Czechoslovakian Jewish civilian in Prostejov, Moravia, Czechoslovakia, 3/1939-6/1942; inmate in Theresienstadt Concentration Camp, Czechoslovakia, 7/1942-12/1943, Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau Concentration Camps, Poland, 12/1943-6/1944, Dessauer Ufer, Hamburg-Neugraben and Fuhlsbuttel Subcamps, Neuengamme Concentration Camp and Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp, Germany, 7/1944-4/1945
REEL 1 Recollections of background in Opava and Prostejov, Czechoslovakia, 1926-1939: family circumstances; language skills and education; relations between Jews and non Jews in Opava; initial reaction to first experiences of discrimination, 1937; question of Czechoslovakian anti-Semitism; unwillingness of relation to emigrate to Canada; construction of Czech border defences; family move from Opava, 1938; attitude of anti-semitic teacher; reasons for move to Prostejov. Recollections of German occupation in Prostejov, Czechoslovakia, 3/1939-6/1942: growing restrictions against Jewish civilians; physical attacks on way home from work; introduction of Star of David onto clothing, 1941; imprisonment of father, 1941; death of father in Auschwitz Concentration Camp, Poland, 12/1941.
REEL 2 Continues: need to sell possessions and aid given by non Jewish civilians; working in clothing industry; eviction from flat; coping with restrictions. Recollections of deportation from Prostejov to Theresienstadt Concentration Camp, Czechoslovakia, 6/1942-7/1942: initial deportations of relatives to Theresienstadt Concentration Camp, early 1942; reaction to deportation; hiding valuables in clothing; examination of papers at Olomouc. Recollections of period as inmate in Theresienstadt Concentration Camp, Czechoslovakia, 7/1942-12/1943: description of camp; naming of barracks; living conditions and rations; separation of men women and children; grandfather's role; arrival of other relatives; issue of ghetto money; work in factory.
REEL 3 Continues: production of the opera 'Aida'; visit of Red Cross; attempts at normality; twenty four hour period of confinement in meadow in bad weather conditions, winter 1943; health problems caused by confinement; nature of burials; question of adapting to conditions; lack of knowledge of destination of transports; medical problems and special food provided by relative; question of Theresienstadt being the best camp; role of Jewish council; allocation to transport, 6/9/1943; hiding from Germans.
REEL 4 Continues: return to barracks. Aspects of transport from Theresienstadt Concentration Camp, Czechoslovakia to Auschwitz I Concentration Camp, Poland, 18/12/1943: conditions in railway wagons; lack of knowledge of destination; nature of journey; fatigue. Recollections of arrival at Auschwitz I Concentration Camp, Poland, 12/1943: mother's reaction to arrival at Auschwitz; initial treatment on arrival; sight of naked women sitting on pile of dead bodies; undressing in barracks and hiding mother's engagement ring; clothing issue; tattooing of numbers; reaction to arrival in camp; treatment of undressed women by SS; reaction to nakedness. Recollections of period as inmate in Auschwitz II-Birkenau Concentration Camp, Poland, 12/1943-6/1944: transfer to camp, 12/1943; selection process; character of barracks; sleeping conditions; appell in winter conditions; issue of aluminum food bowl and reaction to first breakfast; meeting with relatives and learning nature of camp.
REEL 5 Continues: character of work; volunteering for sewing work; acquiring clothes and other items; question of contrast in survival instincts between women and men; acquiring shoes from dead man; importance of footwear; problems of menstruation; condition of ablutions; visit to Auschwitz I camp for shower; building of roadway and more gas chambers; arrival of transports; smell from crematorium; inmates revolt, 8/3/1944-9/3/1944. Aspects of selection in Auschwitz Concentration Camp, Poland, 6/1944: escape of male inmates from camp, 6/4/1944; punishment for escapes.
REEL 6 Continues: question of Allied air forces not bombing Auschwitz; arrival of more transports; orders to move to Auschwitz I; question of Germans use of music; physical conditions; showering and selection by Dr Josef Mengele; issue of clothing; reaction to being leaving camp. Aspects of period as inmate in Dessauer Ufer Subcamp, Neuengamme Concentration Camp, Germany, 7/1944-9/1944: arrival in Hamburg, 3/7/1944; character of work in tar factory; taking cover during bombing raids; scavenging for food in ruins of Hamburg; sheltering in cellars during bombing. Recollections of period as inmate in Hamburg-Neugraben Subcamp, Neuengamme Concentration Camp, Germany, 9/1944-11/1944: transfer to camp; location and character of camp.
REEL 7 Continues: Germans police guards; work with prefab housing; contact with French and Italian POWs; sight of Allied bombing of Hamburg; transfer of POW camp; bombing of camp, 25/10/1944; conditions in camp after bombing; reaction to progress of war. Aspects of period as inmate in Fuhlsbuttel Subcamp, Neuengamme Concentration Camp, Germany, 11/1944-3/1945: character of rations and physical conditions; question of German civilian's motives for giving inmates food; transfer from camp and train journey to Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp, 3/1945. Recollections of period as inmate in Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp, Germany, 3/1945-4/1945: conditions in camp; living off rhubarb acquired on train; sight of piles of bodies; cleaning lice from body; disappearance of German guards and arrival of Hungarian guards; disposal of corpses; change in attitude of German SS women guards. Recollections of liberation of Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp, Germany, 4/1945-6/1945: arrival of British armoured forces, 15/4/1945; effects of distribution of rations amongst former inmates; lack of realisation of freedom; reaction to German SS troops being made to clear dead bodies; transfer to former SS barracks in Bergen; meeting with uncle.
REEL 8 Continues: state of health; raiding German villages; contracting typhoid; visit to forest with mother and final realisation of freedom; death of mother from typhoid, 15/6/1945; uncle's contracting typhoid; leaving Bergen-Belsen, 4/7/1945; train journey from Bergen-Belsen to Prague, 7/1945. Recollections of period as civilian in Czechoslovakia, 1945-1950: death of relatives in camps; story of meeting with women who gave away baby in Auschwitz Concentration Camp to survive selection; adoption by Czech family; stealing of own family's possessions by Czech families; question of not being able to progress in career because of Jewish background especially after Communist take over, 1948.
REEL 9 Continues: meeting with Hungarian husband; Recollection of period as civilian in Hungary, 1950-1957: reaction to move to Hungary; incidents of anti-Semitism in Hungary, 1955; Hungarian Uprising, 1956; emigration to GB, 5/4/1957. Recollections of period as civilian in GB, 1957-1997: language problems; aid recieved from Jewish community, 4/1957; attitude to living in GB and lack of feeling for Czechoslovakia and Hungary; reaction to German holidaymaker who noticed her concentration camp tattoo.
REEL 10 Continues: question of adapting to new language. Reflections on Holocaust experiences: question of holocaust survivors empathy for each others' experiences; reaction to meeting former soldiers who liberated Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp, 1995; question of continuing effects of Holocaust; reasons for not describing experiences to son; effect of son's visit to site of Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp; attitude of Holocaust survivors' children.
One of the most memorable elements of the Holocaust Exhibition is the video testimony by survivors which accompanies visitors along the route. But what happened to the survivors after the Second World War? How did they rebuild their lives in the years that followed their release from Nazi persecution?
As the Allies advanced across Europe at the end of the Second World War, they came across concentration camps filled with sick and starving prisoners. The first major camp to be liberated was Majdanek near Lublin, Poland in July 1944.