No more than a speck on the map to the northwest of Prague, this tiny village became a part of the tragic history of World War II. Adolf Hitler ordered Lidice to be razed to the ground as a lesson to the Czechs and a representation of what would happen to anyone who opposed his rule. The act was a retaliation for the assassination of the Nazi leader Reinhard Heydrich by Czech patriots. On the night of June 9, 1942, a Gestapo unit entered Lidice. The entire adult male population were shot, nearly 200 men; about the same number of women were sent to the Ravensbrück concentration camp. The children were either sent to Germany to be "Aryanized" or accompanied the women to the death camp. By June 10 the entire village was completely wiped out.
The name Lidice soon became an example around the world of what the Nazis were capable of. A group of English miners from Birmingham took up the cause and formed "Lidice Must Live," an initiative to build a new village of Lidice. The city is adjacent to the memorial, which is an amazing and beautiful site, albeit one that is usually visited only by school groups. For most tourists, and even Czechs, heartbreaking Lidice still doesn’t seem to be on the map. If you are driving and plan to go to Terezín, make Lidice a short stop on your way.