Dablice Cemetery: Infants, Polical Prisoners and Resistance Fighters
The Cemetery of Dablice is a wide expanse of grass, shrubs and flowers that greet you when you enter. It’s only when you walk on that you come to neat rows of grave stones. Bunches of flowers, bouquets and burning candles adorn the graves. This leafy graveyard looks almost cheerful, but Dablice has also a dark side. The children’s burial place is a tragic reminder of a cruel regime. This is also the final resting place for the victims of communist oppression. Their bodies were dumped into unmarked mass graves and their families were never notified.
Dablice Children’s Graves
The 34 graves of babies whose mothers were political prisoners and interned in communist camps in the 1950s is a touching sight. The children died of hunger and thirst. Their corpses were loaded onto trucks, without coffins, and brought to Dablice where they were dumped into a pit. It was not until 1968 that some information about these mass graves became known. A few families searching for their relatives learned about these mass burials. The secret police showed some mercy but forbade them to mark the graves. After the fall of communism in 1989, the Confederation of Political Prisoners found archived names of the children buried here and published them. Some of the gravestones in the children’s burial place are now marked with names and dates.
Dablice Political Prisoners’ Graveyard
The Dablice contains over 20,000 single and family graves and also 70 mass graves containing more than 14,000 bodies. From 1943 onward, Czech people killed by the Nazis were buried here. From 1948, also those who were executed or died in prison during the communist regime were also laid to rest here. The only woman executed by the communists was Milada Horakova (1901-1950). She was accused of an alleged conspiracy to overthrow the Communist regime and maintaining contact with Czechoslovak political figures exiled in the West. The trial was orchestrated and she was sentenced to death.
Dablice Resistance Fighters’ Graves
At the back is a field with gravestones of 207 opponents of communism that have been identified from the mass graves. A separate memorial commemorates Jan Kubis who was dropped into Czechoslovakia as part of Operation Anthropoid. This WW II operation involved assassination of Deputy Reich-Protector Reinhard Heydrich. After the successful assassination in 1942, Kubis and his men found refuge in the Church of St. Cyril and St. Methodius in Resslova Street in Prague. In a fierce battle that lasted for two hours and took place in this church, Kubis was wounded. He died shortly after arriving at the hospital and was buried in a mass grave in Dablice graveyard.
The inscription reads:
At this place during Nazi occupation were buried the remains of patriots who lost their lives fighting for free and democratic Czechoslovakia. Among them also the remains of the heroic paratroopers who on 27 May 1942 attempted the assassination of Reichsprotector Governor R. Heydrich.