A Little Village Called Lidice
A Little Village Called Lidice, first published in 1947, is an impassioned account of the World War II atrocity committed by the Nazis in Lidice, Czechoslovakia. The reprisal was ordered by Hitler following the assassination of Nazi leader Reinhard Heydrich on May 27, 1942 outside of Prague. On June 9, 1942, Gestapo and other German forces entered the small village of Lidice (chosen apparently at random by the Nazis), rounded up all men and male teenagers 15 and over, and executed them by firing squad (173 in all). Their bodies were placed in a common grave. Some women were also executed, with most transported to concentration camps. A handful of the approximately 100 village children were removed from their mothers to be raised by German families, but over 80 were sent to their death in the extermination camp at Chelmo, where they were placed in sealed trucks and gassed. Following the executions, the village was razed by fire, leveled by explosives, then bulldozed into rubble. The village's famous cherry orchards were also uprooted and destroyed, a small lake was filled-in, and a stream diverted. Grass was planted so that the village was, in effect, obliterated. At war's end, only a few women and 17 Lidice children survived to return to the village. Following the war, houses for a new Lidice were built near the site of the original village, and a memorial erected in honor of those who were killed.Author Zdena Trinka (1892-1967) was a native of North Dakota who wrote a number of additional books, mostly concerning the history of North Dakota. She escaped the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia while on a visit.
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