The legend of the curse
A treaty which later ruined Czechoslovakia and gave rise to the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and the Slovak State was signed in Žilina in 1938. The Czech government took immediate action and moved the coronation jewels back to the President’s office at Prague Castle. Back in 1941, at Prague Castle, President Emil Hácha offered the Czech coronation jewels to the third most powerful representative of Germany, Reinhard Heydrich.
Blinded by power, Heydrich could not resist the temptation and placed the crown on his head when the guards weren´t looking for. Legend has it, this moment of presumption sealed Heydrich’s fate. The curse came true. Those unworthy who put the crown on their heads will die an unnatural death within a year.
The story of Rajecké Teplice native, Jozef Gabčík
Jozef was born on April 8, 1912 in Poluvsie (currently a district of Rajecké Teplice). He was recruited for military service on October 1, 1932. He joined the Czechoslovak army in Krakow in 1939 and met Jan Kubiš. Gabčík was evacuated to the United Kingdom in 1940 and trained for special missions. He attended special training for military parachutists and military reporters and landed 10 km from Prague, the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, during the night on December 28, 1941. His mission was to accomplish Operation Anthropoid - an attempt on the life of the Reich Protector of Bohemia, Reinhard Heydrich.
At 10:30 on May 27, 1942, Heydrich was travelling from his residence at the castle in Panenské Břežany to Hradčany, the Castle District in Prague. Gabčík and Kubiš had been waiting next to the tram stop on Kirchmayer Street. It was just about time... Gabčík and Kubiš put their bicycles aside and prepared. Heydrich’s unarmoured cabriolet was coming down Kirchmayer Street. Gabčík stepped out but his sniper rifle didn't fire because of a bullet jam. Heydrich and the cabriolet driver shouted at Gabčík. Kubiš threw a bomb at the vehicle. The bomb exploded, Kubiš covered his injured face and fled from the scene using a bicycle to escape. Heydrich’s driver chased Gabčík. Heydrich, in agony, was left in the vehicle. His injuries resulted in his death a couple of days later. The curse had been fulfilled.
On June 18, 1942, the Nazis seized the Church of Saint Charles Borromeo in Prague. Seven hundred Nazi soldiers outnumbered the seven military parachutists. These brave men hidden in the underground crypt refused to give up and committed suicide. They kept their last bullets for themselves. Their names were Jozef Gabčík, Jan Kubiš, Adolf Opálka, Josef Bublík, Jaroslav Švarc, Josef Valčík, and Jan Hrubý.