Prague, Oct 30 (CTK) – The Prague-Ruzyne barracks’ riding school where leading Czech resistance fighters were executed during WWII has turned into a commemorative place that will be transferred to the Military History Institute (VHU) on Tuesday, Michal Burian, from the museum, told CTK on Monday.
A wall with traces of the firing squads’ bullets has been preserved there for 70 years.
The exact place of execution was identified in 2011 only during the shooting of a documentary on the anniversary of the assassination of Deputy Reich-Protector of Bohemia and Moravia Reinhard Heydrich by Czechoslovak paratroopers in Prague in May 1942.
The sensitive reconstruction changed the original military storage facility into a dignified place in memory of the tragic events that had occurred there 70 years ago, Burian, head of the VHU’s section of museums, said.
Among the people executed in the former riding school were nine student activists who were involved in the students’ protests on November 17, 1939, shortly after the occupation of the Czech Lands by the Nazi Germany.
During the first martial law declared after Heydrich’s arrival in Prague, 247 people were shot dead or hanged at this place, including high representatives of the Nation’s Defence most significant Czech resistance organisation and the first executed Czech generals, Josef Bily and Hugo Vojta, Burian said.
The riding school is one of the most authentic commemorative places in Czech modern history, Burian pointed ut.
The memorial bearing the names of all the executed people was designed by artist Pavel Holy, from the UVH, and architect Stanislav Marek as well as restorer and artist Jan Zivny who helped preserve the original appearance of the walls in which traces of the bullets from German firing squads are still apparent.
The riding school is part of the Ruzyne barracks complex of the signal corps of the Czech military.
The place will be transferred to the VHU on October 31, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the signals corps’ establishment within the Czechoslovak voluntary units or legions in Russia.