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Thomas Ort
Research Foundation of the City University of New York (Flushing, NY 11367-1597)
Heydrich's Shadow: The History, Memory, and Meaning of an Assassination

Archival research for a book on the Czech reception history of the 1942 assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, Nazi Germany’s governor of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.

The May 1942 assassination in Prague of Reinhard Heydrich—the second highest ranking official of the Nazi SS, one of the principal architects of the Final Solution, and the governor of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia—was one of the boldest acts of anti-Nazi resistance in World War II. It was also one of the most controversial in that it precipitated horrific mass reprisals that led to the deaths of approximately 5,000 people. “Heydrich’s Shadow” explores the curious transformation in the Czech lands of the memory of the killing of Heydrich. Whereas in 1942 and for years thereafter the assassination was widely understood as a reckless and ill-conceived endeavor, by the 1990s it came to be celebrated as the single most important act of Czech resistance. This book project traces the surprising shifts in the interpretation of the assassination under Nazi, Communist, and liberal democratic rule, suggesting that “memory” is best understood as an unstable framework of meaning.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
European History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2020 – 7/31/2020