Lidice’s History

First, I’d like to start off with an apology. I had written my last blog post in a journal that I carried with me and then typed it up and posted it while I was on my plane ride home. Unfortunately, the blog post never made it. I was unaware of that until very recently and so I will try to post it again now.

I was able to visit a town called Lidice that rests just outside of Prague. Before I tell you about what it was like, I must first tell you its story. The short version is that after the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich in 1942, Hitler was incensed and demanded retaliation. Due to a suspicious note that was found in the aftermath containing the name Lidice, the revenge would be taken out on that town. Soon afterwards German troops invaded the small town and rounded up all of the villagers. They were separated into two groups: men and boys over the age of 15 and women with all remaining children. All 173 men were lined up against a wall ten at a time and shot. The 19 men that had been gone at work the day the town had been invaded were gathered later and also shot. The women, who numbered 198, were sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp. There were 98 children and of those a handpicked number was selected for “Germanisation.” The majority and rest of the children were gassed. Moreover, the village of Lidice was utterly and completely destroyed. Even after being burned to the ground, it was bombed. Hitler’s goal had been to literally clear Lidice off of the map and annihilate it. This was one of Hitler’s acts of revenge and example to all others of what he was capable of; decimating an entire town.

Hitler’s plan backfired. After what was done to the village of Lidice and its people there was an outrage. Instead of the town’s existence being forgotten, it became more well known that anyone could have anticipated. People even began to name their daughters after the village. A film was made within the last year depicting a framework for this event. I was fortunate enough to have viewed the film and I can report that it is quite moving. I highly recommend it.
To read the fuller story of Lidice (which I strongly suggest) you can visit the History Learning Site.

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