Ambassador Chatardová unveiled restored monument to Czechoslovak soldiers in Arisaig

On Friday, November 4, in Arisaig in Scotland, Ambassador Marie Chatardová unveiled a restored memorial to Czechoslovak soldiers who trained here under the Special Operations Executive (SOE) during World War II.

The memorial, which was placed on the site in 2009, has so far contained 71 names of SOE trained men, who died while on duty. Thanks to funding from the Ministry of Defense of the Czech Republic, but also a collection from Czech compatriots and the families and friends of these soldiers, it was restored and updated with a new stone, newly containing also 188 names of those who survived the war. The names were researched and added by military historian Eduard Stehlík, Mr. Martin Matějíček and the honorary consul of the Czech Republic in Edinburgh, Mrs. Veronika Macleod, then played a crucial role in securing the new memorial. The new memorial stone was created in the Czech Republic, from where it was transported to Scotland together with roses from the village of Lidice.

Between 1941 and 1943, over 250 Czechoslovak paratroopers underwent special military training in the beautiful Scottish scenery. Their role was to be deployed over occupied territories and conduct covert operations to subvert the Nazi regime. Their prospects of surviving the action were slim, and many of them did not live to see the end of the war. They died in combat, in Gestapo torture chambers, on gallows, or in concentration camps. The most famous operation of Czechoslovak soldiers trained by the SOE – Operation Anthropoid, which led to the assassination of the acting Reich Protector Reinhard Heydrich, is still today the most iconic example of the determination and heroism of the Czechoslovak resistance in the fight against the Nazi regime.

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