Commemorating Lidice in Callao, Lima Peru – June 1943 –

Callao, a Peruvian seaside city and region on the Pacific Ocean, just outside the capital Lima, paid tribute to the memory of Lidice by renaming one of its civic squares and unveiling a memorial in commemoration of the Czech village on the 20th of June 1943.

Lidice Commemoration In Callao, Peru
Recent Lidice commemoration in Callao, Peru

The campaign started in April, with the regional broadcasting station Radio Callao launching a massive propaganda drive in connection with Lidice. Then, the station’s director, in conjunction with a Peruvian senator, proposed the setting up of a Peruvian-Czechoslovak Organisational Committee.

The Czechoslovak diplomatic representative Vladimír J. Polodna managed to organise a large commemorative ceremony for renaming a part of the town of Callao to Lidice. An intensive media push took place in the run-up to the event, with promotional leaflets being widely circulated, posters appearing in the streets, and a press conference being held.

Manuel Prado Ugarteche, President Of Peru 1889-1967
Manuel Prado Ugarteche, President of Peru 1889-1967

The rally, headed by President Manuel Prado Ugarteche, was attended by many leading Peruvians, cabinet ministers, representatives of the Senate and Parliament, diplomatic staff, army generals, clergy, delegates from Allied nations, the Mayors of Callao, de La Punta, and Bella Vista, and also the entire Czechoslovak community in the country.

Polodna did not have any official influence as the Czechoslovakian Embassy had been handed over to Germany in 1939, and so his attendance at the event was in the role of “diplomatic representative of the Czechoslovak Government-in-exile.”

The memorial bore the words: Lidice Vivira Siempre, 10 Junio 1942

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