June 27, 1941 As German Einzatzgruppen 'A' entered the town of Knovo the Lithuanian population took the first action against their Jews. On June 3, 1945 Red Army soldiers erected a monument at the grave of the men of Lidice. Seventy years ago to this day 2 July the remaining 82 children were handed over to the Gestapo. This was covered as an international live radio broadcast by local community radio station. Lídice tornou-se um da crueldade nazista durante a guerra e diversos países batizaram cidades e vilas com o seu nome, para que ela jamais fosse esquecida, como era a intenção de , inclusive no , nos Estados do. Yet what had they and their families done to warrant such an end? A total of 160,000 Jewish soldiers were decorated with Soviet awards, 145 receiving the highest Soviet award, 'Hero of the Soviet Union'.
Most were shot after being dragged from their hiding places in cellars. Kubiš and Gabčík managed to escape the scene. From there they were taken to the Chelmno extermination camp where they were gassed. Four of these women, being expectant mothers, were first sent to a maternity home at Prague. Conditions on board one of the trains that left on the 30th of June were horrific, about one thousand died in transit mostly from suffocation and heat exhaustion during the seventeen hour journey.
There the men were separated from their wives and children and marched the four kilometres to the Puzai Forest where they were all shot and killed. In Pomerania, only 20 of its 650 priests were allowed to remain, the rest were either shot or sent to concentration camps. At his trial, he received a sentence of twenty years imprisonment. In the cellars, bodies were piled up layer upon layer almost to the ceiling. In reprisal, 220 prisoners taken by the Division were executed on the order of von Veichs.
In mid-December 1943, the Ležáky ruins were removed by 65 men from Nazi work camps. Hitler had placed a trusted official, Reinhard Heydrich, as deputy administrator for Bohemia and Moravia. Though greater horrors would be discovered later, it was the first major Nazi atrocity to come into full view and galvanize nations in disgust for the perpetrators and sympathy for the victims. Yet at the end of June, Adolf Eichmann, already facilitating and managing the logistics of mass deportation of Jews to ghettos and extermination camps in German-occupied Eastern Europe, ordered their massacre. But, thanks to Czech loyalty and the common hatred of their oppressors, no trace of the perpetrators was disclosed; not the tiniest clue, though very many people, especially in Prague, knew their secrets. In the village of Blagaj, 520 men, women and children, were murdered in the most cruel way by being hit over the head.
On May 27, 1942, operatives ambushed the hated Nazi; critically wounded, Heydrich died of sepsis on June 4. The men and boys were put in farm buildings while the women and children were locked into the local school. With menaces and curses, the partisans tried to convince the friars to abandon their faith, shouting 'God is dead, there is no Pope, go out into the world and work'. The re-establishment of the village began soon after the liberation of Czechoslovakia in May 1945. There is little to distinguish it from other small Bohemian villages except for its complete lack of timeworn, traditional structures and for its abundance of modern memorial statuary. Memorialization of Lidice and Its Name Nazi propaganda had openly announced the events in Lidice, unlike other massacres in occupied Europe that were kept secret. All adult men were to be executed and the womenfolk transported to a concentration camp.
Later the men were brought out in small groups throughout the day, lined up against walls, and shot to death until bodies were strewn and heaped across the lawns between buildings. Their dream of a Jewish state in Palestine prompted thousands to sail in obsolete sailing vessels toward the land of their dreams, only to be confronted by British patrol vessels and turned back towards the island of Cyprus to again be incarcerated in a new type of camp, the 'Interment Camp'. All houses of Lidice have been leveled to the ground, and the name of this community has been obliterated. On June 9, 1942, six days after Heydrich's death, the reprisal plan was launched. Without decent food and medicines, babies and young children were dying at a rate of up to fifteen per day.
Huge pits were dug by the Russians for the fuel tanks but the Red Army had to pull out before the project was completed. The average age of this cross section of the population was 36. In a short while the Ukrainian farmers began dying of hunger, cold and sickness. Today, the Jasenovac Memorial lists the names of 69,842 victims. A large group of prisoners, estimated at around four thousand, were driven to the cliffs overlooking the sea and there mercilessly machine-gunned.
While the firing squads were busy, others set about burning the village to the ground. Nine men and two boys who were away from the village were later shot in Prague. The houses were then ransacked, the pillaging went on all night. The men were brought out of the farm houses and lined up in front of mattresses laid against a wall — see the photograph above. In the village the dead were left lying where they fell and the newly brought out soon-to-be victims had to first walk past them and stand in front of them. In the three days of slaughter around 11,000 Jews were murdered.
On July 2, 1942 all of the remaining 81 Lidice children were handed over to the Lodz Gestapo office, who in turn had them transported to the extermination camp at Chelmo some 70 kilometers away where they were gassed to death in Magirus gas trucks. All this was witnessed by soldiers of the Einzatzgruppen who stood by silently but did nothing to stop it. Criticism is sometimes directed at the British-based Czechoslovakian government in exile and nationalist resistance for choosing to target Heydrich, knowing that the possibility of massive and merciless retaliation against innocents, if the assassination attempt was successful, had to be high. The killings took two whole days and nights the victims being machine-gunned and their bodies hurled into the ravine. Lidice Memorial Lidice Memorial, an organization of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, keeps lasting memory of the annihilation of Lidice, which was razed to the ground by the German Nazi, June 10, 1942.