First Meditation on Dictatorship [written Thursday, February 7, 2008] REPUBLISHED

https _s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com_736x_ee_59_33_ee593300e425c02784549e0228c025e1In the begin­ning years of this blog, I pub­lished a series of arti­cles called “Med­i­ta­tions on Democ­racy and Dic­ta­tor­ship” which are still reg­u­larly read today, and have had some influ­ence. They still elicit inquiries from remote cor­ners of the globe. They are now buried in the back pages of the blog, so I’m mov­ing them up the chrono­log­i­cal counter so they can have another round of vis­i­bil­ity, espe­cially (I hope) with younger read­ers. I am re-posting them in their orig­i­nal sequence over part of 2018. Some ref­er­ences in these “med­i­ta­tions” will date them to 2007–2008, when they were writ­ten. But I will leave them un-retouched, though I may occa­sion­ally append some ret­ro­spec­tive notes. Mostly, they deal with abstract issues that do not need updating.


14-03-18 - BLOG Memorial-at-Lidice-1st-Med-on-Dic

Mon­u­ment at Lidice.
The faces of the chil­dren are not gen­er­al­ized abstrac­tions. They are care­fully recon­structed from pho­tographs to rep­re­sent the indi­vid­ual chil­dren as they were in life.

We are so hamyd,
For-taxed and ramyd,
By these gentlery-men!

― The Wake­field Sec­ond Shep­herds’ Play, c.1425–1450 [1]

We are men the same as they are:
Our mem­bers are as straight as theirs are,
Our bod­ies stand as high from the ground,
The pain we suffer’s as pro­found.
Our only need is courage now,
To pledge our­selves by solemn vow,
Our goods and per­sons to defend,
And stay together to this end…

— Robert Wace, Le roman de la Rou et des ducs de Nor­mandie, 1160-70s [2]

On my return to Prague, last year, after tramp­ing in Hun­gary and Tran­syl­va­nia, my friend Filip Marek took a day off for some more explo­rations of the Bohemian coun­try­side. This turned out to be the most emo­tion­ally charged day in my trav­els, and I’ve delayed describ­ing it because of its per­sonal impor­tance to me.

The land­scape around Prague is not much dif­fer­ent, at first glance, from that of South­ern Ontario. It’s rich farm­land, gen­tly rolling hills, and patches of mixed for­est sim­i­lar to those around Toronto. Most of it was so pleas­ant that I couldn’t help replay­ing snatches of Dvořák, Smetana and Janáček in my head as the car rolled under the dap­pled sun­lit trees, past fields and vil­lages that seem to be both ancient and brand new at the same time. How­ever, our quest was to extract some­thing incon­gru­ously dis­turb­ing and tragic from Bohemia’s woods and streams.[3] We were going to see two places that do not loom large in the his­tory books, but loom large in the kind of his­tory that I am con­cerned with. The first was the Vojna Hard Labour Camp, in the for­est near the vil­lage of Příbram, and the sec­ond was the site of Lidice, a vil­lage that no longer exists.

The Vojna prison camp, or NPT-U, as the Com­mu­nist regime des­ig­nated it, oper­ated between 1947 and 1961, when its pris­on­ers were trans­fered to NPT-Z, the Bytíz Hard Labour Camp. Vojna was a ura­nium mine, and its pris­on­ers were largely “polit­i­cals”, democ­rats, artists, writ­ers, old par­ti­san fight­ers against the Nazi occu­pa­tion, any­one who might be a focus of resis­tance to the Com­mu­nist regime. There were dozens of such camps in the Bad Old Days, but most have been demol­ished. This one has been pre­served. When Filip and I arrived, it was closed. But the direc­tor opened it for us, and gave us a per­son­ally guided tour, last­ing more than an hour. The direc­tor was extremely knowl­edge­able, and was per­son­ally man­ag­ing the recon­struc­tion of the site. The flimsy build­ings had mostly been knocked down, or dis­in­te­grated. But great care is now being taken to recon­struct every­thing as it was, using inter­views with and mem­oirs of sur­vivors, as well as archae­o­log­i­cal and doc­u­men­tary evi­dence. For exam­ple, I was shown a cell which was painted dif­fer­ently from the oth­ers in the same block. No one knows why it was dif­fer­ent, but since sur­vivors agree that it was, it has been restored that way.

