Česká centra, Czech Centres

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29 May 2014 19:00 - 21:00


Please join us on May 29, 2014 at 7 pm for the rare opportunity to meet Jaroslava Skleničková, one of the few survivors of the Lidice atrocity of June 1942.

Jaroslava Skleničková is one of the last of the survivors of the Lidice massacre.  Her remarkable book “If I had been a boy, I would have been shot…” tells the story of the destruction of the village and the three years that Jaroslava spent in the Ravensbrück concentration camp. It also offers a vivid portrait of life in the village before the war.  In the final chapters, Jaroslava writes movingly of the process of rebuilding her life after her return in 1945.  

The book has been published in English translation and also as an audio book, read by the acclaimed Czech-British actress, Veronika Hyks.

The brutality and systematic cruelty of the Lidice massacre in June 1942 captured the imagination of the free world – a startling reminder of all that was at stake in the war.  Lidice became a powerful rallying point.  Many writers and poets responded to the massacre, reflecting on the implications of a mass murder that was carried out with scientific thoroughness, hundreds of miles behind the front.  

In the course of this literary evening, we will meet Jaroslava Skleničková, who will tell us about her life and how the book came about.  We will also have the opportunity to hear extracts from her book as well as other works inspired by Lidice written by some of the most important writers and poets of the time:  Cecil Day Lewis, Hallidor Laxness, Edna St Vincent Millay, Heinrich Mann, Laurie Lee, to name just a few.  To these we can add contemporary writers, who have returned to the theme, such as the novelists Louise Doughty and Joseph Hurka.  Perhaps the most moving account is that of the journalist František Kraus, who was one of thirty Jewish prisoners from Terezín sent to bury the men of Lidice after they were shot.  His son, Tomáš Kraus, will be attending the event.



29 May 2014 19:00 - 21:00


Czech Center is a coorganizer of the event

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