Lidice was one of those peaceful villages until an important officer in the Hitler's inner circle, Reinhard Heydrich, was mortally wounded in Prague by British-trained Czech paratroopers. Hitler decided to send a message to all who would resist the Reich by ordering the village of Lidice to be razed(pronounced like "raised"), completly destroyed or erased as a warning to all who would resist.
On the night of June 9, 1942, the murderers set up their operation in a house north of the village. Using police records, all the men in the village, who could be found, were taken to Horak's farm and held until the executions began a 7:00 the next morning. Mattresses were lined up against the wall of Horak's barn, and then all the men and boys aged 16 and up were brought in groups of 5 and later to speed up the process in groups of 10 where they were shot by the members of the German Army field police. As each group of men were executed the next group were lead in to stand in front of those who had just fallen and the executioners took two steps back until the ground was coverin the bodies of 173 men and boys.
Two days later the women and children were taken to a grammar school where the women were told that they would have to give up their children, but would be reunited in 1 hour. It was a lie. The women were sent to Ravensbrück. The children were sent to Łódź with instructions to give them no special care. There the children were required to write postcards to be sent to relatives to inform them that they were alive. Many asked for some bread or for shoes. The Nazis wanted their relatives to believe that the children were safe, but that was also a lie because even before postcards arrived 81 of the children were sent to the extermination camp at Chelmno and gassed the next day.
Sculptor Marie Uchytilová was deeply touched by the tragedy of the crime in Lidice. In 1969 she decided to create bronze monument of Lidice children that should be also understood as “A Monument of children’s war victims”.
The Lidice Memorial and museum on the right.