It was an extra­or­di­nary visit. The Direc­tor answered all my ques­tions, which I chose care­fully to elicit infor­ma­tion I would not find in books. While only a small seg­ment of the com­plex of bar­racks has been restored, there was enough there to give you at least a vague feel­ing of what it must have been like. Most touch­ing was the small “polit­i­cal edu­ca­tion” room, were pris­on­ers were forced to endure dron­ing lec­tures on the “phi­los­o­phy” of Karl Marx, which I don’t doubt was not much bet­ter an expe­ri­ence than being worked to death shov­el­ing ura­nium ore. A “pun­ish­ment cell”, basi­cally a con­crete cof­fin in the ground, did not need much restora­tion. To relieve vis­i­tors of the unremit­ting gloom, one of the build­ings has been fit­ted with an exhibit of children’s art.

14-03-18 BLOG Camp-MPT-U-Today-1rst-Med-on-Dic

Camp NPT-U today. The sign above the entrance reads “Praci ke svo­bode”, an exact trans­la­tion of the slo­gan writ­ten above the gates of Nazi con­cen­tra­tion camps, “Arbeit mach frei”.

Com­pared to Lubyanka Prison, or the regime of gulag camps in the Soviet Union, Vojna was pretty tame stuff, but it was enough to fuel my rage. Such vile places are not merely archae­o­log­i­cal rem­nants of a dis­tant age. There are plenty of such places today. No one knows how many inno­cent vic­tims lan­guish in the infa­mous lao­gai of the Emperor Hu Jin­tao, in China. Bei­jing admits to hold­ing 260,000. That is prob­a­bly just the tip of the ice­berg, and the num­ber of vic­tims has been steadily climb­ing as Hu grasps that nobody in the rest of the world gives a damn about it, as long as they can get the cheap chem­i­cals, steel pipe, asbestos, hand tools, cot­ton… and fresh body parts for trans­plant, that slave labour pro­duces. Yes, there are plenty of such places, includ­ing some run by George W. Bush, Jr. and his sick­en­ing cronies. Some of my coun­try­men have been tor­tured in those.

Camp NPT-U when it was in operation.

Camp NPT-U when it was in operation.

Next we drove to Lidice. What town can you find on the map, but not on the Earth? Lidice. Lidice was a small vil­lage, west of Prague, which the Nazi occu­pa­tion regime had “erased from the map” in 1942. In defi­ance, car­tog­ra­phers still place it on their maps. I first learned the story of Lidice when I was a small child, from a tele­vi­sion drama now long for­got­ten. It was one of the sto­ries that haunted me, in my safe Cana­dian child­hood, and drove me towards my present occu­pa­tion. When Filip actu­ally took me to the empty field where Lidice once stood, I’m afraid that noth­ing in my words or my face could con­vey the dark feel­ings churn­ing in me. I haven’t been able to write about it until now.

Here are the bare facts. On June 10, 1942, under the direc­tion of Horst Böhme, SS Com­man­der of the C divi­sion of the Ein­satz­gruppe, SS police forces marched into this small, pic­turesque Bohemian vil­lage, cho­sen because it was “typ­i­cal” and close to Prague. The roads around it were blocked, so no escape was pos­si­ble. The entire pop­u­la­tion was rounded up. All the women and chil­dren were taken to a school build­ing. The men were taken to a barn. Then, start­ing in the morn­ing, all males over 16 years of age were brought out, in batches of 5, and shot. The bod­ies were left in heaps, as each new batch was brought out to stand in front of the pre­vi­ous batch, and the exe­cu­tion­ers stepped back a pace for each round. By after­noon, there were 173 bod­ies rot­ting in sun.

