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.
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