December 17, 2018
Prague, Czech Republic Week 10: Part II Fr. James Donohue, C.R.
After visiting Terezin, our bus trip continued to Lidice. In an earlier blog, I told the story of the two paratroopers who assassinated Reinhard Heydrich. Part of the Nazi reprisal was to completely destroy this small village. The first photo shows what the village looked like in 1938 and the second photo is what the village looked like after the reprisals.
Altogether, about 340 people from Lidice died because of the German reprisal (192 men, 60 women and 88 children). The village of Lidice was set on fire and the remains of the buildings destroyed with explosives. Even bodies were dug up from the cemetery to ensure that there could be no memory of the village. The men were shot immediately in the town. Most children were taken away, but later gassed. The women were taken to camps. After the war ended, only 153 women and 17 children returned to the village…to discover that it no longer existed.
There are memorials for the men, the women, and children at Lidice. Here we see the place where the men (anyone 15 or older) were shot and a memorial for the women.
Saddest of all is the memorial to mark the murder of the Lidice children.
As one student said to me, “I always knew about the Holocaust, but this trip has opened my eyes to the horrors that I could never have imagined.”
This is a current view of the site on which the village of Lidice once lay and the memorial that marks the entrance to the site.