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The Lidice Massacre

Discussion in 'Massacres and Atrocities of the Second World War' started by Jim, Sep 23, 2006.

  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    The Lidice Massacre: June 10, 1942​


    Two Czech patriots, Jan Kubis and Joseph Gabeik, serving with the Polish forces in Britain, volunteered to be dropped by parachute near Prague. Their mission, to assassinate SS Obergruppenfuehrer Reinhard Heydrich, the Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia. The ambush took place on May 27, 1942, as Heydrich drove to his office. Severely wounded, he was rushed to Bulovka Hospital where he died eight days later. The Nazi reprisals then began. In the next few days, 3,188 Czech citizens were arrested of whom 1,357 were shot. Another 657 died while being interrogated by SS police. On June 9th armed police surrounded the small village of Lidice, some ten kilometres from Prague and gathered together the entire population in the tiny square. Boys over 15 were lined up with the men and locked up in an empty barn. Women and children were herded into the local school for the night. The houses were then ransacked, the pillaging went on all night. Next morning, June 10, at 5am, the women and children were bundled into trucks and driven away. The police then fetched dozens of mattresses from the ransacked houses and propped them up against the wall of the barn to prevent ricochets. The men and boys were then brought out 10 at a time, lined up in front of the mattresses and then shot.

    In all, 173 souls were murdered this way. While the firing squads were busy, others set about burning the village to the ground. The bulldozers and ploughs were then brought in and in no time no recognizable feature of the village remained. Meanwhile, the 198 women and 98 children were forcibly separated and driven away, the women to the Ravensbruck Concentration Camp where 35 of the older women were then sent on to Auschwitz to be used for medical experiments. Only 143 were alive at wars end. Of the children, 17 were picked out as suitable for Germanisation and allocated to German households. These children all survived the war and were eventually reunited with their families. The rest, 81 in number, were sent to the camp at Chelmno and gassed. Reprisals were also taken in the concentration camps where thousands of Czech political prisoners were murdered. Contrary to what some history books tells us, not a single unit of the SS took part in the destruction, massacre and deportation of women and children in Lidice. The massacre was carried out by a thirty man unit of the Prague police acting under German officers. When Churchill heard of this atrocity five days later, he sugested to cabinet that three German villages should be wiped off the face of the earth in retalitation. This was never carried out owing to moral objections put forward by the then deputy Prime Minister, Clement Attlee. A new village of 150 houses for the women who survived, has been built a short distance away from the original site. The men and boys who were shot now lie in a mass grave in the Park of Peace.


    Source: George Duncan
     
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  2. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    The Destruction of Lidice

    On May 27, 1942, SS Obergruppenf├╝hrer Reinhard Heydrich, Deputy Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, had been attacked in Prague by Free Czech agents who were trained in England and brought to Czechoslovakia to assassinate him. They shot at Heydrich as his car slowed to round a sharp turn, then threw a bomb which exploded, mortally wounding him. Heydrich managed to get out of the car, draw his pistol and shoot back at the assassins before collapsing in the street.

    The bodies of the men and boys over age 16 of Lidice, Czechoslovakia, murdered by the Nazis on June 10, 1942, in reprisal for the assassination of SS Leader Reinhard Heydrich

    [​IMG]

    Heydrich survived for several days, but died on June 4 from blood poisoning brought on by fragments of auto upholstery, steel, and his own uniform that had lodged in his spleen.

    In Berlin, the Nazis staged a highly elaborate funeral with Hitler calling Heydrich "the man with the iron heart."

    SS officers sift through the rubble of Lidice.

    [​IMG]

    Meanwhile the Gestapo and SS hunted down and murdered Czech agents, resistance members, and anyone suspected of being involved in Heydrich's death, totaling over 1000 persons. In addition, 3000 Jews were deported from the ghetto at Theresienstadt for extermination. In Berlin 500 Jews were arrested, with 152 executed as a reprisal on the day of Heydrich's death.

    As a further reprisal, Hitler ordered the small Czech mining village of Lidice to be liquidated on the fake charge that it had aided the assassins.

    Members of the Schutzpolizei (German protective police) pose in front of the Horak family farm, which they just destroyed.

    [​IMG]


    In one of the most infamous single acts of World War Two, all 172 men and boys over age 16 in the village were shot while the women were deported to Ravensbr├╝ck concentration camp where most died. Ninety young children were sent to the concentration camp at Gneisenau, with some taken later to Nazi orphanages if they were German looking.

