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Lehmannová becomes new Lidice Memorial director

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Lidice, Central Bohemia, March 23 (CTK) – Martina Lehmannova will head the Lidice Memorial, marking the obliteration of this village in Central Bohemia by the Nazis in 1942, as of April 1, replacing its long-term director Milous Cervencl, Culture Ministry spokeswoman Simona Cigankova told CTK on Thursday.

The ministry selected Lehmannova, who worked in galleries in the past, in the second competition. No one was chosen in the first one.

Cervencl retired last December after almost 12 years in the post. His deputy Jaroslav Tauber has been charged with temporarily heading the memorial.

Lehmannova graduated from the Faculty of Arts of Charles University in Prague. She worked in the Moravian Gallery in Brno and in the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague (UPM) in Prague. She has written several expert and popular art history books.

“She has gradually got acquainted with the activities of the Lidice Memorial since 2004, for instance, as a member of the Czech committee of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and as its chairwoman in 2015,” Cigankova said.

Lidice, a village with some 500 inhabitants, was razed to the ground on June 10, 1942 in retaliation for the killing of high-ranking Nazi officer Reinhard Heydrich by Czechoslovak paratroopers in May 1942.

All 173 men were executed directly in Lidice and another 26 inhabitants were shot dead later in Prague. Women and children were sent to concentration camps, while some of the children were selected for re-education in Germany. Fifty-three women died in the camps and 82 Lidice children were killed by gas. After the war, only 143 women and 17 children gradually returned to the country.

The Lidice area was declared culture heritage in 1962 and 33 years later, a government directive gave it the status of national culture heritage. The Lidice Memorial has worked as a state-subsidised organisation since 2001.

A record high number of some 100,000 people visited the memorial last year.

The Lidice Memorial state organisation also administers the commemorative places in Lezaky, east Bohemia, a village obliterated by the Nazis after Lidice in 1942, and in Lety, south Bohemia, where a Nazi internment camp for Romanies existed during WWII.

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