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Prague

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800px-Hradschin Prag

Prague Castle. Photo by Stefan Bauer

Prague (Czech: Praha, German: Prag) is the capital of Czechia. It is a home to 1.3 million people. The name is derived from the Slavic word "prag" - "ford". It is sometimes nicknamed "The City of a Hundred Spires" or "The Mother of Cities".

During WWII

The city was occupied by the German army on 15th March 1939. The occupation took place without any signs of resistance after Adolf Hitler threatened Emil Hácha, the President of Czecho-Slovakia, with air assaults on Prague. After the proclamation of the Slovak fascist puppet state and the annexation of Carpathian Ruthenia by Hungarian forces, the rest of the country was turned into the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, a self-governing area in terms of the Third Reich.

In 1941, Reinhard Heydrich was appointed the Acting Reichsprotector. He was responsible for mass repressions against the citizens of the Protectorate (he earned the nickname "The Butcher of Prague"). Heydrich is generally considered one of the most cruel Hitler's co-workers. He was also involved in planning and implementing the idea of the Final Solution. By order of the Czechoslovak exile government, Heydrich was assasinated by paratroopers Jan Kubiš and Jozef Gabčík in Prague on 27th May 1942. He died a week later. The paratroopers were tracked down in the Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius, but they killed themselves before falling into Nazi hands.

On 5th May 1945, the Prague uprising began. The citizens of Prague fought against the German forces until the liberation of the city by the Red Army on 9th May 1945.

In Downfall

Hitler mentions Prague in his salvation plans which he explains to von Greim in the Hitler Explains scene: "Dönitz is mobilizing troops in the north, Kesselring in the south. We will crush the enemy in a massive pincer movement. And I have three armies near Prague which will attack from behind." He relied on Prague and on Czech arms industry in general. Even though Berlin had already capitulated, there were still heavy fightings in Czech lands.

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