A Ray of Light: Reinhard Heydrich, Lidice, and the North Staffordshire Miners

A Ray of Light: Reinhard Heydrich, Lidice, and the North Staffordshire Miners

by Russell Phillips


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Arnold Bennett Prize finalist.

How North Staffordshire miners saved a Czech village during WWII.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780995513303
Publisher: Shilka Publishing
Publication date: 07/12/2016
Pages: 94
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.99(h) x 0.23(d)

About the Author

Russell Phillips writes books and articles about military technology and history. Born and brought up in a mining village in South Yorkshire, he has lived and worked in South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Cumbria and Staffordshire. His articles have been published in Miniature Wargames, Wargames Illustrated, and the Society of Twentieth Century Wargamers' Journal. He has been interviewed for the American edition of The Voice of Russia. He currently lives in Stoke-on-Trent with his wife and two children.

Table of Contents



Reinhard Heydrich

The Reich Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia

Operation Anthropoid



International Reaction

After the War

Web Resources

Digital Reinforcements: Free Ebook

About Russell Phillips

The Friends of Barnett Stross

Customer Reviews

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A Ray of Light: Reinhard Heydrich, Lidice, and the North Staffordshire Miners 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Melissa Tanaka for Readers' Favorite A Ray of Light by Russell Phillips is the story of a massacre of an innocent village and the global community that rose up around it. While the piece is packed with information, it easily captivates readers with its poignant look back at history. Operation Anthropoid was created by the Czech government to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich, a senior member of the Nazi party. Although there was no true connection between the assassination of Heydrich and Lidice, Hitler ordered that Lidice and its memory be eradicated. The townspeople were either killed or sent to an extermination camp and the town itself was set afire and bulldozed over, with its name being removed from official records and maps that showed the village was destroyed. The demolition of Lidice was publicly broadcast in order to discourage any further assassination attempts and demonstrate the strength of the Nazis; however, such an injustice served to strengthen the resolve of the Allied nations. The Lidice Shall Live Campaign was started in September of 1942 to raise funds to pay for a new village and in 1949 the first part of the village was completed a few hundred feet from the original site, which remained as a memorial to the dead. Phillips captures the horrific events that unfolded, as well as the resilience of the survivors and support of the nations that rallied alongside Lidice. Despite the atrocities that this community faced, the survivors returned to the new village and stories such as this one were written, thus ensuring that Lidice shall never be forgotten. Wow, just wow. This was a part of history that I had never heard about and I wish I had sooner. The author has done a wonderful job in capturing the resilience of both survivors and the countries that supported Lidice, and it was well worth the read.