Czech museum director fired
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Czech museum director fired

Director of the Lidice memorial, Martina Lehmannová, was let go amid accusations that the government is trying to whitewash inconvenient facts to suit its preferred narrative.

The director of the museum at the site of a Czech village razed by the Nazis has been fired after a historian revealed that a Jewish woman in hiding there had been denounced shortly before the atrocity.

The village of Lidice, 16 miles from Prague, was where senior Nazi and Holocaust architect Reinhard Heydrich was murdered by British-trained resistance fighters.

Hitler then ordered all male villagers killed and all women and children deported.

Ever since, the government has portrayed the villagers as martyrs, but that legacy has recently been sorely tested by Czech historian Vojtěch Kyncl, who said a Jewish woman in hiding there was detained two days before Heydrich’s killing.

The fallout has led to the dismissal of Martina Lehmannová, director of the Lidice memorial, amid accusations that the government is trying to whitewash inconvenient facts to suit its preferred narrative.

Some say it is just the latest example of politicised censorship when it comes to the Holocaust and central Europe, citing interventions in Poland and Hungary.

“I think  academic freedom is in danger,” historian Muriel Blaive told The Guardian.

“If they can intervene and fire someone just like that, it’s not a good sign. The temptation is clearly there to try to control the interpretation of history.”

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