The story of the Czech village Lidice

It is hard to imagine that until June 1942, this was a normal village, with farms, a church, a pub and a school. There was a church dedicated to Saint Martin in Lidice and they used to have a village fair on Saint Martin's day every autumn .There was a primary school, and above the door were the words “School is my joy” in golden letters. Most of the men worked at the steelworks in Kladno or in the nearby coalmines. The women worked in the fields.

At the height of the Nazi occupation, on the 27th May 1942 the man the Nazis had put in charge of ruling the occupied Czech lands, Reinhard Heydrich, was assassinated.
He had ruled the Czechs with a rod of steel and the Nazis responded to his assassination with a vicious desire for revenge. They needed quick results and trumped up a link between the village of Lidice and the assassination. Anna Nesporova had a brother, Josef Horak, who was fighting in Britain with the Royal Airforce. The Nazis claimed - falsely - that he had been involved in the Heydrich assassination, and they wrought a terrible revenge.
All the men(16 years and older) of the village - 173 of them - were shot against the wall of the Horak's farmhouse, the women were taken to concentration camps, and the children were herded into trucks. The women were promissed to meet their children very soon in order to calm the women a little….most of them never saw their children again.They were brought to Chelmno and gassed.
Only 8 children survived. They were selected at the night of the extermination of Lidice and brought to Germany - some of them were adopted and could not speak any Czech after the war.
Every building in the village was razed to the ground.
The gothic church, the school built in 1784, every house, every garden….everything.

They wanted to eraze the name Lidice - but Lidice became a symbol, a symbol that will never be forgotten.

Lidice around 1940

Lidice today

the people from Lidice

The chef Jaroslav Suchánek and his family in 1931

Little I van Zid on the porch of house No 55

common people

photo taken three days before the extermination of Lidice

the children from the Lidice school

the men from Lidice

and the names…dozens of names

all men from Lidice (16 and older) were killed

the last postcards - the children were allowed to send a postcard home…when relatives got this mails all the children were already dead
(We are homesick, we miss Lidice…)

children from Lidice - photos taken a year before their kiiling

the tiny dress of Venceslava, who died in Chelmno (Probably killed by gas

This space must become German for all time and the Czech rabble has no business to be here - Reinhard Heidrich

The sculptor Marie Uchytilová worked her all life on this masterpiece - she used photos of the children so every statue resembles a child from Lidice

Lidice today….I don´t think we should ever forget and I don´t think we should ever forgive.

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    There are 18 comments, add yours!

    • # Christa

      Impressive and shocking ... but even so, the history repeats again and again, here and there, even in the 21st century... will we ever learn??

      2011.06.01 Reply Cancel

    • # Helen

      Fascinating but sad post - I had no idea about this village - thanks for sharing.

      2011.05.31 Reply Cancel

    • # Jay

      Your photo-story is excellently done, Marie. I live in Germany and I have to deal with this and many other stories that occurred at that time. I am not German, but by living here all these years, I have begun to feel a tiny bit of the pain not only of the victims and their relatives, but on those Germans of today who live with the guilt of what there forebearers did before they were even born.
      Dictators and their wars are clearly useless and to no good end. They leave victims of all sorts and on both sides. When will the world get its perspective together and learn from history?
      Lidice: I had heard of the town in my history books in America many years ago. Your pictures and recounting of the events made it so clear.
      Thank you. Well done.

      2011.05.31 Reply Cancel

    • # Felecia

      What an incredible post Marie. I agree, we should never forget. That sculpture is amazing. Thank you for sharing this sad history with us.

      2011.05.29 Reply Cancel

    • # Jon Laysell

      That is truly shocking - and so it should be. This must always be remembered. I'd like to say it should never be repeated (and of course, it shouldn't) but sadly I suspect this is not the only place to be wiped by war-criminals.

      Great post Marie. The sculpture is a triumph; such a pity though that circumstances didn't allow the sculptress to to work on happier scenes.

      2011.05.29 Reply Cancel

    • # Gregg Maretka

      What a touching and very sad post Marie...very informative....i'm really interested in the Czech history and you have brought a very informative post here and i appreciate it so much...My grandmother Ludmilla and her husband Frank came to the US years ago...They had my father, which is why i'm here .....but i remember her so dearly before she passed. I was just a little whipper snapper, but vividly remember her yelling at me in Czech abd my father would translate for me. I also remember her tremendous passion to cook and bake.....i always wanted to go to grandmas and eat her wonderful creations and hear her ramble not knowing exactly what she was saying...untill my dad would translate to me....
      I wish she was still with us so i could learn from her and what she experienced in her life in Czechoslovakia.
      Thanks for all your post that really interest me beyond i can say...Thanks MARIE !!!
      Gregg

      2011.05.29 Reply Cancel

    • # Jothi

      Most moving. Reminds me of the saga of Anne Frank. The poor innocent souls!

      2011.05.29 Reply Cancel

    • # Francesc

      Great post. I have been in Mauthausen two years ago. My grandfather was a prisioner there in the second war...He never come back to Spain.

      2011.05.29 Reply Cancel

    • # Saku

      Excellent, Marie. Learning history is very important for me. I remember the name of Lidice from your post and never forget. Thank you for sharing.

      2011.05.29 Reply Cancel

    • # Mallu Sathya Narayana Reddy

      Man is the only animal that deals in that atrocity of atrocities, War. He is the only one that gathers his brethren about him and goes forth in cold blood and calm pulse to exterminate his kind. He is the only animal that for sordid wages will march out... and help to slaughter strangers of his own species who have done him no harm and with whom he has no quarrel.... And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood off his hands and works for "the universal brotherhood of man" - with his mouth. ~Mark Twain

      2011.05.29 Reply Cancel

    • # Natalie

      this post Marie...very moving for me as a European origin.
      they are so many stories, you right never should be forgotten

      2011.05.29 Reply Cancel

    • # Andrew

      That's an excellent set Marie, I know the name well but have never seen so many images both past and present so thank you.

      2011.05.29 Reply Cancel

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