Karel Čurda (10 October 1911 – 29 April 1947) was an active Czech Nazi collaborator during World War II. A soldier of the Czechoslovak army in exile, he was parachuted into the protectorate in 1942 as a member of the sabotage group Out Distance. He may be most infamous for his betrayal of the Anglo-Czechoslovak army agents responsible for the assassination of top Nazi official Reinhard Heydrich in Prague. His rewards were 500,000 Reichsmarks and a new identity, "Karl Jerhot". He married a German woman and spent the rest of the war as a Gestapo collaborator.
After the war, Čurda was tracked down and arrested. When asked in court how he could betray his comrades, Čurda supposedly answered, "I think you would have done the same for 1 million marks." This comment has been disputed. Čurda was found guilty of treason and hanged on 29 April 1947.
Czech historian Jiří Plachý gave a different account of his personality and motives. According to research, Čurda stayed with his family in South Bohemia in the immediate aftermath of the assassination. That put him under huge pressure as he knew the Nazis could wipe out his whole family or village, just as they had wiped out Lidice and Ležáky. It is posited that this was the key factor in his actions.
Čurda in film and fiction
- "The Assassination of Reinhard Heydrich", holocaustresearchproject.org; accessed 1 January 2017.
- "Czech Traitors Hanged Today", The Free Lance–Star, 29 April 1947.
- "Proč zradil Karel Čurda? Historik předložil nová fakta". Zpravy.aktualne.cz. 2013-12-05. Retrieved 2017-01-02.
- "Trial and terror in a by-gone Prague", 2007, The Telegraph
- "Full Cast & Crew", IMDb
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