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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Lidice...

I have been struggling for a day and a half to compose a post on the visit Kathy and I made to Lidice on Thanksgiving. I have the beginning down pat, here is how it goes:


Last Thanksgiving, with Noah at school, Kathy and I spent a couple of hours at the Museum of Communism which is just off of Wenceslas Square in the center of Prague. It was a sobering experience in a general, non-personal sort of way. Afterwards we were left feeling grateful that we won the Cold War and were spared the tyranny of Communism.

This Thanksgiving, Kathy and I visited the museum and grounds of Lidice, just 10 minutes northwest of our house. I was unfamiliar with the story of Lidice before moving to Prague and it is likley that you are unfamiliar with it as well.


From here I tried to give a summary of what happened in Lidice, less than 10 miles from our house, in June 1942. But I ended up going into great detail and the post got to be too long and I was never happy because I didn't want to leave important information out.

Well, the only way I can finish this post is to just put in a few pictures and link to a couple of sources and let you look at them if you like. It is really a heartbreaking story, so be forewarned.

We got there at just after its 9:00 am opening and for the two hours we were there we were the only visitors in the museum and on the expansive grounds. Being alone only made it seem sadder. It was grey, windy and cold, which fit our mood. Still, visiting Lidice was also a very fitting thing to do on Thanksgiving. As we drove away after our visit I have never been more thankful for Noah and Kathy and our family and friends.


Lidice before (top) and after (bottom) June 10, 1942.




All men of Lidice 15 or older (over 150 in all) were marched out and shot by firing squad by the SS before the town was raised.



After the town was completely destroyed the Nazis even removed bodies from the cemetary. There was to be no proof that Lidice ever existed.

The women were sent to a concentration camp. A few of children were allowed to be adopted by German families (because these children looked "German") while the others, over 80, were gassed at the camp at Chelmo, Poland a few weeks later.

Here is the memorial for the children of Lidice.




Here is the link to the web site of the Lidice Museum and Memorial.

Here is the link to the Wikipedia entry on Lidice.



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