Lidice

In this section

  1. The story of Lidice
  2. Key Dates

The story of Lidice

On the 10 June 1942, Nazis entered the mining village of Lidice, shot 173 men, removed all the women and children and razed the village to the ground. The atrocity took place in retaliation for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, 'The Butcher of Prague', by British-trained Czech resistance fighters.

In Stoke-on-Trent, the response to the brutality of Lidice was led by local GP and Councillor Barnett Stross with the North Staffordshire Miners' Federation. On 6 September 1942, the "Lidice Shall Live" campaign was launched at a mass meeting in the Victoria Hall, Hanley. The campaign was named in defiance of Adolf Hitler's claim that "Lidice Shall Die".

The campaign to rebuild Lidice raised £32,000, which is the equivalent of more than £1.5 million today. Most of this came from miners who donated part of their wages. Lidice was rebuilt after the war, with a memorial and museum commemorating the tragedy.

As a city with a great sense of civic pride, Stoke-on-Trent City Council is proud of the city for the role it played in rebuilding the mining village of Lidice. At the inaugural meeting of the Lidice Shall Live campaign, Dr Benes, the Czech President in exile said: "This meeting has made it clear that Lidice has not died: it lives on in the hearts of the people of Stoke-on-Trent at least. From now on, Stoke-on-Trent will live forever in the heart of every Czech citizen."

In October 2021, the city council unanimously agreed a motion to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Lidice atrocity which takes place in 2022. The motion was proposed by cllr Cheryl Gerrard who is one of key leads in the ‘Lidice Lives’ organisation which aims to raise awareness of Lidice and the links with Stoke-on-Trent, together with the work of Sir Barnett Stross and Lidice Shall Live Campaign.” It was seconded by cllr Andy Platt. More information on the Lidice Lives organisation can be found on their website. Click the link below:

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