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.
“Your hour of liberation is drawing near. Hold fast to your faith, faith in your own leaders in this country, faith in the miners of this country, faith in the United Nations who will again restore to you the liberty which you have lost and peace to this tortured world.”
It was announced in late 1943 that Coventry was to join the Lidice Shall Live movement. The decision was made at a meeting at the Council House on Wednesday the 1st of December, attended by representatives of the churches, Civil Defence force, social and other organisations.
Dr Beneš, visited Durham on Sunday the 22nd of November 1942, at the invitation of the Durham Miners’ Association. He thanked the miners of Durham and Great Britain for their camaraderie in supporting the people of Czecho-Slovakia during their darkest days.
The aim of the programme of cultural events was to give a platform to the young people of the occupied states of Yugoslavia, Czecho-Slovakia, Greece, and Poland, allowing them to explore, debate, fashion and creatively present the culture and heritage of their respective homelands to British audiences.
Not everyone was happy with efforts to rebuild Lidice. An article, anonymously penned by “The Calcutta Statesman” and published in the Evening Sentinel in October 1942, was keen to point out Britain’s lack of obligation towards the Czech people
The campaign was realised when The Exhibition of Czecho-Slovakian Friendship opened at the Prudential Buildings on Monday the 9th of October 1944 by a Czechoslovak Army Captain, in the presence of Dr Victor Fischl, the Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs, an associate of Jan Masaryk, and a company of Czech infantry from nearby Cholmondeley Castle.
The inaugural Lidice Shall Live Committee was formally constituted in Stoke-on-Trent in early October 1942 and comprised a mix of elected representatives, miners’ delegates, and members of the Czecho-Slovak – British Friendship Club, Rotary Club, North Staffordshire Architectural Society and influential members of the public…
“Lidice, by its destruction, became a symbol: it belonged not only to Czechoslovakia but to all nations. It should become for us a memento and a pledge never to allow the conditions to arise that would make an occurrence of this type possible again.”
“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…”