This page will not display properly in your browser. Internet Explorer officially went out of support in June 2022. If you're using a screen reader such as JAWS, please feel free to continue. Otherwise, please consider using another browser.
View all events 1942–1945

May 27, 1942

Assassination of Reinhard Heydrich

Czech Agents who had trained in Great Britain parachuted into German-occupied Czech territory to assassinate SS General Reinhard Heydrich in Prague.

Heydrich was the chief of the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA) in Berlin—the SS and police agency most directly concerned with implementing the Holocaust during World War II.  While still chief of the RSHA, Heydrich also served as Acting Reich Protector of German-occupied Bohemia and Moravia. Czech agents who had trainined in Great Britain parachuted into German-occupied Czech territory to assassinate Heydrich. As Heydrich traveled on a familiar route to the airport to fly to Hitler's headquarters for a meeting, two Czech agents succeeded in rolling a hand grenade under his car. Though not mortally wounded by the blast itself, the grenade splinters in Heydrich’s leg and lower back led to an infection that killed him little more than a week later. In retaliation for the attack, the Germans unleashed a wave of terror against the Czechs. For example, they destroyed the Czech village of Lidice, shooting all the men in the village and deporting most of the women and children to camps in Germany.

Thank you for supporting our work

We would like to thank Crown Family Philanthropies and the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation for supporting the ongoing work to create content and resources for the Holocaust Encyclopedia. View the list of all donors.