Short but Good

A Ray of Light: Reinhard Heydrich, Lidice, and the North Staffordshire Miners - Russell Phillips, Anthony Howard, Shilka Publishing

Disclaimer: A free copy of this audio book was provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.


                The massacre of the village of Lidice is perhaps one of the most infamous and least known massacres of World War II.  Infamous because Hitler ordered the destruction of village to avenge/punish the Czechs for the death of Heydrich due to Operation Anthropoid, though there was no connection between the men involved in the assassination and the town.  The men of the town were killed, the women and children evicted, some of the children even being placed into Nazi families.  There is a movie, Anthropoid, that deals with the build up to the assassination and the aftermath.   It is hardly surprising that this book is released at the same time.


                Phillips book not only details the plot and the immediate aftermath, but also focuses on the connection between Lidice and Stoke-on-Trent and other Stratffordshire.  It seems that after news of the massacre reached Stoke on Trent, the miners decided to help another mining town.


                Phillips’ book seems to come out of his discovery of the story along with a desire to make sections of the story more well known.  He includes the basic events leading up to the assassination as well as the massacre at Lidice itself.  Then he looks at what prompted the miners to raise funds to rebuild the town.  He considers the impact of the Cold War on the relationship between the two towns as well as more recent efforts to broaden knowledge of the massacre.


                The book is short, but packed with detail, including where to go for more information.  Perhaps the weakest part of the audio is the narrator who at times seems to be lisping, though this could have been a recording issue.