On Saturday morning we flew out to Prague so we could attend the memorial of the Lidice massacre. The main event took place on Sunday June 10th but we took this opportunity to meet some of the survivors to hear their stories and record interviews with Mrs Supikova and Mr Hanf.
Their stories were both moving and inspiring and it was fantastic to meet them and everybody in Lidice. We were also blessed with some wonderful warm weather on Saturday evening in which to film the interviews.
The memorial service took place on the Sunday with the laying of wreaths at the mass grave of the men of Lidice. It was a very moving experience and it was clear to see how important this event was not only to the people of Lidice but also the people of the Czech Republic, Europe…the world! There were wreaths from embassies around the globe and also one from the people of Stoke-on-Trent. There were speeches from the assembled dignitaries including the Czech Prime Minister. Once this had finished the ‘festival of light’ commenced, this included performances from children’s choirs from across the Czech Republic.
Despite the wet weather we were able to film interviews with the Mayor of Lidice and historians from the Czech Republic. We also took this opportunity to talk with Cllr Andy Platt – making his 11th trip to Lidice! – and also new Stoke on Trent Mayor Terry Crowe. They both spoke passionately about the links between Stoke on Trent and Lidice.
We used Monday mornings fine weather as an opportunity to record some footage around the memorial and also to visit the new village of Lidice and the art gallery before heading back to Prague and flying back to the UK.
It was a great trip to make and an event which we were tremendously proud to be a part of. The footage and interviews we were able to record will be invaluable to the final film and it was something we had to attend. To anyone considering a trip to the Czech Republic themselves we would definitely urge you to consider visiting Lidice to visit the wonderful museum, art gallery, rose garden and also to remind yourself about an important part of our shared history and also our ability to come together and re-build following such terrible events.
Thanks to everyone who made this possible.