Communal  pear tree. 
(A silent witness of Lidice’s tragedy)

      The photograph of the church and the grain store was taken in 1941.
  Mrs Růžena Neradová is crossing the bridge above the brook and is carrying a tub of water from the communal well. Behind her are her sons,
  Josef and younger Antonín.
      Opposite her (with his back to the photographer) Mr Emanuel Kovařovský is crossing the bridge, at the time the oldest citizen of Lidice. In front  of him, towards the church, children are playing but we cannot see their faces.

    The children are wearing short trousers and white shirts – it is summer of 1941. There is a pleasant atmosphere in the picture, geese are
grazing in the small clearing behind the brook. There is no sign that within a year all this will not exist any more.

       In the years following and until the end of the war, all that was left of old Lidice was an empty plain and a few trees. The back road from
Buštěhrad by the cemetery  which used to lead straight to the first houses in Lidice, suddenly turned southwest by “Salvator” after  the war, to
the edge of new Lidice, (by walnut tree alley),  and descended down to the meadow where it formed a dam. The road is finished on the
crossroads between Makotřasy and Hřebeč.

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     Nowadays, the whole valley is surrounded by mixed woods which were planted on the edges of where the last houses in the old village were,
actually at the end of each garden belonging to each house.
      The exceptions are the  woods behind the cemetery towards Hřebeč and younger thick pine trees growing by the roadside next to the new
cemetery, towards a lake called “Nervák”.



When the Morigl company levelled the village with explosives and RAD finished removal work, there were no fruit trees or bushes left anywhere
  in the village. They were removed so that no one could ever remember where Lidice used to be. Even the brook’s bed they moved northerly by
  almost 15 meters. (1)

      From where has appeared the fully grown pear tree in the Piet territory? In the old photograph with church there is the pear tree visible as a

      The orientation point for this assumption was provided by a  hole in the lid of what used to be communal well, which has been preserved and is positioned from the tree less than 4 meters away.

      It is possible to see a sapling right in the area where today’s pear tree grows in other post war photographs in the book “Lidice how we used
to know them” written by Doctor Quido Jeřábek.

    Mrs Peková and Mr Vandrle, the communal policeman, planted 3 pear trees nearby the communal well.
One on the right side towards the granary and the second one slightly to the left towards school, along the road leading from
the little bridge towards school and Šilhán’s farm. Both pear trees were further from the brook than the communal well with hand pump and
both are noticeable on the mentioned photograph.



       Communal pump – a cast iron cylinder  approximately 150 cm high, with outer pipe in the middle of its height leading to a spout on the end of  which a bucket would be hung or  wooden tub put under. Water was pumped with help of the arm, the same way as today. The pump spout on
the photograph is oriented towards the brook and therefore northerly. It is necessary to add, that before the war the pump was right beside the
brook. Tubs were rinsed with a bit of water from the brook then the water would be poured straight back into it.

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      With help of a tape measure and string with marker stakes , I have found the place where the photographer stood and from that it was easy to  prove the assumption that the pear tree stands on its original spot.

      The church in the photograph is visible from where the photographer stood at such an angle that  the eastern church wall between the nave and  the vestry that extends downwards to the valley  lies almost covering the view of the pump (the gutter on the east side of the roof is also
blocked from view). The photographer must have at that time stood nearly exactly north of the church on the border of the eastern wall and



      According to the measured angles and distances from the photograph, the conclusion is that today’s pear tree is standing on the same spot
as the pear tree which was planted by Mrs Peková nearest to the communal well.



      During the church and granary demolition, the top of the original pear tree sapling was broken off, the lump on the pear tree at about breast
height indicates that. The pear tree is not wild because it has big healthy fruit.

      Mrs Anna Peková  provided me with the necessary information in 2001 and confirmed my assumption that it is one of the three original
communal pear trees.

      In 2006 I enquired with Kladno’s Magistrate to get this pear tree pronounced as a  protected  tree and have received notification that materials for it are prepared, and that discussion about it will start at the end of April 2007.

  In the period photographs a small pear tree can be seen shortly after the war.
  Photo: Antonín Nešpor 2001  Click here for map positioning 


Written in Lidice on 14th of April 2007 Antonín Nešpor
(1) If you use viewing of portal  Click here for map positioning  it is possible to look at the same place where the pear tree is   standing and also in historic map, though at that time it was not there yet of course (maps are from one before last century), little target shows
  directly onto the brook’s bank next to the little bridge, which confirms that the Germans have moved the brook’s bed northerly.

(Translation:  Pavla Nešpor Bellisová, Rob Nešpor Bellis and Antonín Nešpor jr.)