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Remains of Lidice in June 1942

Film | Accession Number: 2016.567 | RG Number: RG-60.1901 | Film ID: 4202

Lidice, June 10-24, 1942. This film was made by Czech filmmakers for the newsreel "Aktualita" and discovered in a secret German archive in Prague in 1945. It documents the immediate aftermath of the Lidice tragedy, where 173 men were murdered and the town was set on fire by members of the Gestapo from Kladno and Prague. Section 6 of the RAD was summoned to remove all external evidence of this Nazi crime and was housed in nearby barracks. SS officers and the leader of the Kladno Gestapo, Wiesmann, can be seen in the footage. Two Czech filmmakers were already in Lidice on June 10, 1942. The material had been ordered by Horst Böhme and Hans Ulrich Geschke. Franz (František) Treml (1908 -1945) was responsible for direction and asked Mirko (Miroslav) Wágner (1900-1963), a cameraman and the owner of Zenit Film Company from Prague, to cooperate. They were using Zeiss Ikon Movikon 16mm movie cameras. The two men were also filmmaking on June 26, 1942 when the Aktualita film crew went there to shoot the demolition of the church. After WW2, the Czech film director František Sádek worked with this uncollated and unorganized film material for a movie he made about the Lidice case.

Rocks and dirt, piles of rubble from the destruction of the town of Lidice. Workers hack away at the piles of rock, shovel rubble into carts and push away. Four men lock the cart into position on the tracks and then chain it to the cart in front.Two men shovel. A man dumps out a wheelbarrow. WS of the labor. Men use pickaxes to break apart the rubble. A man dumps dirt out of a wheelbarrow. The rubble train moves across the landscape. Men dig away at the dirt. They eat at tables on their break, drinking from canteens. One takes a bite of his food and smiles at the camera. View from on top of one of the carts full of rubble as it moves along the track. They push the carts over and dump out the rubble. An officer wearing a Nazi armband instructs them to move the train tracks. The landscape. The RAD workers march out, carrying their shovels up against their right shoulders and chanting along the way. They walk down a tree-lined path and make a sharp left. Guards close the security rail behind them. A flag atop a tall flagpole. Tilts down on the workers' barracks. A RAD soldier carrying a shovel on his shoulder, wearing a Nazi armband, walks back and forth in front of his post. Five RAD men run out of a building and quickly form a line. They perform drills. CU of a soldier surveilling the land. He smiles. An officer next to him looks through binoculars. Two officers look around. WS, the massive destruction of Lidice. Only a few shells of buildings remain standing above the rubble. A SS man takes a photo with a camera on top of a mountain of rubble. Endless piles of debris. The town has been destroyed. Buildings bombed beyond repair. WS of a cloud of smoke rising up around what is left of Lidice. They blow up what is left of a building. Billows of smoke. They clearing out the rest of what remains of Lidice.

13:46 INTERTITLES (see notes for transcript)

16:21 Repeat of footage from earlier (flipped) as RAD marches with their shovels, soldier at post, and drill commands. Destruction in Lidice. Smoke rising from burning debris. Ladders leaning on buildings. Officers observe the destruction. No building remains intact. Chicken with babies in a basket. Smoke, rubble. Class photo of Lidice school children. Lidice circled on a map. Photo of men standing in a field with Lidice before the tragedy in the BG. Fades to black. Photos of the bodies of the 173 Lidice men that were shot by the Germans in the garden of the Horak farm. Mattresses against the wall behind them, which were placed there to prevent bullets from ricocheting. In the photograph, four Germans stand looking at the deceased. A paper with “R.F” and SS - the official order from the Reichsführer for the destruction of Lidice. Sign: “Gemüsschtwahren handlung Smís.” Ruined buildings in Lidice. INT, kitchen. A deceased dog amongst the rubble. Fires, plumes of smoke. Buildings stained black from the flames and smoke. More and more views of the ruins, obliterated homes. Signs: “Fleischerei, Reznictvi” “Gasthaus Hostinec” A destroyed guesthouse in Hostinec. Flames destroy furniture, buildings. A German holds a rabbit by the ears. City in ruins, smoke. Germans observe. A cast iron sewing machine table and cast iron pots left in the interior of one home. House burns. Men pick salvageable potatoes? out of a pile and throw them into a cart drawn by two horses. Men push a small vehicle. Soldier smokes and smiles. A bomb is detonated, huge cloud of smoke. Soldiers eat.

Film Title
Event:  June 10-24, 1942
Lidice, Czechoslovakia
Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Národní filmový archiv
Record last modified: 2023-11-07 12:15:45
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