On June 9th 1942 on the command of Adolf Hitler, an SS task force set about wiping the small Czech mining village of Lidice off the face of the earth. In one of the worst atrocities of the Second World War the village was burnt to the ground. All 173 men in the village were rounded up and shot and the women and children were sent to concentration camps.
Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent Sir Barnett Stross, himself a Polish, Jewish immigrant, was deeply affected by news of this tragedy. In September 1942 he organised a rally and spoke to miners and their leaders, proposing the reconstruction of the village of Lidice to commemorate this crime against humanity forever. The movement that followed saw the local miners and workers collect and fundraise to rebuild Lidice This included the building of more than 100 homes and a huge Rose Garden which today has become an international symbol for rebirth and peace. The name of this movement came about in defiant response to Adolf Hitler& 39;s proclamation that "Lidice shall die” as Sir Barnett Stross vehemently replied “Lidice Shall Live”.
“Lidice Shall Live” is a documentary about the remarkable Sir Barnett Stross and the movement he created. The film will look at him as an individual and at what his campaign achieved whilst exploring the themes of peace and community and camaraderie across borders that the story brings to life. We want to raise awareness of such an inspiring piece of history and revive that spirit of international solidarity that achieved so much. The documentary will be presented by politician, historian and broadcaster Tristram Hunt MP, who is MP (Labour) for Stoke-on-Trent Central, the modern day equivalent of Sir Barnett Stross’ role.
This year is the 70th anniverary of the massacre and it is vital we get a crew to Lidice to film the memorial events planned in early June and interview some of the relatives of those killed who will be attending. Gathering this footage will ensure the project gets completed.
The film will be screened at an event to mark the anniversary of the first Lidice Shall Live rally later this year and then used as part of the subsequent exhibition at the Potteries Museum. A screening is also planned in Lidice late in 2012. The film will then form part of a digital education pack about the events which will be distributed free of charge to all schools in Stoke-on-Trent and Lidice and the surrounding areas.
If you support this project you will be helping to share an important piece of history that can help inspire people to work towards a peaceful future.