In the United States, the quest for more champions of a promotional Lidice Lives Committee, made up of celebrity figures, whose involvement was intended to inspire Joe public to rise up against Nazi Germany, moved ahead at a pace.
Joseph E. Davies, a well-known lawyer, politician, former ambassador to the USSR and, since Pearl Harbour and America’s entry in the war, chairman of the War Relief Council, was persuaded to accept the chairmanship of the Writers’ War Board group.
In fact, the Board obtained an extensive list of sponsors, attracting such diverse individuals as physicist Albert Einstein, motion picture magnate Samuel Goldwyn, Russian Ambassador Maxim Litvinov, Czech President-in-exile Dr Beneš, comedy legend Charlie Chaplin and much-admired actors Raymond Massey and Madeleine Carroll.
There was the odd exception, but the sense of repulsion felt towards the Nazis following the Lidice atrocity was conducive to membership, and there was little problem obtaining the consent of those whose services the ‘Committee looked to employ.
When the formation of the committee was formally announced on September the 21st, 1942 in Washington D.C., the Lidice Lives Committee declared its ambition to create
“a village named Lidice in each Allied country, reaching a number of 30 to 36 Lidices all over the world by the end of the war.”
Some 110 individuals were listed as part of an informal “Lidice Lives” committee, including:
Agent General for India; Tallulah Bankhead; Edvard Beneš, President, Czecho-Slovak Republic; Justice Hugo L. Black; Roark Bradford; Louis Bromfield; Van Wyck Brooks; Sidney Buchman; Justice James F. Byrnes; Juliar R. Caceres, Minister from Honduras; Henry Seidel Canby; Carl Carmer; Charles Chaplin; Mary Ellen Chase; J. Circhanowski, Ambassador from Poland; Aurelio F. Concheso, Ambassador from Cuba; Marc Connelly; Norman Corwin; Russel Crouse; Frank Crowninshield; Count Ferdinand Czernin; Jo Davidson; Leon DeBayle; Justice William Douglas; Walter D. Edmonds; Albert Einstein; Major George Fielding Eliot; Edna Ferber; Don Luis Fernandez, Minister from Costa Rica; Lion Feuchtwanger; Marshall Field III; Dorothy Canfield Fisher; Dr Harry Emerson Fosdick; Constantin Fotitch, Minister from Yugoslavia; Rose Franklin; Paul Gallico; Lewis Gannett; Adelard Godbout, Premier of Quebec; Samuel Goldwyn; Jack Goodman; Ernesto Jaen Guardia, Ambassador from Panama; John Gunther; Lord Halifax, British Ambassador to the USA; Madeleine Carroll Hayden; Professor Aleš Hrdlička; Joseph L. Hromadka; Langston Hughes; Col. Vladimir S. Hurban, Ambassador from Czecho-Slovakia; Hu Shih; Robert M. Hutchins; William Koska; Fiorella LaGuardia; Robert J. Landry; Albert D. Lasker; Frank J. Lausche; Margaret Leech; Hugues Le Gallais, Minister from Luxembourg; Herbert J. Lehman; Howard Lindsay; Lin Yutang; Walter Lippmann; Maxim Litvinov, Ambassador from USS.R.; Alexander Loudon, Ambassador from the Netherlands; William Kingsland Macy: Thomas Mann; Bishop William T. Manning; John P. Marquand; Jan Masaryk; Raymond Massey; Andre Maurois; Leighton McCarthy, Minister from Canada; Edna St. Vincent Millay: Mrs Harold v. Milligan; Robert A. Milligan; Wilhelm Morgenstierne, Ambassador from Norway; Dr Walter Nash, Minister from New Zealand; Robert Nathan; Adrian Recinos, Minister from Guatemala; Fritz Reiner; Quentin Reynolds; Elmer Rice; Mary Robert Rinehart; Angelo J. Rossi; Carl Sandberg; Prince and Princess Saphieha; Count and Countess Carlo Sforza; Robert Emmet Sherwood; William L. Shirer; Krishnalal Shridharani; Luise Milleni; Robert Gordon Sproul; Rex Stout; Frank Sullivan; Arthur Hays Suizierger; Booth Tarkington; Deems Taylor; Alexandra L. Tolstoy; J. M. Troncoso, Minister from the Dominican Republic; Sigrid Undset; Count Robert van der Straten Ponthoz, Ambassador from Belgium; Carl Van Doren; Mark Van Doren; Hendrik William Van Loon; Wei-Tao-Ming, Ambassador from China; and Franz Werfel.
For more information about the Lidice Lives committee, the Writers’ War Board and how they operated across the United States and the Western Hemisphere, read The Path to Lidice – the definitive account of the Lidice Shall Live campaign, and its legacy.
Available now, online from Amazon in hardcover, paperback and in ebook formats – free with Amazon Unlimited.