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Lidice

Lidice was a village in Czechoslovakia that was eradicated by the Nazis during World War II.

On May 29, 1942, the deputy chief of the Gestapo, Reinhard Heydrich, was on his way to Prague in his capacity as Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, when his motorcade was blown up by two Czech partisans. Five days later Heydrich died, and the Nazis began a massive retaliation campaign against the civilian Czech populace.

The best known of these assaults occurred on June 9. German security police surrounded the village of Lidice, blocking all avenues of escape. The entire population was rounded up, and all men over sixteen years of age were put in a barn. They were shot the next day. Another nineteen men, who were working in a mine, along with seven women, were sent to Prague, where they were also shot. The remaining women were shipped to the Ravensbrück concentration camp, where about a quarter of them died in the gas chambers or from overwork. The children were taken to the Gneisenau concentration camp, where they were sorted by racial criteria, and those deemed suitable for Aryanization were shipped to Germany. The village itself was razed and bulldozed.

All together, about 250 people died in the Nazi reprisal in Lidice. The death toll for all victims in the effort to avenge the death of Heydrich is estimated at 1,300.



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