Birmingham, the largest city within the Warwickshire Miners’ Federation Coalfield, was the first to accept the invitation to join the national Lidice Shall Live campaign.
Formal negotiations on the renouncement of the Munich Agreement began at the end of January 1942. At a luncheon given by Anthony Eden on January the 21st.
On Saturday 13th November 2021, the community of Lidice and all those who knew him, raised a final glass to Václav Zelenka.
The Society for the Restoration of Lidice was set up to ensure the plans for Lidice became reality, and it had strong British connections through some of its members’ historical wartime links within the Czechoslovak Government-in-exile and the Lidice Shall Live campaign.
The physical deconstruction and erasure of the old village of Lidice took over two years of solid graft, was financially costly, and was paid for by the victims’ bank accounts. It was not until September the 25th, 1944, that Karl Frank could finally announce with much satisfaction that the clearing work had definitively ended.
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.”
“We are here to swear that the name of Lidice shall live forever and be famous in every continent as the happiest village in the freest republic in the world. The aim of this meeting is to fulfil the splendid conception of Dr Stross and raise a fund by which Lidice shall be rebuilt to become one of the finest mining villages in the world…”
Following the launch, on Wednesday, the 9th of September, the Evening Sentinel reported a press release from the Lord Mayor’s Parlour at the Council Chambers in Stoke, that a fund for re-building Lidice had been opened by the Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent, Cllr Harry McBrine…
On June 10th, 1945, some 100,000 people gathered on the gentle slopes of Lidice to attend the first commemorative event. They came as pilgrims – as organisations, as families, and as individuals.
Following Dr Barnett Stross and the British Lidice Shall Live delegation in their pilgrimage to Lidice in 1947 were eminent composer and conductor Alan Bush and his Workers’ Music Association (WMA) Singers.