Lezaky - Hundreds of people, including President Milos Zeman, met on the site of the former Lezaky village, now a memorial, to mark the 72nd anniversary of its obliteration by the Nazis.
Na místě bývalé osady Ležáky na Chrudimsku se 22. června za účasti prezidenta Miloše Zemana konala pietní vzpomínka k 72. výročí jejího vyhlazení nacisty. ČTK Vostárek Josef
In his speech, Zeman recalled that the Czech nation was threatened with genocide in wartime.
He said the situation of domestic anti-Nazi resistance fighters was extremely difficult, as they were almost sure of losing their lives.
"I´d like to express deep gratitude to the domestic resistance fighters...I´d like to recall that freedom must be fought for, that freedom requires one´s courage to die in combat," Zeman said.
The meeting was attended by the Stulik sisters, the only two inhabitants to have survived the Lezaky massacre in 1942. Being one and 2.5 years old at the time, they were dragged away and sent for upbringing in Germany.
Shortly before the commemorative event, a relay run arrived in Lezaky from Lidice, a central Bohemian village that, too, was razed to the ground within the Nazi reprisals for the May 1942 assassination of Deputy Reichsprotektor Reinhard Heydrich by Czechoslovak paratroopers trained in Britain.
The Nazis burnt down Lezaky on June 24, 1942 after the Gestapo found out that the paratroopers used a transmitter in the village to keep in contact with foreign resistance.
On the same day, the Nazis executed 34 adult inhabitants of Lezaky. Another seven inhabitants and more than 40 aides of the paratroopers were shot dead on June 25 and July 2.
The thirteen Lezaky children were dragged away. Eleven of them perished in a gas carriage in Chelmno, Poland.
The Lezaky commemorative site, with granite tombstones with crosses in the places where houses used to stand, is a national cultural monument.