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Special Screening: In the Shadow of Memory and Exhibition: Return of the Lidice Women

(This article expired 09.06.2013.)

June 10, 2012 at 5 pm - the Embassy of the Czech Republic commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Lidice massacre with a special screening of the documentary In the Shadow of Memory with co-producer Jerry Zbiral and the opening of the exhibition Return of Lidice Women.

The evening commenced with a short speech by Deputy Chief of Mission Jaroslav Zajíček, who talked about the significance of these events in Czech history. Members of Parliament David Vodrážka, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and Jan Bauer, Chairman of the Committee for European Affairs, also greeted the guests and spoke briefly about the assassination of Heydrich.

The exhibition was prepared by the Military History Institute in Prague. It is composed of twenty large scale posters dedicated to the events preceding the assassination, the act itself, and the aftermath. Besides the text, these posters contain copies of historical photos and important documents from that time. The exhibition was followed by a screening of Petr Nikolaev’s new film Lidice. Over seventy visitors attended the event at the embassy to learn more about this important part of Czech and European history.

About the Exhibition:

The goal of the exhibition is to reflect upon the 70th anniversary of one of the most important acts of resistance of World War II: the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, Acting Reich-Protektor of Bohemia and Moravia at that time. Heydrich chaired the January 1942 Wannsee Conference, which laid out plans for the final solution to the Jewish question—the deportation and extermination of all Jews in German-occupied territories. Fortunately, thanks to the courage of Czechoslovak parachutists, Heydrich was prevented from fulfilling his inhumane plan. The exhibition informs the audience about the planning and realization of the assassination and places this act into the broader context of Czech history. Part of the exhibition focuses on the brutal retaliatory measures of the Nazis towards the Czech nation, including the eradication of the people and towns of Lidice and Ležáky.

About the Film:
The film presents to the audience three interconnected stories that unfurl in connection to the tragic burning and razing of Lidice (1942). The first is about an unfortunate family where the patriarch accidentally kills his son in the heat of an argument and is then sentenced to prison. Paradoxically, incarceration saves his life, as he managed to avoid the tragic fate of many Lidice residents. The second is the story of a letter that became the pretense for this Nazi massacre, even though it, too, was evidently an innocent lie aimed at covering up infidelity. The third story is about fear, personal responsibility and whether surviving is truly winning when the prize comes in exchange for the loss of one's dignity and honor. Web: www.filmlidice.cz.