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Germans Destroy Lidice

Destruction of Lidice, Czechoslovakia, Summer 1942. This footage shows destroyed homes and German officials inspecting the remains of the village. —Narodni Filmovy Archiv

June 9, 1942

German forces destroy the Czech village of Lidice.

Adolf Hitler personally ordered the destruction of Lidice in retaliation for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich in Prague. In May 1942, Czech agents had assassinated Heydrich, the highest-ranking Nazi official in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. After the attack, the Germans unleashed a wave of terror against the Czechs. The village of Lidice was set on fire and the remains of the buildings destroyed. German units shot all the men in the village over the age of 16 and deported most of the women and children to camps in Germany. The destruction of Lidice became a symbol of the barbarity of German occupation policies and a rallying cry for opponents of the Nazi regime.

The village was rebuilt after the defeat of Nazi Germany.

Fifteen-year-old Maria Dolezalova is sworn in as a prosecution witness at the RuSHA Trial. Dolezalova was among the children kidnapped by German forces after they destroyed the town of Lidice, Czechoslovakia. Nuremberg, October 30, 1947.

Fifteen-year-old Maria Dolezalova is sworn in as a prosecution witness at the RuSHA Trial. Dolezalova was among the children kidnapped by German forces after they destroyed the town of Lidice, Czechoslovakia. Nuremberg, October 30, 1947. —US Holocaust Memorial Museum

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