• Memorial Site at Ležáky
Several monuments and a museum on the site of the former village of Ležáky commemorate the destroyed settlement and its residents, who were murdered in 1942 in the course of a retributive action.
Image: Ležáky, 1942, The village after its destruction, NKP Ležáky
Ležáky, 1942, The village after its destruction, NKP Ležáky

Image: Ležáky, 2002, View of the memorial site, NKP Ležáky
Ležáky, 2002, View of the memorial site, NKP Ležáky
The east-Bohemian village of Ležáky was obliterated in the course of a National Socialist retributive action. It took place following an assassination attempt by Czech resistance fighters on May 27, 1942 on the life of Reinhard Heydrich, the head of the Reich Main Security Office and the Deputy Protector of Bohemia and Moravia. Members of the resistance operated a radio station in Ležáky with the help of which they contacted the exile government of Czechoslovakia in London. The Gestapo wanted to set an example by the way it dealt with the village and its residents.
Members of the SS and Security Police surrounded Ležáky on June 24, 1942. They chased the inhabitants into a nearby quarry and from there transported them to the Gestapo headquarters in Pardubice. All of the adults, 16 men and 17 women, were shot that same day. The 13 children from Ležáky were taken to Prague by the Gestapo. Two of them were later deemed »worthy of Germanising« and put into the care of German foster families. The remaining eleven were asphyxiated with motor fumes in gas vans at the Chelmno extermination camp on July 25.
All houses in Ležáky were burned and torn down. Only the two girls who had been handed over to German families survived the war. The village was never rebuilt.
Image: Ležáky, 1942, The village after its destruction, NKP Ležáky
Ležáky, 1942, The village after its destruction, NKP Ležáky

Image: Ležáky, 2002, View of the memorial site, NKP Ležáky
Ležáky, 2002, View of the memorial site, NKP Ležáky
Except for two little girls, all of the inhabitants of Ležáky were murdered. The SS shot 33 adults in the nearby town of Pardubice. 11 children were asphyxiated with gas at the Chelmno extermination camp.
Image: Ležáky, 2002, Memorial stone, Stiftung Denkmal
Ležáky, 2002, Memorial stone, Stiftung Denkmal

Image: Ležáky, 2002, View of the memorial site, NKP Ležáky
Ležáky, 2002, View of the memorial site, NKP Ležáky
After the war, small stone monuments and a cross were set up for each family on the sites of the destroyed houses. Plans for a central memorial were constantly changed and postponed. After the communist coup d'etat in 1948, the idea of building a chapel was rejected for ideological reasons. The first phase of the memorial construction was completed in 1951: granite monuments and gravestones were set up on the former locations of houses. In 1960, a monolith was dedicated and in 1966, a museum was opened. The memorial was renovated in 2003. Since 2008, the memorial site at Ležáky has been administered by the Lidice Memorial.
Image: Ležáky, 2009, Site of the former village, NKP Ležáky
Ležáky, 2009, Site of the former village, NKP Ležáky

Image: Ležáky, 2009, Interior view of the museum, NKP Ležáky
Ležáky, 2009, Interior view of the museum, NKP Ležáky
Name
Národní kulturní památka - Pietní území Ležáky
Phone
+420 (0) 469 344 187
Web
http://www.lezaky-memorial.cz
E-Mail
lezaky@lezaky-memorial.cz
Open
May to September Tuesday to Sunday: 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.

Possibilities
Permanent exhibition, temporary exhibitions, educational centre and workshops for pupils, seminars for teachers and adults