Gold ducat National Heroes - Josef Štemberka proof
The tragedy that happened in Lidice shocked the world. In the Czech Republic we would hardly find someone who has not heard of this village, but few people know the specific fate of individual people. The Czech Mint commemorates the story of Father of Lidice named Josef Štemberka on the gold ducat from the National Heroes cycle.
It is not usual that someone becomes a hero after the age seventy and that a clergyman who until then had lived as a rural priest would be declared a hero. However, this is the case of Josef Štemberka, who served as a Roman Catholic priest for 33 years at the vicarage in Lidice near Kladno. Father Štemberka was a key figure of the village. He baptized and married many of his parishioners in the Church of St. Martin or escorted them to the last journey to the cemetery of Lidice. In addition, he taught the children religion, recorded events from the history of the village in the parish chronicle and played cards with the men of Lidice in his free time. Father Štemberka should have gone into retirement when he turned 73. He wanted to leave Lidice in May 1942 and was about to return to his hometown. However, when he found out what the Nazis did with the village where he had served for three decades, he refused to be rescued and left his parishioners at the mercy of the firing squad. He was then shot as one of the last. He chose heroic death instead of a peaceful retirement life, so he fulfilled not only his priestly mission but also his love for his homeland…
Ducat bears the characteristic manuscript of academic sculptor Jiří Dostál. “The obverse side is dominated by a frontal portrait of the last priest of Lidice, accompanied by a spread out matte cross. Josef Štemberka, as a good shepherd, crossed each of the Lidice men before shooting them dead. At the top of the reverse side there is a cross in the form of a Lidice monument, which is a symbol of suffering, ” the medal maker explains. The texts on both sides of the ducat state the following: P. (Priest) JOSEF ŠTEMBERKA - GOOD PASTOR - 1869 PECKA – SHOT DEAD WITH 173 MEN - 1942 LIDICE.
The ducat is stored in an epic packaging containing a professional treatise by the renowned historian PhDr. Petr Koura, Ph.D. Remember that you can store your collection in a practical collector´s box.