"LIDICE" Lidice by alancollins

Lidice Travel Guide: 5 reviews and 35 photos

Lidice

On May 27, 1942, SS Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich, Deputy Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, had been attacked in Prague by Free Czech agents who were trained in England and brought to Czechoslovakia to assassinate him. They shot at Heydrich as his car slowed to round a sharp turn, then threw a bomb which exploded, mortally wounding him. Heydrich managed to get out of the car, draw his pistol and shoot back at the assassins before collapsing in the street.

Heydrich survived for several days, but died on June 4 from blood poisoning brought on by fragments of auto upholstery, steel, and his own uniform that had lodged in his spleen.

In Berlin, the Nazis staged a highly elaborate funeral with Hitler calling Heydrich "The man with the iron heart." He was buried in the Invalidenfriedhof Cemetery in Berlin, where his unmarked grave remains.

Meanwhile the Gestapo and SS hunted down and murdered Czech agents, resistance members, and anyone suspected of being involved in Heydrich's death, totaling over 1000 persons. In addition, 3000 Jews were deported from the ghetto at Theresienstadt for extermination. In Berlin 500 Jews were arrested, with 152 executed as a reprisal on the day of Heydrich's death.

As a further reprisal, Hitler ordered the small Czech mining village of Lidice to be liquidated on the fake charge that it had aided the assassins.

In one of the most infamous single acts of World War Two, all 173 men and boys over age 16 in the village were shot while the women were deported to Ravensbrück concentration camp where most died. Ninety young children were sent to the concentration camp at Gneisenau, with some taken later to Nazi orphanages if they were German looking.

The village of Lidice was then destroyed building by building with explosives, then completely leveled until not a trace remained, with grain being planted over the flattened soil. The name was then removed from all German maps.

LIDICE

The annihilation of the Czech town of Lidice is one of the most notorious instances of the Nazi practice of reprisal.

On the 9th June 1942 there was 102 houses and 495 residents of Lidice. At dawn on June 10, all the residents of Lidice, a village ten miles outside Prague, were taken from their homes. The men were shot in batches of five at a time against a wall at Horáks' barn. Because this was too slow, for the SS Commander Horst Böhme the number was increased to ten. By late afternoon, 173 men had been murdered. The next day, another nineteen men who were working in a mine, along with seven women, were rounded up and sent to Kobylisy, where they were also shot. The village women and children were all sent to a school in Kladno and detained there. Two days later the surviving 184 women were sent to the Ravensbrück Concentration Camp. Of the 105 children 88 were sent to a former textile factory in Gneisenaustreet of Lodz. Of the 105 children 82 were gassed in vans at Chelmno, six died in the German Lebensborn orphanages and 17 returned back home. The SS then razed the town and tried to eradicate its memory. The name of Lidice was expunged from all official records. Altogether by the end of the war 339 peoples from Lidice had lost their lives.

Lidice

For the children that returned to Lidice after the war most had learnt German and had forgotten Czech and could no longer communicate with their mothers.

Lidice

  • Last visit to Lidice: Jul 2009
  • Intro Updated Jul 29, 2009
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Reviews (5)

Comments (6)

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Aug 12, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    Your visit took in another historical place and one to learn from about the culture of the old times. Nice descriptions

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Sep 25, 2010 at 12:24 PM

    What an excellent, but haunting sculpture, one that once seen, would never be forgotten. The looks on the faces, they are so real, and so sad.

  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo
    Aug 11, 2009 at 2:55 AM

    The statue is both moving and thought provoking - the garden would be a pleasant place to reflect on this sad place

  • evaanna's Profile Photo
    Jul 31, 2009 at 4:15 AM

    Unbelievable and yet true and so terrifying. The memorial to the children says it all, showing the wickedness and cruelty of the Nazis.

  • ranger49's Profile Photo
    Jun 20, 2009 at 9:36 AM

    Long time since I visited Lidice - Oct 1989. Don't remember the moving sculpture on your page perhaps new? It was such an emotionally numbing experience I took only one picture, similar to your peaceful country scene. Thanks for the remembrance.

  • Sue08080's Profile Photo
    May 22, 2006 at 2:24 PM

    Excellent remembrance of Lidice. Thank you!

alancollins

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