The Petschek Palace    <=|   02   |=>
    Having consolidated their position in Germany the Nazis to realize their plans to win the world rule. In March 1938 they annexed Austria to the Reich. Then Hitler began at full speed the campaign against Czechoslovakia. Even the safety police joined in the preparations; the most important part was represented by the secret state police - "Gestapo". The formed operation groups, squads of the safety police and SD broke into the Czech border land ofter the dictation of Munich, where they arrested Communists and antifascists first of all.

    In Munich Hitler verifed that the western powers had "abandoned" Czechoslovakia.  In the middle of October he ordered to begin with the preparation of liquidating the rest of it. Even the Heydrich's safety police and SD got new tasks. They formed two operation groups, in Dresden and Vienna. The operatiopn group I. lead by Standarderfûhrer Dr. O. E. Rasch, should have worked in Bohemia, operation group II in Brno. The seat of the headquarters should have become Prague.  All the preparations in the safety sector were part of the military occupation of the rest of the republic under the fictitious of the March Whirl.  On the 15th of March 1939 it came to the complete occupation of the Czech countries by the Nazis; that was the beginning of the most tragic period in the newest history of the Czech nation.

    1939 - 1940
    One of the first tasks of the fascist secret service in cooperation with the Czech police was to give a preventive blow to the Communists, so that they might not be able to rise against the Nazi invaders. Mass arrestations began in the action called "Gitter" (railings). Till May 1939  4376 Communists and antifscists of Czec and German Nation were arrested in Bohemia. In the total in the action Railings about 5800 up to 6400 persons were arrested in the Czech countries, about 1500 were sent to concentration camps by the fascists.

    First the operation group I of Rasch chose for their seat the hotel Palace in Panska street. In May 1939 they moved to more extensive and for their purposes more advantageous rooms of the former PetschekPalace in Bredovska street (now Political Prisoner's St.).