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Lidice and Lezaky

on Sat, 06/09/2012 - 16:59

On May 27, 1942 a joint British, Czech, Slovak commando operation attacked Reinhard Heydrich, one of history's truly vile human beings he is best known as being the founder of the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) and chair of the January 1942 Wannsee Conference laying out the scope of the Final Solution, as he travelled near Prague in Czechoslovakia. He would die from his wounds shortly thereafter.

Then on June 9, 1942 Adolf Hitler, infuriated by Heydrich's assassination, set in train orders meant to make up for Heydrich's death by exacting horrific retribution on villages in the area that were thought to have harbored Heydrich's killers. Intelligence lead the Nazi's to the village of Lidice, northwest of Prague. It is believed the intel was wrong, and Lidice had nothing to do with sheltering the Allied hit team. It did not matter.

On June 10, 1942, German Army field police and men from the SD surrounded Lidice, rounded up the men (173 in total) and executed them. Of the rest of the town's inhabitants present that day, the Germans arrested roughly 300 women and children. The Germans separated the women from the children, including forcibly aborting several pregnant women, and scattered the women and children throughout the Third Reich's vast network of concentration camps. All told 60 women and 88 children either died in the camps or were executed.

The town of Lezaky, near Lidice, met a similar fate with approximately 1,300 innocent people ultimately murdered from the two villages combined, as well other Czech's suspected of somehow either being related to these town's inhabitants or involved in the Heydrich assassination.  In addition, the Germans razed each village to the ground (with the destruction of Lidice shown in the image accompanying this article).

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