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Location of Ležáky in the Czech Republic

Ležáky was a village in Czechoslovakiamarker. In 1942 it was razed to the ground by Nazis during the German occupation of Czechoslovakia.

Ležáky was a settlement inhabited by poor stone-cutters and little cottagers. It was composed of eight houses concentrated near the mill; this mill had created the basis for the village named after the rivulet Ležák.

In December 1941 several paratroopers were dropped into the Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia, some of them were sent to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich (see Operation Anthropoidmarker for details). Another group were part of Operation Silver A and several people from Ležáky helped them, providing a hiding place for their radio station. After the assassination of Heydrich (May 27 1942) the revenge of the Nazis started with martial law.

On June 10 the village of Lidicemarker was razed to the ground and its male inhabitants shot. On June 24 over 500 armed Germans surrounded Ležáky, took away all the inhabitants and set the village on fire. In Pardubicemarker 32 villagers (both men and women) were shot and burned in local crematorium; 13 children were separated. On June 26 a press release announced the event publicly. Before the Christmas of 1943, the débris of Ležáky was pulled down.

Two of the children were selected for the 'Aryanisation' programme (both were found and returned after the war); the remaining 11 were sent to the concentration camp Chełmnomarker and in summer 1942 gassed (together with children from Lidice).

Unlike Lidice, Ležáky was not rebuilt after the war, and only memorials exist today.


  • Jarmila Doležalová (one of the two children that survived the war), František Vašek: Křižovatky času – Ležáky v datech (Crossroads of time - Ležáky in dates), 2007. History of the village since first written mention until today.

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