Archive for the ‘Czech-Slovak Festival’ Category

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Next Saturday, God willing and the creeks don’t rise, I’ll again be demonstrating spinning at our town’s annual Czech-Slovak Fest, held on the third weekend of June.

Our community is proud of this cultural event, with good reason.  The Saturday and Sunday of Czech-Slovak Fest abound in music, dancing, crafts, and of course FOOD. 

But the festivities start out on a serious note.  Every year, on the Friday evening of Czech-Slovak Fest, a memorial service is held for the people of the Czechoslovakian village of Lidice where many of the population were executed by the Nazis under Adolph Hitler in June of 1942–in retribution for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, the Nazi controller of Bohemia and Moravia.  Hitler’s order was given to “teach the Czechs a final lesson in subservience and humility.”

Websites and local records vary in statistics as to exactly how many individuals were slaughtered by the Nazis at Lidice.  But well over 1000 Czech civilians were massacred between that town and the surrounding area.  Countless more people died in prison or were deported to concentration camps.

During America’s immigration years, a good number of Czechoslovakian immigrants settled in Phillips, Wisconsin as well as in other areas around our county–and some of these individuals had family connections in Lidice.  In response to the 1942 slaughter, Phillips citizens built and dedicated a memorial to the people of that Czechoslovakian town.  In 2006, this memorial was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Lidice will never be forgotten.

There are some things that never should be forgotten.  I cannot foget our American Revolution.  I cannot forget our country’s Civil War and the issues involved.  I cannot forget World War I, as my parents spoke of it so often.  I cannot forget the wars that have occurred in my lifetime:  World War II and the Holocaust, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, and Iraq. 

What a privilege to belong to a community that will never forget the fate of a Czechoslovakian village in 1942!

Margaret L. Been–All Rights Reserved

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