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Lidice Village - Memorial of WW2

Village destroyed by the Nazis in 1942 after the assassination of R. Heydrich.

Order Tour Code: C W2
Tour availability: Tour available in summer season Tour available in winter season

Lidice village was destroyed by the Nazis in June 1942 after the assassination of the Nazi “Reichsprotektor“ Reinhard Heydrich.


A combination with Terezin WW2 Memorial Concentration Camp , Krusovice brewery , Nelahozeves castle , Libochovice chateau , Zatec center of hop making or Karlovy Vary - Carlsbad spa is availbale.

This village, the name of which became a symbol of Fascist despotism in World War II, lies 20 km west of Prague. Lidice is first mentioned in chronicles of the Zbraslav abbot, Petr Zitavsky, as being "held" by a rich Prague citizen, Pavlik, around the year l300. The oldest public building was St. Martin's church (1352). It was destroyed in the Hussite wars, but Utraquist priests were preaching here as late as in the 16th century. It was again destroyed during the Thirty years' War, and Grand Duchess Marie Anna of Tuscany had a new, Baroque church built which was restyled several times in the following years.
The village school is first mentioned in records from 1713 when it had 127 pupils. It had a simple system of central heating and was evidently the first of its kind in Bohemia. A new one-storeyed school was built in 1824.
The expansion of industries in Kladno (coal-mining, lighting of the first blast furnace in 1855) turned Lidice into a busy mining village in the 2nd half of the l9th century. Whereas, in 1848 it had 270 inhabitants living in 33 houses, by 1890 the figures had risen to 506 people and 50 houses.
The Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia had tragic consequences for Lidice. In order to suppress the growing anti-Fascist resistance movement, security police chief SS Obergruppenfuhrer - Reinherd Heydrich was appointed deputy Reichs-protektor in September l941. During his short reign of terror, 5000 anti-Fascist fighters and their helpers were imprisoned. The courts working under martial law were kept busy and the Nazis even had people summarily executed without a trial in order to spread fear throughout the country. Many people from Kladno district died on the scaffold or in concentration camps.
The lot of the Czech nation was complicated by the decision of the Czechoslovak government in London to get rid of Heydrich. The operation by Czechoslovak parachutists in which Heydrich was mortally wounded on May 27, 1942 brought reprisals which shocked the whole world.
The vague contents of a letter, addressed to a woman employed in a Slaný factory and held back by the factory co-owner. F. Pala, roused the suspicions of the Kladno Gestapo that there was some connection between Heydrich's assassination and the Horák family in Lidice who had a son serving in the Czechoslovak army in Britain. Although investigations and a house-search produced no compromising material, weapons or transmitter, the Nazis needed to carry out an act of vengeance for the death of "an outstanding man of the German nation", and for this they chose the people of Lidice.
The tragedy ot this little village and its 503 inhabitants began on June 10, 1942 a few hours after midnight. The events of that summer day are recorded in a documentary, filmed by those who actually carried out that brutal crime against innocent people. Although a silent film, it can be understood by all people, irrespective of their colour or tongue. This film served as document No. 379 at the Nuremberg trials of the Nazi German leaders in 1945. Parts of the film are shown on a video recording at the Lidice museum.

At the orders of K. H. Frank 173 Lidice men were shot on that fateful day in the garden of the Horak farm. The women and children were taken to the gymnasium of Kladno grammar school. Three days later the children were taken from their mothers and, except for those selected for re-education in German families and babies under one year of age, were poisoned by exhaust gas in specially adapted vehicles in the Nazi extermination camp at Chełmno upon Nerr in Poland. The women were sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp which usually meant quick or lingering death for the inmates.
Having rid the village of its inhabitants, the Nazis began to destroy the village itself, first setting the houses on fire and then razing them to the ground with plastic explosives. They did not stop at that but proceeded to destroy the church and even the last place of rest - the cemetery. ln 1943 all that remained was an empty space. Until the end of the war the sight was marked by notices forbidding entry.
The news of the destruction of Lidice spread rapidly around the world. But the Nazi intention to wipe the little Czech village off the face of the Earth did not succeed. Several villages throughout the world took over the name of Lidice in memory of that village, and many women born at that time and given the name of Lidice still bear it today. Lidice continued to live in the minds of people all over the world, and after the war the Czechoslovak government's decision to build it again was declared at a peace demonstration on June 10, 1945 at Lidice which was attended by Lidice women who had survived. 340 Lidice citizens were murdered by the Nazis, 143 Lidice women returned home after the war ended, and after a two-year search 17 children were restored to their mothers.

