Friday, June 10, 2016

Lidice Shall Live: Anniversary Postal Covers Commemorating the 1942 Massacre.

One of the most notorious of the many Nazi crimes of World War II was the liquidation of the (innocent) village of Lidice, on 9-10 1942, in retaliation for the assassination of the "Reichsprotektor" of Bohemia and Moravia, Reinhard Heydrich, by Czechoslovak paratroopers.

(Main post and background)

After the war, the Czechoslovak government decided to rebuild the village, which has also become a memorial and a center for peace and reconciliation. The massacre has been commemorated in the philatelic and numismatic realm. In particular, for example, the government issued special stamps on the major anniversaries of the tragedy. Here are commemorative covers from the fifth and fifteenth anniversaries.

Fifth anniversary, 1942-1947

The cachet at left combines local and national motifs: the miner's lamp, representing the occupation of many of the residents, illuminates both the village at left and the Czech patriotic symbol of the linden leaf, at right with the message, "Lidice Shall Live." The stamp is one of three, in different denominations, issued for the occasion. The first two, identical in design except for the denomination, represent a weeping mother. This one, the highest denomination, signifies hope and rebuilding. The special cancellation echoes one of the iconic memorials, with its wreath of barbed wire (like a crown of thorns) on a cross symbolizing both death and resurrection--but here with the addition of the national linden leaves.

Fifteenth anniversary, 1957

Since 1955, when British group, "Lidice Shall Live," realized the dream of creating a Garden of Peace and Friendship, the rose has been a special symbol for Lidice.

Older posts on the Heydrich assassination and reprisals, and Lidice.

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