Thursday, 24 April 2014

Reinhard Heydrich's son wants to restore Czech chateau

25 March 2011

Panenske Brezany, Central Bohemia, March 24 (CTK) - A son of wartime SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Reinhard Heydrich, deputy Reichs-Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, wants to restore the dilapidated chateau in Panenske Brezany near Prague where his family lived, the public Czech Radio reported yesterday.

The chateau may house a museum or a national resistance memorial, Panenske Brezany Mayor Libor Holik, told the radio.

After the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich in 1942, the son, Heider, kept living in the Panenske Brezany chateau with his mother and siblings until the end of World War Two. Then he left for Germany.

Heider Heydrich, now 76, offered the Panenske Brezany municipality to find finances for the reconstruction of the chateau, the Czech Radio said.

Heider Heydrich, who lives in Germany with his wife, visited the chateau recently. He agreed with Holik on the possible reconstruction.

"I had a chance to talk with Heider Heydrich in order to put the chateau into its original shape. He offered to help gain money for it, for instance, via the European Union," Holik said.

Reinhard Heydrich, chief of the Reich Main Security Office and one of the architects of "the final solution of the Jewish question," was sent to Prague to break up the domestic anti-Nazi resistance movement.

"We must distinguish the son from the father. The son was ten years also when he left (Panenske Brezany at the end of WWII), so he did not know what war was then," Holik added.

After the war the chateau was nationalised and adjusted for the seat of the Metal Research Institute. At present it is in private hands again.

However, its current owner lacks finances for the repairs of the extensive real estate and he would agree with the planned reconstruction, Czech Radio reported.

This is why the municipality started negotiating with Heider Heydrich about further steps. It would like to open a museum or a resistance memorial in this chateau rather than in another nearby chateau where R. Heydrich's successor Karl Hermann Frank stayed and which has been used as a senior home for years.

The Central Bohemia Region plans to move the elderly from the facility and build a memorial to national resistance there.

The Heydrich assassination in 1942, is viewed as one of the most significant actions of the Czechoslovak anti-Nazi resistance movement.

Two Czechoslovak paratroopers trained in London, Jozef Gabcik and Jan Kubis, shot Heydrich on May 27, 1942. In the attack he suffered severe injuries to which he succumbed on June 4.

The Nazis reacted to the assassination by mass arrests and executions and the two villages in Bohemia in retaliation.

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