That was only the begin­ning. The 184 women of the vil­lage were sep­a­rated from the chil­dren. They were forced onto trucks, dri­ven to the clos­est rail­way sta­tion, and from there shipped by train to Ravens­brück Con­cen­tra­tion Camp near Berlin. Only a hand­ful sur­vived the regime of hard labour and torture.

All the build­ings of the vil­lage were destroyed, razed to the ground and the rub­ble taken away. All the fam­ily pets and farm ani­mals were killed. All the graves were dug up, the bod­ies destroyed, the mark­ers removed. The entire process was filmed by the Nazis.

The chil­dren of the vil­lage were trans­ported to Łódź, in Poland. After a few weeks of semi-starvation, and explic­itly denied any san­i­ta­tion or med­ical care, they were instructed to write post­cards to their rel­a­tives. Seven of the chil­dren were selected for “aryaniza­tion”. The remain­der were shipped to the exter­mi­na­tion facil­i­ties at Chelmo, where they were gassed. I shall pro­vide, at the end of this essay, a list of the chil­dren. I pro­vide this list for a rea­son. I want the read­ers of this essay to under­stand what I’m talk­ing about when I dis­cuss the con­cept of dic­ta­tor­ship. I’m not talk­ing about a “polit­i­cal sys­tem”, or a “form of gov­ern­ment” or some­thing that you keep in the same com­part­ment in your head as the one where you keep dis­cus­sions of gross national prod­ucts or health care sys­tems, or bilat­eral trade agreements.

When Filip took me to the site of Lidice, it was a warm May after­noon, approach­ing the 65th anniver­sary of the attroc­ity. It’s a small park, now, with a taste­ful sculp­ture rep­re­sent­ing the chil­dren, a few flower beds, and a lot of grass.

This lit­tle expe­di­tion took place against an inter­est­ing psy­cho­log­i­cal back­ground. A friend of Filip’s had just been attacked, and seri­ously injured by a Neo-Nazi. Though they appear to be a small move­ment, and most Czechs dis­miss them as unim­por­tant, in fact, there are a shock­ingly large num­ber of them, and the police have a habit at wink­ing at their vio­lent attacks on the Roma, and the small num­ber of Africans and Asians who live in the repub­lic. The injuries that she sus­tained were seri­ous ― the Neo-Nazi had tried to run her over with a car while she was report­ing on one of their demon­stra­tions. She was hos­pi­tal­ized in a town known as a hotbed of these scum­balls, and the hos­pi­tal gave every indi­ca­tion of being per­fectly will­ing to let them come back and fin­ish her off in her bed. So her friends had dri­ven there and hus­tled her out, risk­ing a painful car ride back to Prague rather than leave her there. How per­ma­nent and dis­abling her injuries would be was not yet known.

These events serve as a reminder that there is noth­ing remote about dic­ta­tor­ship. Move­ments like the neo-Nazis may appear to be mar­ginal phe­nom­ena in places like West­ern Europe, but in much of the world, they con­sti­tute a norm. In many places in the world, there would be nobody in a posi­tion to res­cue Filip’s friend. In such places, crim­i­nal thugs are not a small move­ment of trou­ble­mak­ers exist­ing on the mar­gins. They are in charge. They are rid­ing in lim­ou­sines, direct­ing armies and economies, and are wel­come in the board­rooms of inter­na­tional finance, and in the coun­cils of the United Nations. But they are not dif­fer­ent, morally, psy­cho­log­i­cally, or intel­lec­tu­ally, from the small-time thugs who attacked Filip’s friend. They are the same scum.

