By Toni Brendel
This book is dedicated to the people of Lidice and Lezaky and to all those around the world who remember them. The Lidice tragedy must never be forgotten. This book stands as an emphatic call in eternal memory to witness for the people who perished during this ruthless and barbaric moment in history. What happened in Lidice during June 1942 is recorded as one of the single worst atrocities of World War II–indeed, the events at Lidice, in the extremity of their savagery, today represent the inhumane and evil acts that occur in every war.
Think of it: the Second World War began at a time when many Czech and Slovak Americans had close personal ties to their homelands. For some, little time had passed since they had emigrated. Loved ones were left behind, but families remained in contact through the written word. The locations of villages and cities in Czech and Slovak lands remained familiar to these new Americans; they could still visualize the homes, churches, schools, and shops that had been left behind. The war had a devastating psychological effect, not only on those suffering in war zones, but also for those in America who anxiously awaited news about the well-being and safety of their families and friends.
This book also describes the lives and actions of those people around the world, even on distant shores, who felt so closely bound to their countrymen that they erected lasting monuments in memory of what happened at Lidice. It is nothing short of phenomenal to realize that today, over seventy years after the catastrophe, there are those who continue to conduct memorial services each year–to honor and remember the village and its martyred men, women, and children. The Memorial to Child Victims of War, Lidice, Czech Republic is shown on the back cover. Created by Sculptress Marie Uchytilova, the memorial depicts 82 Lidice children gassed at Chelmno, Poland, after Lidice was destroyed. The work was interrupted when Professor Uchytilova died in 1989, but was completed by her husband, Sculptor Juri Vaclav Hampl. The last seven bronze statues were unveiled on June 10, 2000. Three flagpoles were dedicated at the Lidice Monument, Phillips, Wisconsin, USA, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary commemoration of the fall of Lidice. The flags of the United States of America, Czech Republic, and Slovakia fly together over the Lidice Monument at Sokol Park, a symbol of unity and friendship, through the efforts of the Phillips Czechoslovakian Community Festival Committee. The Rose Garden at Lidice flourishes with varieties of roses from all over the world.
About the Author
A native of Phillips, Wisconsin, Toni Brendel has a great appreciation for her Czech-Slovak heritage. She is a founding member of the Phillips Czechoslovakian Community Festival, acting as chair or co-chair for twenty-three years. She continues to serve on the committee’s board of directors. Toni initiated the Miss Czech Slovak Wisconsin State Queen Pageant, serving as director for twelve years, and continues in an advisory capacity on the national Miss Czech Slovak U.S. board. Since retirement, she has written four books about heritage; she is currently working on a fifth title. She has made presentations to local groups and to university audiences in both the U.S. and in Slovakia. She is a frequent contributor to ethnic publications. Toni is also an active member of the Western Fraternal Life Association, Lodge 236, in Phillips. For many years, music received the attention that writing does today. Toni studied voice under the tutelage of the late Lorna Warfield, former Director of the Milwaukee Light Opera Company and Children’s Opera Workshop, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and at UWSP. She performed as a vocal soloist in concerts, theatrical productions, and programs. She has directed community and church choirs, and provided music for worship services on organ or piano at several churches. Toni is the mother of four grown children, grandmother of six, and once a great-grandmother.
Paperback: 72 pages
Publisher: Penfield Books (April 12, 2013)
Product Dimensions: 6 × 0.2 × 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces