There are many towns in the Czech Republic that are worth the day trip. A trip to Lidice and Terezin will bring you to the WWII section of Czech’s history.
About 30 minutes outside the city of Prague is Lidice, or at least, where Lidice used to be.
The Nazis leveled the town to nothing, killing almost all of the inhabitants and sending Aryan looking children to SS families in Germany. This town was not Jewish if that’s what you are thinking. It was Christian.
It was punished for hiding the assassins that took down the Protectorate Reinhardt Heydrich, the mastermind behind the “great extermination” and Hitler’s right hand man.
Lidice is now a grass valley filled with memorials. Talk a walk down the path and you will find a collection of child statues. It is for the 88 children of Lidice that were sent to Poland and gassed. At the foot of the bronze statues of children are stuffed animals and candles that people have brought in remembrance.
To say it is powerful would be an understatement. An entire community completely obliterated for selflessly all to keep their hero keep out of reach of the enemy.
Continuing onward, Terezin is about an hour from Lidice. We arrived at the ghetto museum. Terezin is a normal town, unlike what I had seen in my previous visit to Krakow’s ghetto. So it may catch you by surprise on how different it looks from other ghettos. This is because this ghetto was the beautified by the Germans to trick the Red Cross delegation to think that the ghettos were nice places for people to be kept. The Germans succeeded.
Many artists and well known and respected figures were kept here. People who would be missed if they simply vanished like many families and neighbors did during this time. After the delegation left more than half of the population was sent to Auschwitz.
The small fortress itself was interesting and worth the tour. Again different from the Auschwitz I had seen as Terezin was built in the 18th century.
It has tunnels and a sturdy foundation (If you are claustrophobic avoid the tunnels). In the cell block you may come across a wreath in remembrance of the assassin who started WWI. He is regarded as a national hero to this day in certain parts of the world.
Take your time. Take it in. If this is your first concentration camp be respectful. I always tell people I am with to picture themselves walking through a cemetery or a museum to help frame their mindset.