Operation Anthropoid

OneTenner

LE
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From a German Historical website
"Reinhard Tristan Eugen Heydrich, 7 March 1904 – 4 June 1942, was a high-ranking German Nazi official during World War II, and one of the main architects of the Holocaust. He was SS-Obergruppenführer (General) and General der Polizei, chief of the Reich Main Security Office (including the Gestapo, Kripo, and SD) and Stellvertretender Reichsprotektor (Deputy/Acting Reich-Protector) of Bohemia and Moravia (in what is now the Czech Republic). Heydrich served as President of Interpol (the international law enforcement agency) and chaired the January 1942 Wannsee Conference, which formalized plans for the final solution to the Jewish Question—the deportation and extermination of all Jews in the German-occupied territory.


Historians regard him as the darkest figure within the Nazi elite; Adolf Hitler described him as “the man with the iron heart”. He was the founding head of the Sicherheitsdienst (SD), an intelligence organization charged with seeking out and neutralizing resistance to the Nazi Party via arrests, deportations, and killings. He helped organize Kristallnacht, a series of coordinated attacks against Jews throughout Nazi Germany and parts of Austria on 9–10 November 1938. The attacks, carried out by SA stormtroopers and civilians, presaged the Holocaust. Upon his arrival in Prague, Heydrich sought to eliminate opposition to the Nazi occupation by suppressing Czech culture and deporting and executing members of the Czech resistance. He was directly responsible for the Einsatzgruppen, the special task forces that traveled in the wake of the German armies to round up and kill Jews and others deemed undesirable by the regime.


Heydrich was attacked in Prague on 27 May 1942 by a British-trained team of Czech and Slovak soldiers who had been sent by the Czechoslovak government-in-exile to kill him in Operation Anthropoid. He died from his injuries a week later. Intelligence falsely linked the assassins to the villages of Lidice and Ležáky. Lidice was razed to the ground; all men and boys over the age of 16 were murdered, and all but a handful of its women and children were deported and killed in Nazi concentration camps."

Heydrich was also responsible for (amongst other things) the faking of evidence against Röhm, which lead to his execution.
 

OneTenner

LE
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Mr_Fingerz

LE
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OneTenner

LE
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Not Operational in either the Czech or Slovak republics then?
Not according to the records they have - which may be incomplete.
ETA
'Karl Hermann Frank, 24 January 1898 – 22 May 1946, was a prominent Sudeten German Nazi official in Czechoslovakia prior to and during World War II and an SS-Obergruppenführer. He was executed by hanging after World War II for his role in organizing the massacres of the people of the Czech villages of Lidice and Ležáky.'

If I can find which units he was associated with, it may conclusively narrow down the 'suspects'. I'm sure all this has been done before, it's just not easily found this long after the event.
 
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Not Operational in either the Czech or Slovak republics then?
I have a fairly detailed book titled "Hitler's Foreign Divisions" by Chris Bishop, and none of the references to the 7th SS Prinz Eugen in the book show any connection to Bohemia and Moravia or Slovakia.

They did apparently have a reputation for brutality in the Balkans all of their own though, so they probably have a pretty long list of atrocities of their own.
 
Not according to the records they have - which may be incomplete.
ETA
'Karl Hermann Frank, 24 January 1898 – 22 May 1946, was a prominent Sudeten German Nazi official in Czechoslovakia prior to and during World War II and an SS-Obergruppenführer. He was executed by hanging after World War II for his role in organizing the massacres of the people of the Czech villages of Lidice and Ležáky.'
Trial and public execution of Karl Frank, Pankrac Prison, Prague
 
OK, whoever it was, they were a bunch of thugs! An interesting footnote which I have seen in a number of articles is that Heydrichs injuries were not as serious as first thought and that he should have survived them easily. There was a logic in getting Heydrich out of Berlin (where the power and intrigue lay) away to Prague where he could be kept an eye on and could not play politics. Unusually for the top Nazis, Heydrich was highly intelligent and very ambitious. His boss, Himmler, was not so intelligent but very cunning and was well aware of his subordinates ambitions. The assassination attempt gave a golden opportunity for a bit of nipping of ambitions in the bud, especially as the doctors were all sent from Berlin (presumably by Himmler).
That does make sense. Himmler was a failure in every aspect of his life. The classic "small man in uniform".
 
Trial and public execution of Karl Frank, Pankrac Prison, Prague
Two things strike me as odd about that execution.

Frank wasn't restrained at all. So either he was incredibly brave or drugged. Even the bravest of men might have struggled or even just hesitated considering how long and drawn out the whole affair was.

Second, did the executioner who placed his hand over Frank's face break Frank's neck, because that seemed like a rather short drop yet Frank didn't struggle? I wonder what sort of psychological damage was done to the executioner who saw Frank die less than a foot away from his face? I notice that one of the hangmen was smiling before Frank was led up to the gallows.
 
Two things strike me as odd about that execution.

Frank wasn't restrained at all. So either he was incredibly brave or drugged. Even the bravest of men might have struggled or even just hesitated considering how long and drawn out the whole affair was.

Second, did the executioner who placed his hand over Frank's face break Frank's neck, because that seemed like a rather short drop yet Frank didn't struggle? I wonder what sort of psychological damage was done to the executioner who saw Frank die less than a foot away from his face? I notice that one of the hangmen was smiling before Frank was led up to the gallows.
Low Level Drop ?
 