    The village of Lidice was then destroyed building by building with explosives, then completely leveled until not a trace remained, with grain being planted over the flattened soil. The name was then removed from all German maps.
     
  3. Spitfire XIV-E

    Spitfire XIV-E New Member

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    The Germans did indeed take a hideous revenge for the death of Reinhard Heydrich. And I believe this incident deterred quite a few other assassination attempts on High Ranking Nazis including Hitler.
     
  4. Cabel1960

    Cabel1960 recruit

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    Attempts on Hitler by his own officers was dealt with harsh treatment, some officers that were passed their sell by date were used as scapegoats. My opinion of course. :wtf:
     
  5. Spitfire XIV-E

    Spitfire XIV-E New Member

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    Von Stauffenburg was badly wounded on the Eastern Front I believe. So I suppose he was the obvious choice to plant the bomb in the conference room in July '44 at Rastenburg ... So many good people were murdered after being implicated in the plot.
     
  6. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    Yes, including Rommel ... :ponder:
     
  7. Dave War44

    Dave War44 Member

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    Will we ever know for sure whether there was any foundation in Rommel being implicated....
    That is, I always wonder whether he was actually involved or just wrongly suspected of being involved....
     
  8. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    As stated above Dave, maybe a big name used as a scapegoat, thou if he had a true involvement in the plot i am sure we would be reading something much different than what we see here... :thumb:
     
  9. Spitfire XIV-E

    Spitfire XIV-E New Member

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    I believe that Admiral Wilhelm Canaris (Head of Abwehr : German Intelligence) was a close friend of Rommel's and he was also implicated and arrested. He nearly made it through to the end of the war but was shot in 1945 I think. So it's not inconceivable that there was a connection there somewhere because Canaris was very much involved. To the extent that he even started to feed false information to Hitler. He was of course removed from his post and I believe the SS took over much of the Intelligence work from Abwehr afterwards.
     
  10. dfisher

    dfisher New Member

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    It's incredible to think they could just remove an entire village from the map like that. Why did they pick Lidice? Was there any evidence linking them to the assasins, or was it just completely random?
     
  11. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    The village of Lidice, Czechoslovakia, before it was burned the ground by the Germans in 1942. On May 27, 1942, a high-ranking Nazi official named Reinhard Heydrich was assassinated, and soon after, Adolf Hitler himself reportedly ordered that any village found harboring the assassins should be leveled, all male residents executed, females shipped off to concentration camps, and acceptable children given to German families. The village of Lidice, reportedly home to Czech resistance fighters, was chosen, and Hitler's orders were carried out starting on June 10, 1942, when all 192 men over 16 years of age were executed. (AP Photo/Czech News Agency)

    [​IMG]
     
  12. warhistory

    warhistory New Member

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    The real cruel incident I heard yet. A whole village got shot by the police. Unbelievable.
     
  13. Cabel1960

    Cabel1960 recruit

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    One of the worst atrocities of ww2. :realmad:
     
  14. FREEDOM War44

    FREEDOM War44 New Member

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    What i have read about the "The Lidice Massacre"i dont think it was random, for the take over of
    The village of Lidice.
     
  15. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Active Member

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    Found this superb mini-documentary ' Lidice Lives' : Acknowledges the work of British MP Barnett Stoss and the people of Stoke on Trent , along with the North Staffordshire miners, in assisting the memorials being constructed, and the building of a new village near the site of the old village.

     
  16. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Active Member

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    ....Should also add Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu's 'Memorial to Lidice'


     
  17. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Thanks for the update and reactivating this older thread.
     
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  18. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Active Member

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    Would really like to hear from someone who has visited the village site in recent years. There are a lot more clips on 'You Tube' which people can explore for themselves.
    My last offering from 'You Tube' will be 'The Silent Village' (1943) , in which the Lidice Massacre is re-enacted at the Welsh mining village of Cwmgiedd. Fascinating.
    The Germans were blatant in ensuring that news of the massacre on an international level and condemnation was soon to be forthcoming.

     
  19. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member

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    Definitely a cry to the British people to continue to fight against German oppression and outright murder. A propaganda film that made its point very clear. Indeed fascinating.
     
  20. USAAFson

    USAAFson Member

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    Canaris was hanged. I don't believe he knew Rommel. They served in far different circles.
     

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