The Monument is in the memory of Lidice, a village in Czechoslovakia and is listed in the Wisconsin Register of Historical Places. The village of Lidice was razed to the ground and the landscape altered (rivers diverted) to remove its very existence by the Nazi Gestapo. It is recorded that 173 men perished to avenge the murder of the sadistic "protector" of occupied Czechoslovakia. The Gestapo dragged the inhabitants of Lidice from their homes, shot all men over 16 and condemned women to a living death in concentration camps while their children were sent away to become "Germanized." Although the entire world reacted to the WWII atrocity, only two such memorials exist in the United States. The monument was completed and dedicated in 1944. After repairing the monument from the 1977 "downburst" the monument was rededicated in June 1984. Located in Phillips on Fifield Street, one block off of Hwy 13. (Behind Timber Inn Motel). For more information on Lidice. Every year the Phillips community remembers those who have suffered so much at a special ecumenical service. See home page for date, time, and location for this years service.
LIDICE MONUMENT VAULT
The Phillips Lidice Monument was built to memorialize the Village of Lidice, Czechoslovakia, and its people. The village was destroyed by Nazi SS on June 9-10, 1942. On June 10 all of the men 16 and over were shot and killed. The women were separated from their children and sent to concentration camps. Eighty-eight of the children were taken to Chelm, Poland, to another camp, and most were gassed. Some Aryan featured children were sent to German homes to be “Germanized”. Accounts report that 17-18 were found and returned to relatives after the war by Czechoslovak government officials. Joseph Ondracek was one of three on this special assignment. This small vault was placed in a recessed concrete-lined crypt at the base of the monument located in what became known as Sokol Park during the dedication in June, 1944. The vault contained soil from the Village of Lidice and a list of names of those who contributed money and manpower to build the local monument.
In the summer of 1983 the vault was found exposed by some children as they played in the park. It was taken to Ron Herman, who lived close by, and he turned it over to the Phillips City Police. At that time, the vault became of interest to members of the Common Council of the City of Phillips. Damage to the monument had been sustained in a 1977 wind storm and repairs had just been completed. By council action, a rededication of the monument was planned for the first weekend of July, 1984. From that, the Phillips Czechoslovakian Community Festival was born and is held each third full weekend of June, in Phillips.