In 1947 the foundation stone of a new Lidice was laid 300 metres away from the original site and in May 1948 work began on building the first houses. A modern village of 150 houses gradually arose with the enormous help of volunteers from all over the Republic as well as from abroad. The present council house, post office, house of culture and shopping centre were built at the same time. The old site was preserved as a memorial including the common grave of the Lidice men, a monument and museum, and between it and the new village a "Park of Peace and Friendship" was opened on June 19, 1955 where thousands of rose-bushes from various parts of the world were planted.
Several artists have helped to beautify the village of the year.
And so, the life of the village stopped for a short time, only to blaze up from little spark into a huge flame, thanks to the help of all willing people from the whole world. What direction it will take in the future lies only in the hands of its present inhabitants.
Stop here and pay a silent tribute to the innocent Lidice victims, and visit the museum where facts and documents of the Lidice tragedy are collected, the rose garden, memorial site and the new village.

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The present village was newly built after the war.
The original village was destroyed by the Nazis in June 1942 after the assassination of the Nazi governor Reinhard Heydrich it is now a national monument.
Part of the plan of razing from the ground an innocent village in retaliation for the death of Heydrich included eradicating it from maps as well. Most of the inhabitants were also killed in this brutal reprisal. The village was shut off from the outer world , the men were then executed. Prisoners were brought to bury the dead in a mass grave. They then demolished all the buildings and the cemetery. All the houses were destroyed, all the trees were cut down, all trails and roads were removed. The entire area was then covered with soil . The Nazis took pictures of the destruction of Lidice and even a movie was shot, one part of movie was classified as Instruction and Cultural Movie . Most of the children were murdered with gas in the concentration camp Chelmno . Others that were not yet one year old were left with their mothers to share their fate , the others were adopted , some of them returned back after the war. The women were dragged off to Ravensbruck concentration camp , then transferred mostly to Auschwitz and executed in gas chambers , a few survived . After the war the new village with the same name was reconstructed close to the destroyed one..
You will also see the place where the Nazi protector Reinhard Heydrich was shot, the crypt and the church where the priests hid the paratroopers that participated in the assassination.
NW from Prague ,45 minutes
Trips :
1)Lidice CW2 - 4hour round trip

Trips combinations :
2)Lidice CW2 + Terezin concentration camp CNW3 - 7-8 hour round trip
3)Lidice CW2 + Melnik castle CN1 - 7hour round trip
4)Lidice CW2 + Nelahozeves castle CNW1 - 7hour round trip
5)Lidice CW2 + Karlovy Vary spa CWW2, CWW3 - 9hour round trip
6)Lidice CW2 + Krivoklat castle CW1 - 6hour round trip
7)Lidice CW2 + Nizbor crystal factory CW3 - 7hour round trip
8)Lidice CW2 + Nizbor crystal factory CW3 + Krivoklat castle CW1 - 8hour round trip
9)Lidice CW2 + Nelahozeves castle CNW1 + Karlovy Vary spa CWW2, CWW3 - 11hour round trip
10)Lidice CW2 + Melnik castle CN1 + Karlovy Vary spa CWW2, CWW3 -11hour round trip
11)Lidice CW2 + Karlovy Vary spa CWW2 + crystal factory Moser CWW3 - 10hour round trip
12)Lidice CW2 + Marianske Lazne spa & Porcelain Factory Slavkov CWW1 + Karlovy Vary spa CWW2 + Nelahozeves CNW1 - 12hour round trip
13)Lidice CW2 + Marianske Lazne spa & Porcelain Factory Slavkov CWW1 + Karlovy Vary spa CWW2 + Moser crystal fact.CWW3 - 12hour round trip
14)Lidice CW2 + Marianske Lazne spa & Porcelain Factory Slavkov CWW1 + Karlovy Vary spa CWW2 + Terezin concentration camp CNW3 - 13hour round trip
15)Lidice CW2 + Sirem of F.Kafka CB3 - 6hour round trip
16)Lidice CW2 + Sirem of F.Kafka CB3 + Terezin concentration camp CNW3 - 9hour round trip
17)Lidice WW2 memorialW2 + Zatec town and hop museum CWW13 - 8hour round trip
18)Lidice WW2 memorialW2 + Krusovice brewery CW4 - 8hour round trip
19)Lidice WW2 memorialW2 + Libochovice chateau CNW5 - 8hour round trip
20)Lidice village + Dresden A1 - 10-12hour round trip
21)Lidice village + Dresden A1 + Terezin conc. camp - 12-14hour round trip

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Last updated on Jul 15, 2015