The tragedy of Lidice

The tragedy of Lidice

Lidice was a Czechoslovak mining village not far from Prague. As a community it had no importance, but the Nazis needed to make an example of somewhere, following the assassination in May of Reinhardt Heydrich by Czech resistance fighters. Heydrich and his driver and car were blown up on a street in Prague in 1942. Czechoslavakia had been the first state to be invaded and occupied by Hitler’s armies, and Heydrich, a brute, was Prague’s military governor and head of the Gestapo secret police.

Though the villagers of Lidice were innocent, hardly knowing that there existed a resistance movement, they were chosen by the German occupation authorities to provide ‘the example’ needed to discourage resistance movements.

In June the armoured cars rolled into Lidice. The population was tiny, but all the males, including small boys, were captured and shot against the walls of houses. The wives and daughters of any age were rounded up and sent off by cattle truck to Ravensbrück concentration camp. Some enterprising children had managed to get away, but children left alive in German hands were eliminated one way or another. The escaped children were able later to tell the savage story, which was soon circulating the world not dominated by the Nazis.

Momument to the dead children of Lidice /

Momument to the dead children of Lidice /

The buildings in the village were totally destroyed by bombs and fire. The same thing happened to a nearby hamlet called Lezaky. Today, the site of Lidice has become a national monument with its own terrible museum, reminding the world of the barbarity and mindless cruelty of Nazi rule in occupied Europe.




By | 2014-04-01T13:33:59+00:00 October 8th, 2013|Czech History, German History, World History|1 Comment

About the Author:

‘Dean Swift’ is a pen name: the author has been a soldier; he has worked in sales, TV, the making of films, as a teacher of English and history and a journalist. He is married with three grown-up children. They live in Spain.

One Comment

  1. Hannah Cooper June 26, 2014 at 6:19 am - Reply

    My great x2 grandfather was beatin at lidice and still lived because he escaped from hitler himself

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