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When Acting Nazi Reichsprotector, German SS and Police General Reinhard Tristan Eugen Heydrich was attacked in Praha (Prag, Prague) on 27 May 1942, all Geheime Staatspolizei (Gestapo or State Secret Police) agents in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia were mobilized in the search for his assassins. Everyone from Hitler and the Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, down to SS Generals Karl H. Frank and Kurt Daluege were consumed with the immediate need to find those involved in the attempt to kill Reinhard Heydrich.
British SOE trained Operation Anthropoid Czechoslovakian sabotage agents Josef Gabcik and Jan Kubis, Operation Silver A agent Josef Valcik and Operation Out Distance agent Adolf Opalka had carried out the attempt on Heydrich's life on a quiet corner near a hospital in the northeast part of Prague.
A curfew and a state-of-siege was imposed immediately while a house-to-house sweep of the surrounded city of Prague was undertaken. Reprisals like none ever seen before began. The towns of Lidice and Lezaky were removed from the face of the earth, and hundreds of Czechs were either shot or sent to concentration camps and shot there. Nazi wanted posters were printed and distributed (but very few have survived).
All four of Heydrich's assassins went underground, eventually secreting themselves in the burial niches in the crypt beneath the Orthodox Cathedral of Saints Cyril and Methodius on Resslova Street in Prague. They were eventually identified, and following a savage battle at and inside the church, all died there.
This 16-½ x 33-¾ inch Nazi reward poster is a Verlautbarung
or official announcement by the German approved Government of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia offering an additional
reward of 10 million Czech crowns to anybody who could supply information leading to the capture of the perpetrators of the attack on Heydrich.
The announcement states that the Höhere SS- und Polizeiführer had already offered a 10 million Crown reward right after the assassination attempt on 27 May 1942
, but that this was a Belohnung for an additional 10 million Crowns
. The cash reward would be paid by the government of the Protektorat
to anybody who had captured the perpetrators or whose information would lead to the capture of the perpetrators. If so desired, the recipient of the reward could remain anonymous.
The two Czech government representatives whose names are shown at the bottom of this reward poster are Dr. Jaroslav Krejci (the Czech Prime Minster, Head of the Government of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia) and the Czech Minister of the Interior of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, Richard Bienert. The poster was printed by Druckerei des Protektorates Böhmen und Mähren
Most historians have never seen an example of this Heydrich assassination reward poster. It is printed on light, weather-resistant orange paper and folded two times. It has two light water stains in the corners on the right end. There are staple holes along the bottom edge of the poster and tape residue on the back of the two upper corners. The residue IS NOT from "scotch" tape, but from what used to be called "library tape" and was the type of tape used at the time to repair torn pages in books. This poster is creased where it was folded two times by the person who originally took it down back in 1942.
The 100% original Third Reich Verlautbarung was once posted in the Protektorat, is remarkably well-preserved and is from the collection of Ray Cowdery, author of the heavily illustrated book Reinhard Heydrich: Assassination!
On the sunny morning of 27 May 1942, Gabcik, Kubis, Vlacik and Opalka waited on a street corner in the Praha suburb of Kobilisi for the approach of Heydrich's car. At 10:30 Valcik signaled the others with a mirror that Heydrich's SS Mercedes-Benz car was approaching. At the critical moment Gabcik's Sten gun misfired so Kubis tossed a large grenade at the open car, and it was responsible for ending Heydrich's life.
When this Nazi reward poster was issued on 30 May 1942, Heydrich was still alive at the Bulovka Hospital in Prague. SS-Obergruppenführer und General der Polizei Heydrich died there on 4 June 1942 as a result of sepsis.
This genuine 30 May 1942 Nazi reward poster is **SOLD**
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100% ORIGINAL 30 MAY 1942 NAZI REWARD POSTER
REINHARD HEYDRICH ASSASSINATION!
AN ABSOLUTELY AUTHENTIC NAZI REWARD POSTER OFFERING AN ADDITIONAL 10 MILLION CROWNS REWARD TO ANYBODY WHO COULD SUPPLY INFORMATION ABOUT THE PERPETRATORS OF THE ATTACK ON ACTING REICHSPROTECTOR, GERMAN SS AND POLICE GENERAL REINHARD TRISTAN EUGEN HEYDRICH