Nearly half the world still lives under the boots of dic­ta­tors. One dic­ta­tor alone rules more than a bil­lion peo­ple ― Hu Jin­tao, who launched his career by mur­der­ing chil­dren in Tibet, and keeps a thriv­ing indus­try of slave labour and exter­mi­na­tion camps going. Cur­rently, there are dozens of such ver­min, whose sta­tus as dic­ta­tors are beyond dis­pute: Isa­ias Afw­erki, Bashar al-Assad, Omar Al Bashir, Paul Biya, Fidel Cas­tro, Hu Jin­tao, Islam Kari­mov, Seyed Ali Khamenei, Kim Jong-il, Alek­sandr Lukachenko, Makhose­tive (self-styled King Mswati III), Per­vez Mushar­raf, Robert Mugabe, Teodoro Obiang Nguema, Denis Sas­sou Nguesso, Nguyễn Tấn Dũng, Muam­mar al-Qaddafi, Abdul­lah bin Abdu­laziz al-Saud, Choum­maly Saya­sone, Hun Sen, Than Shwe, Meles Zenawi are among the worst of them, but there are plenty of oth­ers, and plenty of cases of “heads of state” who would love to play in the same league, but have some lim­i­ta­tions on their power, or whose regimes teeter on the edge of full dic­ta­tor­ship, or who rule indi­rectly through appointed pup­pets. You have to keep remind­ing your­self of the most impor­tant and essen­tial fact about these crim­i­nals: every one of them has a Lidice. Every one of them. They are all mur­der­ers of chil­dren. Some of them are respon­si­ble for dozens of Lidices, or hun­dreds of Lidices, or thou­sands of Lidices. But there is always a Lidice for any dictator.

What I urge peo­ple to learn and under­stand is that the power of these crim­i­nals comes directly from us. It is our col­lab­o­ra­tion, our will­ing­ness to tol­er­ate them, and our con­stant efforts to val­i­date them and help them that gives them their power.

Dic­ta­tors only rule because we allow them to. They can­not rule unless they are given legit­i­macy by the world’s finan­cial and polit­i­cal insti­tu­tions, and all the world’s polit­i­cal and finan­cial insti­tu­tions con­spire to do exactly that. They are given the power by us to buy the weapons with which they mur­der, tor­ture, and make war. They are given the power by us to spend the riches that they extort from their vic­tims, and they are allowed by us to keep their stolen wealth in banks, and they are allowed by us to flounce around the globe, brag­ging of their crimes, with­out fear of ever being arrested, tried, or pun­ished. Demo­c­ra­t­i­cally elected pub­lic offi­cials pre­tend that they are the same things as them­selves, that their “gov­ern­ments” have the same sta­tus as a real one, and that their crim­i­nal orga­ni­za­tions are the same thing as the legit­i­mate activ­i­ties of a civ­i­lized society.

One event sticks in my mind to sym­bol­ize every­thing that is sick and depraved in our world. When a for­mer Prime Min­is­ter of my own coun­try died, Fidel Cas­tro was invited to attend the funeral. This lit­er­ally ― I am not using a fig­u­ra­tive expres­sion ― made me throw up. When I learned of it, I was sick with anger and dis­gust, and vom­ited. The thought that a filthy, degen­er­ate, loath­some piece of shit like Fidel Cas­tro, a racist, homo­pho­bic [see dis­cus­sion of Castro’s per­se­cu­tion and tor­ture of gays], mass-murdering slave trader and exploiter of mil­lions of inno­cent peo­ple… the thought that this crim­i­nal garbage was invited to my coun­try, and treated with hon­our and respect by demo­c­ra­t­i­cally elected offi­cials, was just too much for me to deal with. It got me in the gut, just as con­tem­plat­ing the site of Lidice got me in the gut. Why do peo­ple do this? WHY? How can any human being liv­ing in a democ­racy will­ingly allow such an obscene event to take place? On that day, I was ashamed to be Canadian.

Let’s look at what it really means to advo­cate democ­racy. The most fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ple of demo­c­ra­tic thought is that only freely and hon­estly elected offi­cials con­sti­tute gov­ern­ment. No per­son or group of peo­ple who are not freely and demo­c­ra­t­i­cally elected are legit­i­mate in any way. Dic­ta­tor­ship is not “another form of gov­ern­ment”. Dic­ta­tor­ship is not gov­ern­ment. It is only crime. Any­one who rules over oth­ers through force, and is not elected, is merely a crim­i­nal ― noth­ing else, and noth­ing more. If you believe that an unelected crim­i­nal has any kind of legit­i­macy, if you believe that they should be treated as if they had been elected, then it is self-evident that you do not really believe in democ­racy, or gen­uinely advo­cate it.

