This autumn it will be seventy years since the first deportation transports left the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia for Poland in October 1941. Shortly thereafter the Theresienstadt Ghetto was established. It was part of the planned extermination of European Jewry later called the Holocaust.
Within three years the Nazis managed to murder nearly all of us in the most horrible ways.
Over the years, people have written and spoken about the Holocaust – the extermination of the European Jews.
How much has been spoken and written about us, the handful of survivors?
Now, seventy years after we were driven out of our homes, only a few of us, only we the youngest then, remain.
How did we live after being uprooted, after those horrible experiences?
What relationship did we have to people, to life?
At the age of thirteen I was torn from my home; within a short time, I lost almost all of my relatives, friends; people from our religious community disappeared every day.
Thanks to several fortunate coincidences, we – my mother, sister and I – survived.
I was granted seventy years! Every day, every hour is a gift.
Am eighty two years old now.
I have children, grandchildren and we are expecting a great-grandchild.
Am happy about every moment, every hour; I’m grateful for it.
Now in my old age, I have enough time to observe, wonder at and feel happy about everything that I see and experience.
In the tree-lined boulevards, I run into young parents with lovely little children.
In the streets, kittens go for walks, stretch themselves; they know how to find the right place for their frequent and lengthy siestas.
I feel happy about the plants and flowers that I pass by on my daily walks and I admire everything, the beautiful trees, various types of bushes, tall palms waving in the wind!
The summer sky so beautifully azure; in the winter, clouds hurry by.
The sea – even bluer than the sky; in the evening the golden ball of the sun sets in it.
The sea is eternal and infinite.
Every day I look at this beauty and my heart pains; I am not far from tears when I think about the people of my childhood – about my friends, the children who did not live to see this beauty.
When we are bathing in the sea, planes fly over us; they arrive from far-away countries,
Every few minutes a beautiful, fast, modern plane in the blue sky.
Along the coast, there are many hotels.
Nature and the most modern technology!
Everything that I see, that I admire, that I have is a gift.
Seventy years ago I was condemned to death like all European Jews.