Today it is exactly 77 years since units of the German Security Police liquidated the Central Bohemian village of Lidice in retaliation for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich. While far from the only example of such cruelty during the war, Lidice became famous around the world. In part due to its symbolic value as a place of tragedy, but also hope.
June 10 marks the 77th anniversary of the destruction of the central
Bohemian village Lidice by the Nazis, in what was one of the worst
atrocities in the country’s history.
The village was razed to the ground and its 300 inhabitants, including women and children, were killed as part of reprisals for the assassination of Nazi governor Reinhard Hedyrich.
The village of Ležáky in Eastern Bohemia suffered a similar fate just a fortnight later.
A commemorative ceremony marking the 77th anniversary of the Lidice tragedy has been scheduled for June 15 at the Lidice memorial.
The mansion where Nazi governor of Bohemia and Moravia Reinhard Heydrich
lived on the outskirts of Prague has been sold at auction for nearly CZK 39
million. The auction was anonymous. The building in Panenské Břežany in
Prague East had fallen into a state of disrepair when the previous owner, a
research institute, went bankrupt.
The Nazi’s first “protector” of the Czech lands, Konstantin von Neurath, moved into the property. When he was replaced by Heydrich the latter and his family took it over. The “Butcher of Prague” was living there when he was assassinated in 1942 by Czechoslovak paratroopers sent from the UK.
Hundreds of people including several senior Czech politicians attended a
ceremony at the Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius in central Prague on
Monday commemorating the heroes of Operation Anthropoid.
New plaques were unveiled in the pavement by the church honouring Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš, who assassinated Nazi governor Reinhard Heydrich, and other resistance men who met their deaths there 76 years ago this year.
Social Democrats leader Jan Hamáček said the killing of Heydrich had been one of the most important acts of resistance in Europe and was certainly the most important on Czech territory. He said the men had laid down their lives for their nation’s freedom and deserved to be respected and remembered.
Government officials, war veterans, cultural figures and foreign
representatives attended a ceremony commemorating the 76th anniversary of
the razing of Lidice by the Nazis on Sunday.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said the massacre of the village’s inhabitants in 1942 should serve as a warning to future generations. In his address the prime minister emphasized the role of the EU and NATO in securing peace on the continent.
The head of the Czech Union of Freedom Fighters Jaroslav Vodička noted that the Lidice atrocity had touched people the world over and many towns now bore the name Lidice in memory of the village that was wiped off the face of the Earth.
On Sunday Czechs marked the 76th anniversary of Operation Anthropoid, a
daring mission in which Czechoslovak parachutists were dropped into
occupied Bohemia to assassinate Nazi governor Reinhard Heydrich.He
succumbed to his injuries on June 4 and the Nazis unleashed a massive
The parachutists involved in the operation died in a siege of the Church of Ss. Cyril and Methodius where they had found sanctuary. The Nazis then hunted down and killed all those connected with them and those suspected of having helped them.
That same month they razed to the ground the villages of Lidice and Ležáky, killing the male inhabitants and sending women and children to concentration camps as exemplary punishment for the assassination. The brave act of resistance significantly boosted the morale of the occupied nation.
Ahead of the anniversary, two streets in Prague’s Výšočany district were renamed Moravcová and Strnadová in honour of the families that helped the parachutists and paid for it with their lives.
The Czech educational game ‘Attentat 1942’ about the Nazi occupation of Bohemia and Moravia will be competing at the prestigious world Independent Games Festival. The project, developed by Charles University and the Czech Academy of Sciences, tells a story of the occupation through the eyes of survivors.
A series of events have taken place in Prague to commemorate Bishop Gorazd
on Monday, who was executed by the Nazis 75 years ago for helping the
assassins of Nazi governor Reinhard Heydrich, providing them a refuge in
the Church of Ss. Cyril and Methodius in central Prague.
For his actions, Bishop Gorazd was later glorified as a martyr by the Eastern Orthodox Church. The commemorative events took place at the Church of Ss. Cyril and Methodius, at the Kobylisy shooting range, where the bishop was shot by the Nazis and at Pankrác prison.
Police in Prague are seeking help from the public in the search for a man who stole money from a collection box at the memorial to the heroes of Operation Anthropoid at the Church of Ss. Cyril and Methodius on Prague’s Resslova St. earlier this month. The police posted video on their website of the young man, who took the collection box into the church’s crypt, where members of Jan Kubiš’s and Jozef Gabčík’s group met their deaths in 1942, and smashed the lock. He then made off with around CZK 20,000 donated by visitors to the help the museum continue its operations.
The Czechoslovak parachutists who carried out Operation Anthropoid have received a new monument in the United Kingdom, where they were based before assassinating Nazi Reinhard Heydrich in Prague in 1942. The stone memorial to Jan Kubiš and Jozef Gabčík was unveiled at the Church of St. John the Baptist in Ightfield, Shropshire on Sunday afternoon. It has been installed on the grave of their good friends the Ellisons, who lived locally. Among those in attendance were members of the Ellison family, the Slovak ambassador to the UK, Ľubomír Rehák, and John Martin, author of a book about Operation Anthropoid and the main organiser of the monument.