This is the inspiring true story of what happens when ordinary people unite to make a stand against evil.
Lidice was a peaceful and vibrant community in Czechoslovakia with a rich mining heritage. But an act of Nazi revenge saw this village wiped from existence in a horrifying chapter of European history.
Disaster struck for Lidice in 1942 when the prominent Nazi official Reinhard Heydrich was assassinated. Described by Hitler as "the man with an iron heart", Heydrich was one of the key architects of the Holocaust.
His death, after an attack by members of the Czech resistance, left Hitler furious and desperate for vengeance. Looking for a scapegoat to blame for Heydrich's death, he settled on the village of Lidice, which had been falsely linked to the assassination.
In a brutal act which shocked the world, Lidice was completely destroyed. The men were shot while the women and children were rounded up and sent to their deaths in Nazi concentration camps.
Hitler was determined that by the time he had finished, no one would even remember Lidice, let alone live there. What he hadn't reckoned on was the efforts of a group of campaigners in Britain, who resolved to make sure Lidice would never be forgotten.
A Ray of Light tells the tale of Lidice's downfall and what happened next. Would the village simply be allowed to become a footnote in history, or would it rise from the ashes and forge a new future?
This book is a compelling testament to the power of friendship and solidarity, and how empathy and compassion can help rebuild the world.
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A brief but information packed account of events leading to, and following, the destruction of Ludice including an excellent outline sketch of the life and coreer of Heydrich,, whose death precipitated the retaliation perpetrated on the Czech village. Without scimping on telling the facts, it does not dwell on the individual horrors, nor on emotions, giving the basic framework and allowing for interested parties to continue to research later. As such, this book provides an excellent strarting point. The narration is similarly a reading, not a performance, as fits the subnect matter, and is clear throughout although slightly marred by brief hesitations.
Overall, an excellent memoir of an atrocity which should not be forgotten, of the evils that people can inflict on each other, and the power and generosity of others to attempt to make amends.
My thanks for the complimentary copy of A Ray of Light, which I received, via Audiobook Boom, in exchange for an unbiased review.
- Norma Miles
More about Heydrich than the Miners
Probably not. Interesting though not really what I expected from the title. I thought more detail would be given to the post war rebuilding but not so. Interesting to read about Heydrich, but much is already documented about him elsewhere. A shame this book isn't longer and more detailed, the story of Lidice and its rebuilding is worthy of that. Performance was good.
Copy received via Goodreads in return for an honest review.