Sunday, June 10, 2007

Lidice atrocity: 65 years later

Exactly 65 years ago, the village called Lidice in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (five miles from the Prague Airport) was completely destroyed. Nazis retaliated for the assassination of the protector, Reinhard Heydrich, and murdered all 192 men, deported the rest of the population, demolished all houses, and cut all the trees. Heydrich's funeral took place one day earlier. See a German video.

Children of Lidice, a memorial. The sculptor, Ms Marie Chytilová-Kučerová, was also the author of the most well-known Czechoslovak one-crown coin

The massacre occurred during the most optimistic times of the Third Reich. They thought that the last pieces of self-confidence of Czechs would be undermined. The village was expected to disappear from the maps forever - much like another village, Ležáky, two weeks later. Unlike other atrocities, the destruction of Lidice was openly publicized by the German propaganda machine.

Instead, they have demonstrated to most of the world that Nazism was a great evil that had to be liquidated. Most people started to realize that any kind of appeasement was unacceptable. Czechs also started to understand that the centuries-long coexistence with the Germans on the Czech territory would have to stop after Germany is defeated.

Nowadays, Lidice live again and several more towns in the world were named in the same way. A few months ago, a controversial "game", Total Burnout, was released by the director of the Lidice Memorial and it successfully reminded the world about the tragic event in 1942.

1 comment:

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