Democ­racy derives both its forms and its legit­i­macy from moral­ity ― from the uni­ver­sal moral imper­a­tive of human rights. That moral­ity demands that all dic­ta­tors be treated in this way only: com­plete rejec­tion, com­plete oppo­si­tion, com­plete anath­ema. No col­lab­o­ra­tion with a dic­ta­tor is morally permissible.

It is immoral for any­one to treat a dic­ta­tor, or his hench­men, as if they were “gov­ern­ment”, or as if the ter­ri­tory they con­trol was a “coun­try”, or as if their flags, anthems, and sym­bols were legit­i­mate rep­re­sen­ta­tions of the peo­ple they bully and exploit. It is immoral for the cit­i­zens of a democ­racy to allow a dic­ta­tor to have an “embassy” or a “con­sulate” on demo­c­ra­tic soil, or to send “diplo­matic rep­re­sen­ta­tion”, or to in any way be accorded the priv­i­leges of a legit­i­mate gov­ern­ment. If a dic­ta­tor, or any of his hench­men, is found on the soil of a demo­c­ra­tic nation, it is nec­es­sary that they be instantly arrested and put on trial for their crimes.

It is immoral to per­mit any dic­ta­tor or his hench­men to par­tic­i­pate in inter­na­tional bod­ies, such as the United Nations. By hav­ing dic­ta­tor­ships embed­ded in its coun­cils, the United Nations ceases to be a legit­i­mate body. It rep­re­sents noth­ing, should not be allowed to influ­ence free peo­ple in any way. If we lived in a truly free and civ­i­lized soci­ety, then any elected pub­lic offi­cial who know­ingly and will­ingly ate with, shook hands with, or pri­vately com­mu­ni­cated with a dic­ta­tor, or was even at any time in the same room with a dic­ta­tor, would be auto­mat­i­cally removed from office and tried for treason.

It is immoral for any­one to engage in any eco­nomic exchange of any kind with a dic­ta­tor or his hench­men. All money or prop­erty in the hands of a dic­ta­tor is, ipso facto, stolen prop­erty. It belongs to the peo­ple that the dic­ta­tor stole it from. To receive it is to know­ingly receive stolen goods, and should be treated as such by the law. In a civ­i­lized, demo­c­ra­tic soci­ety, any­one who know­ingly gives even a sin­gle penny to a dic­ta­tor should be arrested and do hard time in prison. Any­one who gives or sells weapons to a dic­ta­tor, or con­spires to pro­vide them with weapons indi­rectly, should be impris­oned for life. To give a weapon to a dic­ta­tor is trea­son to human­ity, an unfor­giv­able crime. Any cor­po­ra­tion that engages in exchanges with a dic­ta­tor­ship of any kind should imme­di­ately be deprived of its cor­po­rate char­ter, have all its assets seized, and have all mem­bers of its board of direc­tors charged with crim­i­nal conspiracy.

No bank or finan­cial insti­tu­tion has the right to pro­vide ser­vices to a dic­ta­tor or to his hench­men. It is pre­cisely because dic­ta­tors and their ret­inues can deposit the wealth that they steal from the peo­ple into num­bered bank accounts, and that they are allowed to spend it freely, that it is prof­itable to become a dic­ta­tor. Any bank that know­ingly pro­vides such ser­vices to a dic­ta­tor does not have the right to exist, and should be put out of business.

When the cor­po­rate boards of direc­tors of Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft agreed to col­lab­o­rate with the dic­ta­tor of China in the sys­tem­atic cen­sor­ship of the inter­net, in order to pre­serve his power and men­tally enslave the peo­ple of China, they were com­mit­ting a mon­strous crime — a crime against human­ity, a crime against civ­i­liza­tion, and a crime against the peo­ple of China. They deserve to go to jail for it, and in a decent soci­ety they would go to jail for it. The excuses they offer are trans­par­ent rev­e­la­tions of their greed and moral corruption.

