Lezaky


About 120 kilometres east of Prague there was a small village called Lezaky with about forty residents who among others worked at a nearby quarry. Several of those working at the quarry came after the Germans occupied Czechoslovakia to engage in a resistance movement called Cenda. While Jan Kubis and Jozef Gabcik were parachuted over Czechoslovakia in late December 1941 to prepare for the attack on Reinhard Heydrich, a number of other men were also dropped from the same plane. Their task was, among other things, to establish various radio transmitters in the occupied Bohemia Moravia and such a radio transmitter was placed in Lezaky. When the attack on Heydrich was carried out on 27 May 1942, a state of emergency was issued and a ruthless terror struck the Czech population (see Lidice). After one of the resistance men revealed information about the attack and other information about the Czech resistance movement, some traces went to, among other things, to  Lezaky which turned out to be fatal.

Like Lidice, the Nazis decided to set an example, and on June 24, 1942, about 500 SS soldiers arrived in Lezaky. All the inhabitants of the village were arrested and the children who were in the school were retrieved. 47 men, women and children were taken to the prison in Pardubice and then the village was looted and then the nine houses of the village were set on fire. That very evening, 33 of the village’s inhabitants were murdered in Pardubice and another seven inhabitants were murdered on June 25 and July 2. Eleven of the village’s children were murdered like children from Lidice in Chelmno, Poland. Two children were kidnapped to be germanized and placed in German families. Between october and december 1943, the germans destroyed the ruins of the burnt houses.

Current status: Demolished with museum (2010).

Location: 49° 49' 58.11" N 15° 54' 00.71" E

Get there: Car.

My comment:

Unlike Lidice, Lezaky was never built up again but the site is very atmospheric and surpasses Lidice. It is located in a small valley far from major cities and thoroughfares next to a smaller lake and a small stream that flows right through the site. All nine houses that were in Lezaky are marked and are in themselves monuments.

Follow up in books: Dougherty, Nancy: The Hangman and His Wife: The Life and Death of Reinhard Heydrich (2022).