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September 17, 2021



Czech Republic: Survivor of the Nazi massacre at Lidice passes away

6.1.2020 8:30
Miloslava Kalibová (PHOTO:  Czech Television)
Miloslava Kalibová (PHOTO: Czech Television)

Miloslava Kalibová, a survivor of the Nazi massacre at Lidice, of time in a concentration camp and of a death march, passed away last month in the Czech Republic. She shared her memories of those historical events with the public by participating in discussions and documentaries.

Filip Petlička, spokesperson for the Lidice Memorial, informed the Czech Press Agency that Mrs Kalibová passed away just short of her 97th birthday. Of the 143 women from Lidice who survived the Second World War, there is now just one left alive, Jaroslava Skleničková.

In 1942, at the age of 19, Mrs Kalibová survived her father being executed by the Nazis along with all the other men at Lidice. The occupiers then completely razed the village to the ground, leaving not one building standing.

Mrs Kalibová spent almost three years in the concentration camp at Ravensbrück with her mother and sister before returning to Czechoslovakia on 2 June 1945. "She passed on her personal experiences to children, youth and adults by participating in discussions and interviews. Her testimonies have been captured in many documentary films," said the Lidice Memorial representative.

Seven years ago Mrs Kalibová and other Lidice survivors met with German President Joachim Gauck during the first visit to the memorial site by a German high official since the fall of communism. Born on 29 December 1922, she passed away on 27 December 2019.

Her funeral will take place tomorrow, 7 January, at the crematorium in the Motol quarter of Prague. During the Second World War there were about 500 people living in Lidice, and 173 men were shot dead by the Nazis there on 10 June 1942.

The children and women of Lidice were kept in the gym of the college preparatory school in Kladno for three days before the children were separated from their mothers. The Nazis then sent the Lidice women to concentration camps.

The children from Lidice who were not chosen for forced adoption by German families, or who were more than a year old, ended up in the Chelmno extermination camp in occupied Poland, where it is most likely the Nazis gassed them to death en masse. A total of 340 Lidice residents died as a consequence of the operation.

After the war ended, 143 women and 17 children originally from Lidice returned to their homeland. The annihilation of the village was part of the Nazi German terror campaign unleashed in retaliation for the assassination of Reichsprotektor Reinhard Heydrich.

ČTK, Radio Prague, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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