78 years ago today, Nazi forces obliterated the Czech village of Ležáky

Only granite grave stones now stand at what was once the village of Ležáky

ČTK

Written by ČTK Published on 24.06.2020 15:00 (updated on 24.06.2020) Reading time: 2 minutes

Ležáky, East Bohemia, June 24 (CTK) – Top Czech elected officials and other guests commemorated the 78th anniversary of the obliteration of the Ležáky village by the Nazis in 1942 at its memorial site today.

The ceremony was attended by Labor and Social Affairs Minister Jana Maláčová (Social Democrats, ČSSD), Senate deputy chairwoman Miluše Horská (Christian Democrats, KDU-ČSL, senator group), Chamber of Deputies deputy head Tomio Okamura (Freedom and Direct Democracy, SPD), former KDU-ČSL chairman Marek Výborný and Pirate MP Mikuláš Ferjenčík.

Eduard Stehlik, the director of the Lidice Memorial, under which the Ležáky site falls, gave a short speech.

“I liked the remembrance event this year, it was dignified and dynamic. Children were singing the Moldau [symphonic poem] by Bedrich Smetana nicely at the beginning. Quite many people arrived there,” said Jarmila Dolezalova, a daughter of the last survivor from Lezaky, Jarmila Dolezalova, born Stulikova, 80.

The Nazis razed Ležáky to the ground on June 24, 1942 within their reprisals for the May 27 lethal attack on acting Reichsprotector of Bohemia and Moravia Reinhard Heydrich by Czechoslovak paratroopers in Prague. The Gestapo uncovered an illegal transmitter near Ležáky that the domestic resistance movement used to communicate with foreign anti-Nazi fighters.

The old mill in Ležáky in the 1910s
The old mill in Ležáky in the 1910s

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The Nazis executed 33 adult inhabitants of the village on the same day, another five along with more than 40 people who helped the Czechoslovak paratroopers were shot dead in the following days. Eleven children from Ležáky were killed in a gas chamber in the Chelmno extermination camp on July 25.

Only the Stulík sisters, Marie and Jarmila, survived the Ležáky massacre. They were one and two and a half years old when they were sent for re-education to Germany.

Ležáky was obliterated two weeks after Lidice village near Prague.

At present, granite grave stones with carved crosses stand on the site where nine houses in Ležáky used to be. The place is a national cultural memorial.

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During the weekend, the site was flooded for the second time in two weeks. However, the organizers managed to clean it up for the ceremony.

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