Lidice survivor Věra Čepelová dies at 88

Věra Čepelová, one of the last survivors of the Lidice massacre, died on Sunday at the age of 88. Mrs. Čepelová, née Vokatá, was one of the nine Lidice children selected by the Nazis for re-education. She was sent to a German family where she was renamed Vera Melnik.

In 1946 she was discovered thanks to the activities of the Czechoslovak repatriation committee and in September of the same year she returned to Czechoslovakia. She met with her mother, who survived the Ravensbrück concentration camp, and in 1951 they moved to a new house in Lidice, where Věra has spent the rest of her life.

The small central Bohemian village of Lidice was razed to the ground by the Nazis on June 10, 1942, in retaliation for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich. The men were shot and the women and children were sent to concentration camps. The site of the tragedy is now a national memorial.

Author: Ruth Fraňková