Czech president invites pope to mark 75th anniversary of Lidíce

13-01-2017 updated

President Miloš Zeman has invited Pope Francis to visit the Czech Republic in June this year to mark the 75th anniversary of the Lidíce massacres. Around 20 Czechs from the village north of Prague were executed in a reprisal for the assassination of the Nazi acting governor of Bohemia and Moravia, Reinhard Heydrich, in 1942 by Czechoslovak parachutists from Britain. The village was razed to the ground and children and mothers sent to concentration camps. Altogether 340 people from Lidíce perished by the end of the war. Zeman explained in a letter to the pope that the event was highly symbolic for the Czech Republic.