Vinohrady honors freedom fighter Milada Horáková with new plaque

Horáková, who was executed in 1950, grew up in Prague’s Vinohrady district not far from náměstí Míru.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 12.01.2022 16:57:00 (updated on 12.01.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

A new plaque honoring executed Czech politician Milada Horáková has been unveiled on the apartment building where she was born in Prague’s Vinohrady district.

The vertical plaque on the corner of Rumunská and Bělehradská streets reminds people of her efforts as an anti-Nazi resistance leader during World War II as well as her later show trial and execution at the hands of the communist government of then-Czechoslovakia. The rust-colored plaque does not include her likeness but has a small concave mirror at the top.

The Prague 2 district on its Facebook page called Horáková and important Czech lawyer and politician closely connected with the district. “She was born in Prague 2 and was baptized in the Church of St. Ludmila on náměstí Míru; she studied here and lived with her parents in Rumunská Street,” the post said.

A new book called "Milada Horáková and Královské Vinohrady," detailing her life in the district, was unveiled at the same time in a ceremony at the Church of St. Ludmila.

Prague District 2 Mayor Alexandra Udzenija said Horáková fought for freedom, truth, and democracy. "When walking past the plaque, we should remember what she fought for," Udzenija said, according to the Czech News Agency (ČTK).

People attending the unveiling included former Prague 2 mayor and current Defense Minister Jana Černochová, Prague City Councilor Hana Kordová Marvanová, Senator Miroslava Němcová, and Filip Novák, the vice president of Klub dr. Milady Horákové and principal of a secondary school in Prague 4 named in her honor.

The plaque was placed a few weeks after the 120th anniversary of her birth, which took place on Dec. 25, 1901.

Horáková opposed the single-party communist system. She was convicted of conspiracy and treason in a show trial and executed on June 27, 1950, at Prague’s Pankrác Prison. Her body was then cremated. The location of her ashes is unknown, but there is an empty grave and a headstone in the cemetery in Vyšehrad.

Plaque for Milada Horáková. Photo: Raymond Johnston
Plaque for Milada Horáková. Photo: Raymond Johnston

Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, and Eleanor Roosevelt were among the international figures to voice opposition to the trial and the death sentence. The verdict was annulled in 1968, and she was rehabilitated after the Velvet Revolution.

The street Milady Horákové in Prague’s Letná district was named in her honor in 1990. She was also posthumously awarded the Order of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk (1st Class) in 1991.

Part of the memorial to Milada Horáková at Vyšehrad. Photo: Raymond Johnston
Part of the memorial to Milada Horáková at Vyšehrad. Photo: Raymond Johnston.

Aside from the new plaque in Vinohrady, there are three other memorials in Prague. The house where she lived in Smíchov starting in 1935 has had a plaque since 1992. Another monument in Smíchov, this one by sculptor Olbram Zoubek, was unveiled in 2010 at the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren. The third, a memorial to her and other victims of oppression, has been in Zahrada Ztracenka, a garden near Albertov, since 2018. That one consists of three large stones standing in a column.

Her life story can be seen in the 2017 Netflix biopic “Milada.”

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