Senate head rejects Bavarian minister´s words on Benes decrees


14.06.2014 14:55

Lidice - Czech Senate chairman Milan Stech today condemned Bavarian Social Affairs Minister Emilie Mueller's recent statement challenging the post-war Benes decrees, at a commemorative event in Lidice village that was razed to the ground by the Nazis in 1942.


Lidický památník 14. června v den pietní vzpomínky k 72. výročí vypálení obce Lidice. ČTK Doležal Michal

Mueller said the Benes decrees have nothing to do in a European law-abiding state.

Stech said they, on the contrary, belong to it. It is a mistake to ignore such a statement, he added.

At the meeting marking the 72nd anniversary of Lidice´s obliteration, Stech said the Lidice tragedy should not be viewed as a historical event that cannot be repeated.

Genocides occur in various parts of the world even after WWII and the evil is returning in different forms, Stech said.

The commemorative event started with a morning mass celebrated by Cardinal Dominik Duka on the foundations of St Martin Church in Lidice.

Duka reminded of Lidice priest Josef Stemberka who was executed along with Lidice men. He voluntarily preferred death with his parishioners. Gestapo wanted to release him but he rejected the offer.

Duka, primate of the Czech Catholic Church, pointed out that Stemberka stayed with those who faced death and that his presence helped them.

During the mass, Duka blessed the paining of Madonna of Lidice that was put in the altar of the then church. It depicts the connection of Virgin Mary as the mother of the church and at the same time as the present mother of the dead Lidice children.

Exactly at the site of the Lidice tragedy people can realise the consequences of the rule of malevolence and arbitrariness, Duka said. "All totalitarian regime acted like that," he added.

Lidice was obliterated on June 10. All 173 men were executed, women and children were sent to concentration camps, while some of the children were selected for re-education in Germany. After the war, only 143 women and 17 children returned to the country.

The village was razed to the ground in retaliation for the killing of Deputy Reich-Protector of Bohemia and Moravia Reinhard Heydrich by Czechoslovak paratroopers in May 1942.

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