It is immoral for any­one to will­ingly serve in an army con­trolled by a dic­ta­tor. Even if one finds one­self in such an army by con­scrip­tion, or under threat to one’s fam­ily, or other forms of duress, it must always be remem­bered that such an army is not a legit­i­mate army. It is one’s moral duty to do every­thing pos­si­ble to sab­o­tage it. If such an army is sent to fight against a legit­i­mate gov­ern­ment, then it is one’s moral duty to sur­ren­der. “Sol­diers” in a dic­ta­tors’ army are not really sol­diers. If cap­tured by demo­c­ra­tic forces, they should be tried in an ordi­nary civil­ian court, to deter­mine if they have com­mit­ted civil­ian crimes. They should not be treated any dif­fer­ently from civil­ians. Offi­cers in the army of a dic­ta­tor­ship can­not claim to be mere vic­tims. Serv­ing as an offi­cer in a dictator’s army is a crim­i­nal act in itself, one which should be severely punished.

The end­less cycle of exploita­tion and suf­fer­ing that dic­ta­tor­ship cre­ates is clearly illus­trated by Lidice. That is what we, the demo­c­ra­tic thinkers, are fight­ing against.

We can­not grasp, because no human mind can grasp, the hor­ror of the mil­lions exter­mi­nated in the Holo­caust, the Soviet Gulag, in the killing fields of Cam­bo­dia, the tens of mil­lions of chil­dren who died in the hideous, pro­longed ago­nies of Mao Zedong’s famines, or the chil­dren raped, bru­tal­ized and turned into psy­chopaths by Africa’s dic­ta­tors, or the dis­ap­peared vic­tims of Pinochet, Cas­tro, Suharto, and the count­less other strut­ting gen­er­alis­si­mos and Great Lead­ers. It is all too much for any mind to wrap around. Death and suf­fer­ing on that scale can­not be con­tem­plated except as a bland col­umn of sta­tis­tics, and the mind ceases to feel emo­tions about it.

That is one of the psy­cho­log­i­cal weak­nesses that dic­ta­tors exploit most effec­tively. We would not dream of invit­ing into our home a man that we knew had stran­gled a sin­gle child to death. But let that man mur­der a thou­sand, or ten thou­sand, or a mil­lion chil­dren, and we will invite him to speak to our Par­lia­ment, and shake his hand. All dic­ta­tors know this. They know that they are safest when their crimes are the most mon­strous, that there is no pun­ish­ment for them in this world, and they will be writ­ten up in the his­tory books as great men. And they know that every­one will col­lab­o­rate with them, every­one will help them, every­one will pave the way for them.

That’s why I will ham­mer into my read­ers the names of the chil­dren of Lidice. When you allow a dic­ta­tor to have an embassy in your coun­try, you are spit­ting into the faces of the chil­dren of Lidice. When you make a busi­ness deal with a dic­ta­tor, you are slap­ping the faces of the chil­dren of Lidice. When you allow your demo­c­ra­tic rep­re­sen­ta­tives to have cock­tail par­ties with dic­ta­tors, you are kick­ing the chil­dren of Lidice in the face, stomp­ing on their bod­ies with your feet.

I know that you can’t pic­ture the mil­lions of mur­ders that dic­ta­tors ― and their greedy and cow­ardly col­lab­o­ra­tors ― are respon­si­ble for. I know that you can’t really feel any­thing about it. But you can damn well pic­ture the chil­dren of a sin­gle vil­lage. You can imag­ine what that hor­ri­ble day in June, 1942 was like for those small, help­less, boys and girls. You can imag­ine their ter­ror and agony. You can imag­ine their faces.

That is what dic­ta­tor­ship is all about. That is why you should fight dic­ta­tor­ship with every resource at your dis­posal. And that is why you should demand that your elected offi­cials and your busi­ness­men and your bankers and your intel­lec­tu­als cease and desist from col­lab­o­rat­ing with such vermin.

