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The Lidice Massacre

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

  1. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Active Member

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    Found a poem about Lidice in a collection by C. Day Lewis titled 'Word All Over' . Want to write about it for my blog so thought that it was time to re-visit this thread.
    Realised recently that there is a film 'Operation Daybreak' about the assassination of Heydrich which came out in 1975.

    Here is a trailer that can be found on Youtube
     
  2. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

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    But Heydrich didn't travel in a convoy and then abandoned it, he traveled in an open-top car all the time because he felt perfectly safe in Prague.

    It seems the screenwriter was much more afraid of Heydrich's life than Heydrich himself.
     
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  3. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Active Member

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    Indeed wm. It seems that film scriptwriters offer different scenarios ! Here is the 2011 movie scene








     
  4. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Active Member

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    ....And another from a 2017 film 'HHhH' , starts about 2 minutes in.

    From what I can gather. Heydrich was driven most days from a villa where he lived with his family to his headquarters in Prague Castle, in an open top car just with one driver and took a fairly set route. He was attacked at a bend in a Prague road, rather than a busy part of the city that this movie suggests.

    The sten gun of one of the assassins did indeed jam and it was the grenade that wounded Heydrich, who didn't leave the car. Particles from the vehicle and fragments from the grenade got into the wounds which finally led to his death in the morning of 4th June 1942.

     
  5. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

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    The Czechs had better roads than shown in both movies.
    Maybe the screenwriters though it happened in Poland. :)
    And it wasn't in the center of the city. It was at the city line.

    The hand grenades are absolutely wrong, it was an exploding-on-impact anti-tank grande with delay arming.
    The assassins thought he would travel in an armored vehicle too.
    But it's not that easy to armor an open-top car.

    In reality, the grenade hit the car door and didn't do much because wasn't designed for such an eventuality.
    It was designed to shatter an armored plate and shred to pieces everybody inside with its fragments.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
  6. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

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    The place before the war:
    Corner.jpg

    the grenade, the tape unraveled in-flight arming the grenade, the Germans found it near the car:
    tape1.jpg
     
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  7. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Active Member

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    That's great wm. Appreciate the details that you have supplied. Thank you. There is also a further movie titled 'Anthropoid' from 2016 , there is a trailer on Youtube but can't find the assassination scene.




    Also realised that there was another village called Lezaky that was destroyed on 24th June 1942 following the assassination of Heydrich. Only just discovered this website .

    Memorial site
     
  8. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

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    From the movie Atentát (1964), shot on the original location.


    From the movie Sokolovo (1974), shot on the original location too.


    Although both grenades are still incorrect.
     
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  9. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Active Member

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    Thank you once again wm. Had heard of 'Atentat' but not 'Sokolovo'. It is quite an interesting exercise to compare how different films have featured the same event, and how directors have sometimes added some extras for dramatic effect. For example ,with 'Sokolovo' , Heydrich staggers out of the car, which didn't seem to have happened in real life.

    Keen to read more about Lezaky, which seems to have got overshadowed by the horrible retribution against Lidice.
     
  10. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

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    Well, maybe because it was just eight houses.
    The village was betrayed by one of the Czech saboteurs - Karel Čurda, for 500,000 Reichsmarks.

    One of the two children who survived the war, blue-eyed Jarmila Doležalová. Her sister Maria had blue eyes too. They survived because of their eyes - in German foster families.
    1042941_heydrichiada-v0.jpg
     
  11. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Here's a nice comparison of the assassination scene in both "Antenat" and "Anthropoid". I watched "Anthropoid" and found it good.
     
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  12. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Well, it was not an AT grenade in today's sense, as it was neither a shaped charge or a directional explosive specifically designed to penetrate armor. It was simply a tin can packed with a large amount(slightly under 4 pound) of explosive. The Home Guard manual states that the user should aim for the treads and running gear, not the body. Since those parts will be more easily damaged by the grenade. It is listed as being able to penetrate 2 inches of armor, but performance didn't match that, hence aiming for the treads and running gear.

    You also have to factor in that the grenade was modified, shortened by most accounts, so less explosive means less damage.
     
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  13. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Active Member

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    Indeed wm. Information appreciated as always. Just been reading over the aforementioned Lezaky memorial site. Yes, hamlet is probably a more accurate description of Lezaky rather than 'village' .

    History of the hamlet of Ležáky


     
  14. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The distinction has been pretty much lost in US common usage at least as far as I can tell. What do you perceive as the difference? Might be better to answer on a separate thread so as not to hijack this one though.
     
  15. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Active Member

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    Lou - Thank you. Good to see the comparison between the two films. 'Antrophoid' seemed faster moving with a more crowded street scene.

    Just realised that the Fritz Lang/ Bertold Brecht 1943 movie collaboration 'Hangmen Also Die' concerns the death of Heydrich. Not sure if it covers the Lidice massacre.

    Takoa- Thank you for the information re the explosive used.

    lwd- Using the Oxford dictionary definition hamlet as "a small settlement, generally one smaller than a village, and strictly (in Britain) one without a church". So question of scale. Both the reprisals at Ldice and Lezaky were horrific . Lidice was the larger settlement . Also, from what I can gather, a new village was built at Lidice after World War 2, but not at Lezaky.
     
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  16. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Unfortunately here in the States a hamlet has several different meanings...one hamlet in New York has over 50,000 people.
     
  17. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I'm also not sure I've seen a settlement of any size without a church. Of course said buildings aren't normally as substantial as what I think would normally be the case in Britain. I think I've seen "official" numbers for what constitutes a particularly named settlement but I'm not sure anyone other than some high school government teachers pay much attention to it. Might be an interesting discussion but probably shouldn't hijack this thread to do it.
     
  18. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

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    The official designation of Ležáky is "settlement."
    In Czechia it's from the top: city, town, village, settlement, solitude.
     
  19. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

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    Finally, the grenade is realistic and properly used, but unfortunately not armed, so Heydrich shouldn't have had any problem with surviving the assassination.


    The place shortly after the assassination:
    jk.jpg

    then and today:
    hei3.gif
     
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  20. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    An here I thought "settlement" was a completely size indeterminate noun....
    Thanks for the info.
     

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