31st May 2017 update: There is a new event planned for weekend of 17th and 18th June.
I previously wrote about the events to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of Operation Anthropoid in Prague. Operation Anthropoid was the code name for the assassination of SS-Obergruppenführer and General der Polizei Reinhard Heydrich.
I went on May 27th for the 14:15 sequence of events. I didn’t go for the morning plaque unveiling, nor the reconstruction of the military attack on Heydrich, although I did get off the tram at U kříže where the reconstruction occurred.
There was nothing at U kříže to show where to go. Luckily I was able to ask someone and they directed me.
The actual location was a small area in front of the Municipal Authority of Prague 8 building on U Meteoru 6. There was a stage area with audience seating; alongside that a few tents selling beer, noodles, cakes and Czech sausages. Behind the seating were several historic vehicles and a 1:1 replica of a Spitfire.
The Scottish bagpipe band performance started and although I wouldn’t listen to recorded bagpipe music, live bagpipes do add an atmosphere to military events.
Here’s the view from the other side of the stage, with an Austin 8 car and Spitfire plane in the foreground.
There was a board that could have been from 1945 or may have been produced for the event.
A Chevrolet C15 truck.
A Vauxhall staff Limousine.
What I think was a Jeep.
What I know was a Jeep.
There was a cameraman and presenter from the Czech news channel CT24. I asked if they’d filmed the recreation of the assassination and she said yes and that it would be online – I posted that near the end of this article.
Then there was a demonstration by the Čsl. Independent Armoured Brigade. It was all in Czech and so I wandered around and tried to find the reconstruction of street scenes of occupied Prague. The Operation Anthropoid poster promised; streets and buildings will be themed; posters, tailors shop, newsagent, post-raid civil defence office of auxiliary of the German Red Cross. I suppose I was expecting too much, having been on movie sets where the budget allows for an entire street to be themed; each building with a façade.
In reality, there were a few posters, a wooden kiosk made to look like a news/tobacco shop and an entrance with some red cross theming. Also directly in front of this was a modern car, covered in a brown tarpaulin – I’ve no idea why this wasn’t moved. I was pretty disappointed. However, there were lots of people in costume they really brought the place to life:
Just past the red cross was an SS Volkswagen Kubelwagen:
At 15:30 the costumed players began acting out scenes from life during the German occupation. There was a constant and, in my view unnecessary, commentary throughout – but the actors did a really good job:
You can see how that modern car completely trashes the scene. Here are two more videos – note that there is some simulated violence in both.
I didn’t have the memory space on my phone to film the entire sequences – I planned to find the CT24 film and share it, but I couldn’t find it. I’ll update this page if I find something.
I did find a CT24 video of the reconstruction of the military attack on Heydrich at U kříže – again an unnecessary commentary throughout:
Here is a news video that tells the history:
Lastly a picture of the Rebel Pipers taking a break: