On May 27, 1942, in the midst of World War II, anti-Nazi resistance fighters wounded a high-ranking Nazi official, Reinhard Heydrich, while he drove through the city of Prague. He died a week later, on June 4. A furious Adolph Hitler at first ordered the murder of 10,000 Czech people in retaliation. Cooler heads in Berlin prevailed. On June 9, Hitler changed his plan. He now ordered the destruction of the town of Lidice, although there was no evidence that it had anything to do with Heydrich’s assassination.
From June 9 to 10, Nazi troops occupied Lidice. They gathered 500 residents in the town square, and the Nazis executed all 173 men and boys and a few women. The other women were sent to concentration camps, where many were exterminated. The small children were screened by the Nazi “SS Race and Settlement Main Office,” where those who were deemed racially pure enough were later sent to live and be raised by German parents. Eighty other children were gassed to death at the Chelmno extermination camp.
The Nazis then totally destroyed the entire town of Lidice, vowing to wipe it from the face of the earth. Two weeks later, the village of Lezaiky’s adult residents were all shot dead, and the children were sent to a death camp. Over 3,000 Czechs were arrested, with 1,327 executed in further reprisals. Thousands of Jewish people in Prague were also rounded up and deported to the Lublin concentration camp to be exterminated.
The Nazis were open about what they had done. Propaganda films and radio broadcasts proudly proclaimed the destruction of Lidice as a warning to others who might offer resistance to their oppressive rule. Source: Holocaust Encyclopedia
On May 22, 1946, the high-ranking Nazi who oversaw the murders and destruction of Lidice, Karl Hermann Frank, was executed by hanging after being convicted of war crimes. Many other Nazis also received the death sentence for this and many more crimes against humanity.
What the Israeli government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu is doing to Gaza, fully supported by President Joe Biden, is Lidice on a greater scale. It is a war crime to carry out collective punishment. It is a war crime to retaliate and carry out retribution against a civilian population. It is a war crime to cut off food, water, power, and medical supplies to the Palestinian people living in Gaza.
Israel, of course, was built on the murder of Palestinians and the destruction of over 400 Palestinian villages from 1947 to 1948. Since that time, Palestinian people have had their lands and water resources taken from them by the growth of armed Zionist settlements and military coercion.
At the same time, U.S. immigration policy excluded thousands of Holocaust victims from emigrating to the U.S., in effect forcing them to go to Palestine instead. This is a continuation of the historic anti-Jewish bigotry of the U.S. ruling class and their government minions. (See the three-part PBS Ken Burns series: “The U.S. and the Holocaust.”)
These same bigots now proclaim their solidarity with Zionism based on their cold machinations to control the oil-rich Middle East region. Their aim was to turn unwanted Jewish refugees into soldiers for neocolonialism and imperialism against the rising tide of Arab nationalism, including Palestine.
Hence, Israel joined England and France in 1956 to attack Egypt and “take back” from it the Suez Canal, which Egypt had dared to seize control of and nationalized under Nasser.
Hence, the 1967 Israeli “preemptive” war against all its Arab neighbors, who had just emerged from European colonial control and domination.
To the quite anti-Semitic Wall Street wizards and Big Oil tycoons, Zionist Israel is the perfect tool to maintain their domination against Arab revolutions that would threaten their interests.
The October 7 Palestinian fighters who broke out of the Gaza “open-air prison” have been called animals, senseless and pure evil, by Western politicians and compliant media outlets. Yet, is it really surprising that decades of anger and suffering should be directed upon the Israeli soldiers and colonizing settlers and their U.S. patrons? Remember that Gaza has been under siege for 16 years by the Zionist government and military.
The Israeli carpet bombing of Gaza has, so far, caused the death of over 6,000 Palestinians, about half of them children, with no end in sight. Will Netanyahu continue to exact his retaliation and revenge by slaughtering thousands more and trying to destroy the very existence of Gaza? This is on a scale many times greater than Hitler’s destruction of Lidice. Hopefully, people around the world will be able to force an end to this slaughter. But both Netanyahu and Biden will certainly be judged by history as guilty of the war crime of collective punishment and genocide.
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