Javoříčko

Javoříčko - history

Javoříčko is part of the village of Luká na Litovelsku, near Bouzov, about 30 km from Olomouc. The first written mention of Javoříčko dates back to 1348. During its existence, the village changed its name several times, it was called Javorica, Javorov or Javoří (Jaworzie, Jaborzi). Not far from Javoříčko once stood Spránek Castle, which along with Javoříčko, changed owners several times. Then, in the years 1464-1538, the village was owned by the estate in Bílá Lhota.

In 1875 a general school for both Javoříčko, Březina and Veselíčko was established. In 1938, karst caves were discovered The village became a popular tourist destination. In 1945, however, the tragedy from of the end of World War II fundamentally changed the life and development of the village.

The current small settlement is the remains of a large settlement, which on May 5, 1945, was burned to the ground by SS commandos from the nearby Bouzov Castle. The Schutzpolizei unit from Litovel also participated in the event. The motive is not yet clear though the reason for burning the village down and killing almost all male residents could have been a brief combat encounter with a the Jermak-Fursenko partisan’s group from the previous day, and the suspicion that Russian partisans had their base in this village. Another reason could have been revenge for the earlier murder of Hilda Viktorina and her children, Hannelore and Manfred, at the grove near Javoříčko. That was committed on April 9, 1945, by two members of the Jermak-Fursenko partisan’s group, who believed that Hilda Viktorinová, as a German, wanted to betray them, although she had offered her help and had been hiding for several months at the grove.

The village was surrounded at nine o'clock in the morning, the farm buildings were looted, and soldiers using panzerfaust and phosphorus grenades gradually lit all the buildings, except the chapel and the school, on fire. They also executed all men over 15 which they caught. A total of 38 of them lost their lives, only the eldest of the village was left alive, allegedly to testify that it was revenge for co-operation with the partisans. The SS drove the women and children to Veselíčko. The blood letting ended around one o'clock in the afternoon and the SS unit returned to the Bouzov. The gunned down corpses were gradually found outside the village, and were not buried until May 7.

A memorial to the victims of World War II, commemorating this event, was established there in 1955. Every year a commemorative memorial is held with the participation of local citizens, the army and important public guests. In 2015 a permanent exhibition on the history of the village was opened at the local school. At present, the village has 17 pieces of property and about 40 inhabitants. Along with the nearby Bouzov Castle, the village is one of the most visited localities in the Olomouc Region.

Javoříčko