Ležáky - Early memorial booklet for the victims of the massacre of the Czech village Ležáky by the Nazis, by Josef Petrtyl, published by Ministerstvo informací - Ministry of Information in Prague, 1946. Photos. Cover design by Boris Hanš. Rare.
Ležáky was a village in Czechoslovakia. During the German occupation of Czechoslovakia, the village was completely destroyed and almost all of its residents were executed by Nazi forces in retaliation for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich in late spring 1942.
From September 24, 1941, SS General Reinhard Heydrich served as acting Reich Protector for the Nazi Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. In December 1941, some Allied paratroopers landed in the area with the aim of assassinating Reinhard Heydrich. Some Ležáky villagers aided them by providing a hiding place for their radio. On the morning of May 27, 1942, Heydrich's car was attacked and he died of his wounds on June 4, 1942. In response, Gestapo agents searched the village and found a radio that belonged to the Allied paratroopers. Gerhard Clages, commander of the Gestapo in Pardubice, ordered the SS to be merciless in Ležáky and they organized a massacre. In the early afternoon hours of June 24, Ležáky was surrounded by 150 Gestapo men under Clages, 30 Czech collaborators and over 300 other SS men. They pulled all the residents from their homes and completely destroyed the village. All 33 adults (both men and women) were executed by shooting. Of the 13 children of the village, 11 were sent to the Chelmno extermination camp, where they were gassed in the summer of 1942, and only two sisters, Jarmila and Marie Sulík, were located and returned to their families after the war. The village was not rebuilt after the war, and only memorials for the victims remain.
The booklet before us which was published in 1946 tells the story of the massacre in detail, including the looting by the Nazis of village homes before burning them, the brutal arrests by the Nazis in the village before executing its residents, descriptions of the murdered villagers, their occupations and personal details, and more. It also contains photos of the destroyed village buildings, photos from the first memorial ceremonies held for the victims before the end of the war with the government's promise to severely punish Germany for the massacre, and transcripts of memorial speeches made by senior officials in memory of the victims.
32 p. 21 cm. Very Good condition.