One of the most memorable images of the wartime ghetto in Terezín is of a young girl standing in the middle of a flock of sheep. Taking photographs was strictly forbidden, and it is remarkable that this image and a number of others showing the same incongruously pastoral scene have been preserved. Miraculously, the girl in the pictures also survived, unlike the great majority of the tens of thousands of European Jews who passed through the ghetto between 1942 and 1945. Doris Grozdanovičová went on to have a successful career as a literary editor
Activists from the Czech Republic and abroad met at Lety, South Bohemia, on Saturday, the site of a labour and later concentration camp where Roma were interned and died during WWII. They were aiming to keep pressure on the government to finally remove a pig farm at the site which has been an insult to the victims who suffered or died there and their descendants, for decades.
Hundreds of people attended a memorial ceremony on Sunday on the site of Ležáky, one of the two Czech villages that was razed to the ground by the Nazis 75 years ago. In retaliation for the assassination of the Nazi governor of Bohemia and Moravia, Reinhard Heydrich, all of the adults were executed and 11 children sent to the extermination camp. The village was burnt down on June 24th 1942. Among those who attended the ceremony was Jarmila Štulíková-Doležalová, one of the two Ležáky survivors.
Hundreds of people attended events in Lidice on Saturday marking the 75th anniversary of the village’s destruction and the 70th anniversary of its rebuilding. The Nazis razed the small Central Bohemian village to the ground and killed over 300 of its inhabitants on June 10, 1942 in one of the worst atrocities in the country’s modern history. Among those who took part in a commemoration ceremony in Lidice on Saturday morning were the bishop of Plzeň, Tomáš Holub, the minister of culture, Daniel Herman, the chairman of the Union of Freedom Fighters, Jaroslav Vodička, and the deputy speaker of the Senate, Miluše Horská. The traditional Light for Lidice gathering of children’s choirs took place in the afternoon.
June 10 is the anniversary of one of the worst atrocities in modern Czech history. On that day, in retaliation for the killing of governor Reinhard Heydrich, the Nazis slaughtered the inhabitants of Lidice and completely demolished the small village, intending to wipe it off the map for eternity. Today the spot where the original Lidice stood is a deeply sombre, open plain with an adjacent museum. Ahead of the 75th anniversary of the notorious act of barbarism, I visited the head of the Lidice Memorial, Martina Lehmannová. She told me what the village
When the Nazis razed the Czech village of Lidice to the ground and murdered its inhabitants in June 1942, it sparked horror and anger across the globe. One place where the atrocity struck a particularly deep cord was Stoke-on-Trent, an industrial city in England’s West Midlands. Within months, the local Labour politician Barnett Stross had founded Lidice Shall Live, an international campaign to raise money to rebuild the Czech village. On the eve of the 75th anniversary of Lidice’s obliteration, I discussed the powerful story of solidarity with
Among many who have come to the Czech Republic to mark this Saturday’s 75th anniversary of the Nazis’ annihilation of Lidice is Alan Gerrard of the group Lidice Lives, which is based in the UK city of Stoke-on-Trent. It is a kind of social media-based successor to Lidice Shall Live, a major initiative to rebuild the Czech village launched in Stoke in September 1942 by the politician Sir Barnett Stross. When we spoke, I asked Gerrard whether he had been inspired by Stross’s work.
Some of the children who were saved from the Holocaust by Nicolas Winton have unveiled a memorial recognizing their parent’s incredible bravery in putting them on “kindertransport’ trains to London in the knowledge they might never see them again. Close to 700 mostly Jewish children were sent away at the eleventh hour in the spring and summer of 1939, after Nazi Germany invaded Czechoslovakia. Most of their parents later died in gas chambers. The memorial, at Prague’s main railway station from where the trains were dispatched, is a replica of one of the original train wagon doors filled with a glass pane on which are engraved adult and child hands evoking scenes of the traumatic parting. Zuzana Maresova, one of the surviving Winton children who came up with the idea of erecting the memorial, says the scene at the railway station is one of her most vivid childhood memories.
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