Czechs on Sunday are marking the 70-year anniversary of the massacres in the Czech villages of Lidice and Ležáky during World War II. In Lidice, a commemorative event will be held at the mass grave of men executed by the Nazis in retaliation for the assassination of acting Nazi governor of Bohemia and Moravia, Reinhard Heydrich, on May 27, 1942. Prime Minister Petr Nečas will be holding a speech; Cardinal Dominik Duka will be speaking a prayer with attendants.
On June 10, Lidice, in Central Bohemia, was obliterated by the Nazis. The village of Ležáky, East Bohemia, was burnt to the ground on June 24. In Lidice alone, 173 men were executed and most women and children living in the village were deported to concentration camps. On Friday, German President Joachim Gauck sent a letter to his Czech counterpart, stressing that Germany was aware of its historical responsibility for the massacres.