Two things strike me as odd about that execution.

Frank wasn't restrained at all. So either he was incredibly brave or drugged. Even the bravest of men might have struggled or even just hesitated considering how long and drawn out the whole affair was.

Second, did the executioner who placed his hand over Frank's face break Frank's neck, because that seemed like a rather short drop yet Frank didn't struggle? I wonder what sort of psychological damage was done to the executioner who saw Frank die less than a foot away from his face? I notice that one of the hangmen was smiling before Frank was led up to the gallows.
There is some film of the execution of Frank's right hand man, Kurt Daluege, who was topped in the same place and by the same method a few months after Frank. He too seemed remarkably compliant.
 

NSP

LE
Two things strike me as odd about that execution.

Frank wasn't restrained at all. So either he was incredibly brave or drugged. Even the bravest of men might have struggled or even just hesitated considering how long and drawn out the whole affair was.

Second, did the executioner who placed his hand over Frank's face break Frank's neck, because that seemed like a rather short drop yet Frank didn't struggle? I wonder what sort of psychological damage was done to the executioner who saw Frank die less than a foot away from his face? I notice that one of the hangmen was smiling before Frank was led up to the gallows.
Short-drop method (the "strangle hang") Basically, hoisted up by a chest strap, noose set around the neck and over a hook on the wooden upright then the downhaul attached to the feet is pulled by the assistants as the chest strap is released. The guy up the steps holds the chin to "guide" the head during the descent. He then manually dislocates the neck as a coup de grace.

All very civilised, don't you know.
 
The Wiki entry also said that they used mainly captured czech small arms so maybe elements were in Prague forming up and equipping before being deployed. Anyway, we shall never know for sure.
Many second line German Divisions including Waffen SS were equipped with Czech arms including SS Moterised Division Totenkopf in 1940 and SS Division Politzei. Many police units and security divisions in the East fighting partisans were using both obselete german stuff such as the MP28 machine pistol or Czech arms such as the MG26(t).

ZB_vz._26_at_Great_Patriotic_War_museum_in_Smolensk.jpg
 
Upon his arrival in Prague, Heydrich sought to eliminate opposition to the Nazi occupation by suppressing Czech culture and deporting and executing members of the Czech resistance.
He also brought improvements to the rations, pay and conditons for Czech workers in the arms factories increasing production. Very much carrot and a big stick. One of the main reasons the head of the Czech PM in exile Edvard Benes wanted Heydrich assasinated was that he was worried that Czechoslovakia would go down in history as a nation of collaborators. The local resistance was against it as they said it would serve no useful purpose and bring down massive German reprisals. Benes insisted that it go ahead and enlisted the help of SOE. In the event they were right and the Czech resistance network was virtually eliminated.

Heydrich was feared by many in the hierachy of the Nazi party. Sepp Dietrich apparently summed it up when he said "thank god the b*stard is dead." Heydrich was a qualified military pilot and flew a number of missions on the Eastern Front unofficialy during Operation Barbarossa in 1941 until Hitler banned him from flying after he was nearly captured by the Russians.

It was said that Admiral Canaris, head of the Abwehr had a secret dossier on him which Heydrich knew about. This included a photograph of the grave of his Jewish grandmother which Heydrich had previously destroyed together with other records. The fact that he was a quartier Jewish wouldn't have gone down well with the Nazi faithfull, notwithstanding the fact of his pivotal role in the Wannersee conference.
 

ches

LE
He also brought improvements to the rations, pay and conditons for Czech workers in the arms factories increasing production. Very much carrot and a big stick. One of the main reasons the head of the Czech PM in exile Edvard Benes wanted Heydrich assasinated was that he was worried that Czechoslovakia would go down in history as a nation of collaborators. The local resistance was against it as they said it would serve no useful purpose and bring down massive German reprisals. Benes insisted that it go ahead and enlisted the help of SOE. In the event they were right and the Czech resistance network was virtually eliminated.

This.

Very important background to the operation.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Two things strike me as odd about that execution.

Frank wasn't restrained at all. So either he was incredibly brave or drugged. Even the bravest of men might have struggled or even just hesitated considering how long and drawn out the whole affair was.

Second, did the executioner who placed his hand over Frank's face break Frank's neck, because that seemed like a rather short drop yet Frank didn't struggle? I wonder what sort of psychological damage was done to the executioner who saw Frank die less than a foot away from his face? I notice that one of the hangmen was smiling before Frank was led up to the gallows.
If you read Albert Pierrepoint’s memoir, he does a fair bit of “cleaning up” in postwar Germany and Austria.

He remarks how crap this method is (also used in Austria) and mentions that about half the time the executioners end up having to swing off the legs of the condemned to get things moving. He also mentions the psychological effect it has on those who have to carry it out.

The British method was much more efficient, humane and quick. less than 10 seconds from cell to the end of a rope dead. No steps, no fannying about.

Edit: I imagine the reason the prisoners are quite cooperative is because they were given a choice.

1. Play the game and we’ll get this over nice and quickly.

2. Mess around and die in agony strangling slowly.

Again in Pierrepoint’s book it‘s apparent that the vast majority of condemned prisoners, no matter who they are, go stoically to their deaths with no resistance. Some even actively participated, running to the gallows to hasten the process, or trying to put their head into the noose themselves.
 
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Bubbles_Barker

LE
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