Haunting Sculpture Honors 82 Kids That Were Handed Over To The Nazis And Murdered

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World War II is among the deadliest conflicts in human history.

Haunting Sculpture Honors 82 Kids That Were Handed Over To The Nazis And Murdered

World War II is among the deadliest conflicts in human history. Somewhere between 50 to 85 million people died due to the pointless, mindless war. The combat served only the upper men instead of those that fought them. Incredibly cruel massacres and atrocities were carried out both by Soviets and Nazis. Yet, the memory of the wasted lives remains. One among the most atrocious acts done by Nazis was the wiping out of the Lidice village located in former Czechoslovakia.


The bronze sculpture by Marie Uchytilova in Lidice, Czech Republic commemorates the kids that were killed by Nazis in the summer of 1942. It honors a group of 82 kids – 42 girls and 40 boys – all of whom were gassed at Chelmno. The Polish town housed an extermination camp built by Nazis during World War II. It was actually the first German extermination camp set up specifically to carry out ethnic cleansing through mass killings.


On June 10th, 1942, Nazis had killed almost all the residents in Lidice village. It was done as a reprisal for the assassination of Nazi official Reinhard Heydrich, the Reichsprotektor of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. The village was entirely destroyed, men were killed, the women and kids were separated and sent to concentration camps. That was their last summer.


After Nazi official Reinhard Heydrich’s assassination, Hitler immediately ordered mass killings in Czechoslovakia. He also wanted severe punishments to be carried out against any village which had harbored the assassins. All the adult men in the village would get killed, and the women would be taken to concentration camps, the kids that looked Aryan would be “Germanized” and the remaining ones murdered. Nazis particularly targeted Lidice because one local family had a son in the Czech army in England.


On June 10th, 1942, Nazis killed all 173 adult men in Lidice village. The 184 women and 88 kids were taken away. The kids were then dumped in an unused factory in Lodz, Poland. Some were then chosen for Germanization. The remaining 82 kids were taken to the Chelmno extermination camp to be gassed – some decades later, they’d inhabit the village forever as haunting bronze statues.


Marie Uchytilova-Kucova was a Czech sculptor and an academic sculptor professor born in 1924. The artist was moved by the unbelievably cruel crime committed in Lidice. In 1969, Marie decided to commemorate the victims by creating a bronze monument for all those young lives lost.


It took 20 years for Marie Uchytilova to create eighty-two statues of kids that are all above life-size height. While the artist worked on the artwork, many people visited her atelier, and they later started collecting money for the monument. In March 1989, Marie finished the sculptures in plaster. However, she never saw the money that was collected. So, the artist cast the first three statues in bronze by using her own savings. The same year, Marie unexpectedly died, so her project was left unfinished.


After the sculptor’s sudden death, her husband J.V. Hampl continued the work on his own. In 1995, 30 kids in bronze were finally ‘returned’ to their mothers in Lidice. From 1996, more statues were installed, while the last ones were uncovered back in 2000. There are currently 42 girls and 40 boys murdered in 1942 overlooking the valley.


More info: Lidice Memorial


Haunting Sculpture Honors 82 Kids That Were Handed Over To The Nazis And Murdered

Haunting Sculpture Honors 82 Kids That Were Handed Over To The Nazis And Murdered

Haunting Sculpture Honors 82 Kids That Were Handed Over To The Nazis And Murdered

Haunting Sculpture Honors 82 Kids That Were Handed Over To The Nazis And Murdered

Haunting Sculpture Honors 82 Kids That Were Handed Over To The Nazis And Murdered

Haunting Sculpture Honors 82 Kids That Were Handed Over To The Nazis And Murdered

Haunting Sculpture Honors 82 Kids That Were Handed Over To The Nazis And Murdered

Haunting Sculpture Honors 82 Kids That Were Handed Over To The Nazis And Murdered

Haunting Sculpture Honors 82 Kids That Were Handed Over To The Nazis And Murdered

Haunting Sculpture Honors 82 Kids That Were Handed Over To The Nazis And Murdered

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Thinking Humanity: Haunting Sculpture Honors 82 Kids That Were Handed Over To The Nazis And Murdered
Haunting Sculpture Honors 82 Kids That Were Handed Over To The Nazis And Murdered
World War II is among the deadliest conflicts in human history.
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