On Saturday, a respectful act is held in Lidice, Central Bohemia, to commemorate the memory of the residents of the village who were killed by the Nazis 79 years ago. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, Senate President Miloš Vystrči, and Minister of Culture Lubomír Zaorálek. All laid wreaths at the Lidice men’s graves.
The wreath of the President of the Republic was also laid at the act of reverence, but the head of state did not participate.
Following the laying of the wreaths, the national song was followed by a prayer for the victims of the Lidice tragedy. The director of the Lidice Memorial, Eduard Stehlík, later thanked the participants. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, only honor guards, soldiers and scouts were deployed.
“Lidice is not just a place of tragedy, but it is a huge symbol. Lidice is not just ours. When you go out into the world, you will find out that Lidice is known all over the world,” Vondráček told reporters. “It was the first time the Nazis revealed what they were. When they boasted about it. It is the global significance of Lidice that they revealed the monstrosity of the Nazis. I think it was a turning point in World War II and the fight against Nazism,” he added.
“More than 300 Lidice victims are, among other things, a request for all of us to never again allow unnecessary innocent victims to be repeated,” Vystrčil remarked.
“We have to remember the atrocities of the Nazis, the atrocities that the people have accomplished. We need to think about how it is possible that this has happened. Maybe even today we think about why there is such hatred in our society, what evokes it,” Prime Minister Babiš.
Those interested in the public will be able to place flowers at the place of worship in the afternoon. Admission to the Lidice Memorial is free for visitors. The Lidice Gallery and house number 116 are open from 09:00.
On June 10, 1942, the Nazis set fire to the settlement, which had 503 residents. The Gestapo was suspicious of a link between the locals and the death of the deputy imperial protector Reinhard Heydrich. A total of 173 men from Lidice were killed. The women were detained and imprisoned in a concentration camp. Some of the children were sent to German households for Germanization, while others were sent to the Chelmno extermination camp. A total of 143 Lidice women and 17 children returned to their homes after the war. The government of Czechoslovakia decided to rebuild the community. In the summer of 1947, the foundation stone was set.
The news of the extermination of Lidice spread all over the world. A number of places in various countries were then renamed in her name in honor of the Czech village.