Mayor Anton Cermak

“It’s true I didn’t come over on the Mayflower,” Cermak said, “but I came over as soon as I could.”

The mausoleum was built by the Heller Brothers monument firm and erected in 1929. It was constructed in the popular Art Deco style for the Cermak family after the death of Anton Cermak’s wife. In addition to Cermak and his wife, other family members are also entombed here.

Anton Cermak was born in Bohemia and emigrated with his family as an infant. He became active in Chicago politics and was elected mayor in 1931. On February 15, 1933, while riding in a parade with President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Miami, Florida, Cermak was shot by an assassin. He died from his wounds on March 6, 1933. An estimated 150,000 people crowded into the cemetery for his entombment on March 10, 1933.

On October 2, 1933, President Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor made a pilgrimage to the cemetery to place a wreath at the Cermak mausoleum, an act of respect and commemoration for the assassinated mayor that has been repeated by many visiting Czech dignitaries over the years.Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak - Bohemian National Cemetery

An inscription on the marble enclosing Cermak’s tomb has the famous last words of Cermak to Roosevelt: “I’m glad it was me instead of you”.

Bohemian National Cemetery

Bohemian National Cemetery