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It must be 40 years since I first saw the film ' Operation Daybreak', about the assassination in Prague of the monster Reinhard Heydrich.
I hadn’t been to Prague then (I would put that right two years later).
And I have some sort of memory of immense crowds at the funeral of Jan Palach, though perhaps I have made it up (having been privileged to see at first hand the equally enormous multitudes who turned up for the funeral of Czech Communism in the winter of 1989) . I’m still not quite sure how ‘Operation Daybreak’, a western-made and financed film (it was called ‘The Price of Freedom’ in the USA, a title I’ll return to), got the co-operation of the Communist Czechoslovak authorities, less than ten years after the extinction of the Prague Spring.Remember, it is about Czechs trained in Britain, making an attack on the Germans in 1941-2.Czech co-operation with Britain in the 1939-45 war tended to be forgotten or suppressed.Warsaw Pact Czechoslovakia owed its territorial restoration (apart from sub-Carpathian Ukraine, then in Soviet hands, now in Ukraine) and its form of government to the USSR’s victory over Hitler and the resulting Yalta settlement.Likewise, they owed to Stalin the reunification of the country after Hitler’s removal of Slovakia from Prague’s control.