[22][23] See also[edit]

Czech resistance to Nazi occupation Adolf Opálka Lidice Jozef Gabčík

References[edit]

^ Knobel, Bruno (1962). Das große Abenteuer Lord Baden-Powells (in German). Zürich: Polygraphischer Verlag AG Zürich. p. 232.  ^ "Skauting » Historie" (in Czech). Junák
Junák
- svaz skautů a skautek ČR. Retrieved 23 September 2007.  ^ Pavec, Jan (25 May 2012). "Český národ se zříká hrdinů. Uznává jen mučedníky a oběti, říká badatel Čvančara". Hospodářské noviny
Hospodářské noviny
(in Czech).  ^ Burian et al. 2002, pp. 48–49 ^ Bryant 2007, p. 175. ^ Burgess, Alan (1983) [1960]. Seven Men At Daybreak. New York: Bantam Books. p. 160. ISBN 978-0-55323-5-081.  ^ Burian et al. 2002, p. 64 ^ a b Williams 2003, p. 155. ^ Williams 2003, p. 165. ^ Höhne 2000, p. 495. ^ McDonald, Callum (1998). The Killing of Reinhard Heydrich: The SS Butcher of Prague. New York: Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-80860-9.  ^ Cowdery, Ray R.; Vodenka, Peter (1994). Reinhard Heydrich: Assassination. Lakeville, MN, USA: Victory WW2 Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-0-91066-7-425.  ^ "Poprava 262 spolupracovníků parašutistů v Mauthausenu 24. 10. 1942". Fronta.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 27 April 2017.  ^ a b "Jan Kubiš". Dolní Vilémovice
Dolní Vilémovice
(official website of the village). Retrieved 24 May 2017.  ^ a b Jedlička, František. "Plukovník in memoriam Jan Kubiš". vets.cz. Spolek pro vojenská pietní místa. Retrieved 24 May 2017.  ^ a b Punčochář (1 July 2003). "Jan Kubiš, Jozef Gabčík". Filatelie v Brně 2017. Retrieved 24 May 2017.  ^ ČTK (24 June 2013). "Před 100 lety se narodil výsadkář Kubiš. Kliďas, který zabil Heydricha". iDNES.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 24 May 2017.  ^ "Kubiš: Hrdina v pouhých 29 letech". ČT24 (in Czech). Czech TV. 24 June 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2017.  ^ "RODNÝ DŮM JANA KUBIŠE". Dolní Vilémovice
Dolní Vilémovice
(official website of the village) (in Czech). Retrieved 24 May 2017.  ^ "Národní památník hrdinů heydrichiády". VHU.cz (in Czech). Military History Institute in Prague. Retrieved 24 May 2017.  ^ Hawksley, Rupert (31 August 2016). "The incredible true story behind World War Two film Anthropoid". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 31 August 2016.  ^ ČTK (10 December 2014). "Pohřebiště v Ďáblicích by mělo být prohlášeno národní památkou". Týden.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 29 December 2016.  ^ Charter, David (20 August 2016). "Fight to honour heroes who killed top Nazi". The Times. Retrieved 31 August 2016. 

Bibliography[edit]

Bryant, Chad Carl (2007). Prague
Prague
in Black: Nazi Rule and Czech Nationalism. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-02451-9.  Burian, Michal; Knížek, Aleš; Rajlich, Jiří; Stehlík, Eduard (2002). Assassination: Operation ANTHROPOID, 1941–1942. Prague: Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic. ISBN 978-8-07278-1-584.  Höhne, Heinz (2000) [1969]. The Order of the Death's Head: The Story of Hitler's SS. London: Penguin. ISBN 978-0-14-139012-3.  Williams, Max (2003). Reinhard Heydrich: The Biography, Volume 2—Enigma. Church Stretton: Ulric Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9537577-6-3. 

External links[edit]

"Experts find wartime paratroopers' grave". Prague
Prague
Daily Monitor. 4 October 2007. Archived from the original on 26 October 2007.  "Jan Kubiš's remembrance in Dolní Vilémovice". dolnivilemovice.cz. 2007. Archived from the original on 2008-04-12.  "Jan Kubiš's remembrance in Dolní Vilémovice
Dolní Vilémovice
2003-2012". Vojensko-historický klub Erika Brno. 2014.  "History of the hamlet of Ležáky". Ležáky Memorial. 

v t e

Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
in World War II

Political representation

Czechoslovak
Czechoslovak
government-in-exile Cabinet of the Czechoslovak
Czechoslovak
government-in-exile

Military units and formations

Czechoslovak
Czechoslovak
legions RAF Squadrons: 310 311 312 313 1st Czechoslovak
Czechoslovak
Armoured Brigade Czechoslovak
Czechoslovak
11th Infantry Battalion First Czechoslovak
Czechoslovak
Independent Field Battalion 1st Czechoslovak
Czechoslovak
Army Corps

Resistance members

Adolf Opálka Jan Kubiš Jozef Gabčík Miloš Hájek Josef Mašín Jan Opletal Alois Eliáš František Moravec Karel Pavlík Josef Balabán Václav Morávek Abrahám Pressburger Josef Matoušek Jaroslav Čihák Otakar Jaroš Ján Golian Rudolf Pernický Bedřich Reicin Richard Tesařík Rudolf Viest Ludvík Svoboda Marie Ljalková

Resistance groups

Out Distance Three Kings

Resistance operations

Czech resistance to Nazi occupation Operation Anthropoid

Royal Air Force

Josef František František Fajtl Karel Kuttelwascher Alois Vašátko František Peřina Otto Smik Karel Janoušek

Battles

Syria-Lebanon Campaign Siege of Tobruk Battle of Sokolovo Battle of Kiev Battle of the Dukla Pass Slovak National Uprising Siege of Dunkirk Prague
Prague
Uprising Battle for Czech Radio Prague
Prague
Offensive

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 69764734 LCCN: no2007150123 ISNI: 0000 0000 5539 8299 GND: 120640

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