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70th anniversary of the extermination of Lidice village

photo:  (wikipedia.org, autor Peter Stehlík)

On 10 June 1942, the Nazis burnt down the Czech village of Lidice. Two weeks later, they revenged the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, the prominent member of the SS, in the same manner in the village of Ležáky (map). The 70th anniversary of these tragic events will be commemorated by various events in the Czech Republic.

The tragedy of Lidice (map) filled the news all over the world in 1942. However, the plan of the Nazis to obliterate this Czech village from the world map was not successful. Many villages throughout the whole world were renamed Lidice in honour of this village. What is more, there are numerous women from different parts of the world bearing this name.

Prominent representatives of the Czech Republic including President Václav Klaus and cardinal Dominik Duka will meet at the Lidice Memorial to commemorate the victims of this Nazi crime on 10 June. The pious ceremony will include a concert of children’s choruses, called “The Light for Lidice”, with participation by a choir from the English town of Stoke-on-Trent (map).

The commemorating events will start much earlier than on the actual date of the burning of Lidice. The Lidice Memorial offers a permanent exhibition called “And Those Innocent Were Guilty...” to which a new permanent exhibition named Lidice Collections in the Lidice Gallery was added at the end of March 2012. This unique collection of modern art from all over the world was established entirely due to a spontaneous decision. It was inspired by the significant representative of the movement “Lidice Shall Live”, by English doctor Sir Barnett Stross. The exhibition features works that depict coming to terms with the tragedy of Lidice and the era of fascist rule, such as the object “For Lidice” by Joseph Beuys, the assemblage of Wolf Vostel “Homage to Lidice,” the object “Waiting for Nuremberg II” by H. P. Alvermann or the work of Sigmar Polke called “Double Portrait”.

The 40th International Children’s Exhibition of Fine Arts Lidice will be opened on 30 May 2012. The children’s paintings will then be displayed in the seat of the European Parliament in Brussels from 4 to 8 June 2012. The exhibition will consequently travel to Stoke-on-Trent in September, Latvian Riga in October and Lithuanian Vilnius in November.

On 8 June 2012, the Lidice Gallery will present special postage stamps commemorating the 70th anniversary of the burning of the Lidice and Ležáky villages. On 14 June, a pious event will take place in the complex of the former Ravensbrück concentration camp, to which women from Lidice were transported. On 22 June, the 24th year of the Ravensbrück – Lidice – Ležáky relay run will be started there.

You can find a detailed programme of events commemorating the extermination of the village of Lidice at the Memorial Lidice website.

In total, 340 inhabitants of Lidice fell victim to the Nazi slaughter. After the war ended, 143 women from Lidice returned to their mother land from concentration camps. After a two-year search, only 17 children from Lidice came back home. In Ležáky, 51 men, women and children were executed, the only survivors being two little girls.
Author: Andrea Kábelová
Source: Lidice Memorial
Added: 30.04.2012

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