this article will not be directly related to tanks, but to history itself. In the past, I translated an article called “Inconvenient Heroes – Part I” by Václav Vlk sr., dispelling the myth of massive Czech collaboration with the nazis in WW2. Today, I am going to continue with second part.
Inconvenient Heroes by Václav Vlk Sr. – Part II
In order to explain our own history and to get rid of layers of propaganda lies, we will use the documents, created by the “other side” – the nazis. Let’s start with a quote from a letter, written by R.Heydrich to Martin Bormann on 18.5.1942, shortly before his assassination, where he openly stated the pillars of his policy: “The main idea is to strenghten the German influence (in the Protektorat) as much as possible without further interruptions, which means to practically take away any authonomy, to take way the Czech national identity itself from the people, to take away their leadership, to divide the people and to support everything that is German…” (1)
Newly published materials consist of the so-called Pannwitz report, or (in its full name) “Closing report of IV.Department of SD about the current status of Heydrich assassination investigation” from 21.7.1942, intended for the main SD office in Berlin for the Chief of SD, Müller (2). It is historically confirmed that Hitler himself knew about the contents of this report and thus it is clear that this report was not biased or lenient in Czech favor. Thus, it is an important document, showing the real state of things in the investigation.
Nazi – and later communist – propaganda created a lot of myths about the behavior of Czechs during the occupation, but the reality was different, as shown by the German document, named above. A “Special Committee” was created by the commander of Gestapo in Prague, SS-Standartenführer JUDr. Hans Ullrich Geschke on K.H.Frank’s orders. Here, it’s worth noting that the Gestapo interrogators, working for the committee, were not “dumb brutal thugs”, as they are sometimes depicted in movies. For the beating and torture during interrogations, Gestapo “invited” young SS members (aged up to 20 years) – these were the main direct torturers (dispelling the myth that some young SS members were just “innocent kids pressed by circumstances”, as some people like to point out).