The chil­dren of Lidice were Josef Bre­jcha, age 4; Josef Bulina, age 11; Anna Buli­nová, age 13; Jaroslava Buli­nová, age 10; Jiří Čer­mák, age 11; Miloslava Čer­máková, age 7; Božena Čer­máková, age 9;Jiři Frühauf, age 3; Karel Hejma, age 7; Fran­tišek Hejma, age 13; Jaroslava Her­manová, age 2; Marie Hočková, age 9; Věra Honzíková, age 12; Marie Hočková, age 9; Božena Honzíková, age 12; Zdeněk Hroník, age 7; Božena Hroníková, age 12; Marta Hroníková, age 3; Zdeňka Hroníková, age 11; Václav Jedlička, age 4; Karel Kácl, age 7; Věra Kafkova, age 5; Anna Kaimlová, age 12; Jaroslav Kobera, age 9; Václav Kobera, age 5; Milada Koberová, are 11; Zdeňka Koberová, age 8; Hana Kovařovská, age 5; Lud­mila Kovařovská, age 4; Antonín Kozel, age 7; Věnceslava Krásová, age 7; Rudolf Kubela, age 3; Fran­tišek Kul­havý, age 6; Jaroslav Kul­havý, age 11; Miloslav Liška, age 5; Milada Miková, age 5; Jitka Morav­cová, age 1; Václav Moravec, age 10; Karel Mulák, age 11; Marie Muláková, age 14; Zdeněk Müller, age 4; Antonín Nerad, age 13; Alena Nová, age 3; Milada Novotná, age 14; Antonín Pek, age 7; Emílie Peli­chovská, age 14; Václav Peli­chovský, age 9; Josef Pešek, age 7; Anna Pešková, age 5; Jiřina Pešková, age 6; Miroslav Petrák, age 10; Zdeněk Petrák, age 8; Jiřina Petráková, age 14; Zdeněk Petřík, baby; Marie Pitínová, age 10; Štěpán Podzem­ský, age 3; Věra Prů­chová, age 15; Josefa Příhodová, age 11; Anna Příhodová, age 15; Jaroslava Příhodová, age 1; Věnceslava Puch­meltrová, age 13; Miloslav Radosta, age 5; Václav Rameš, age 8; Jaroslava Ramešová, age 1; Božena Rohlová, age 7; Jiřina Růže­necká, age 12; Jiři Sejc, age 5; Jiřina Součková, age 11; Marie Součková, age 13; Miroslave Součková, age 12; Jarmila Straková, age 2; Lud­mila Straková, age 1; Josef Suchý, baby; Miroslava Syslová, age 13; Josef Šroubek, age 7; Marie Šroubková, age 14; Jaroslava Štorková, age 9; Antonín Urban, 11; Věra Urbanová, age 4; Josef Van­dr­dle, age 13; Dag­mar Veselá, age 5; Karel Vlček, age 6; Jaromír Zelenka, age 1; Ivan Žid, age 7. [4]

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[1] Heil­man, Robert B. – Anthol­ogy of Eng­lish Drama Before Shake­speare — Holt, Rine­hart & Win­ston — 1952
[2] verses 60027–6034. ed. Frédéric Plu­quet, I, 2nd part. Rouen, 1827 tr. Henry Krauss. Quoted in Krauss, Henry — The Liv­ing The­atre of Medieval Art — Indi­ana UP — 1967
[3] A phrase that came imme­di­ately to my mind, as it is the title (z ceskych luhu a háju = “Among Bohemia’s woods and streams”) of one of the move­ments of Smetana’s Má Vlast.
[4] source: Janusz Gol­czyn­ski — Oboz Smierci w Chelmno Nad Nerem - pub­lished by the Konin Museum, 1991. This list is short 4 names, as the offi­cial count is 88, includ­ing one baby born in Ravens­brück and killed there.I have cal­cu­lated the ages from the given birth years, but, since these are not the exact birth dates, some of these ages may be off by a year. Thankyou to Filip Marek for pro­vid­ing me with the cor­rect Czech spellings, and for pro­vid­ing extra information.

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