Obituary and Leave-taking from Arnošt Lustig
At the ceremonial hall of he Prague Jewish cemetery, March 1, 2011
I stand here today with sorrow in my heart to part from you, in the name of all those who went through ghetto Terezin. Though – biologically, it should have been the other way around.
I was your first counselor in Theresienstadt when you were assigned into the youth labor force in the ghetto. After the separation of your family it was not easy for you to accept all the regulations I had to explain to you, but for me, too, it was not an easy task; but I had to do that to spare you a tragic outcome. It seems that it helped and we both survived the terrible times in the end, healthy in body and mind. That was the Shoah!!!
You were a good son and comrade and helped as far as you could; young people your age had a very hard time in Theresienstadt. And you proved that also later, in the concentration camps.
In this “anthill” you got to know many people whom you had to accept, though you did not know that then, you succeeded later to describe them exactly in your many books, explaining the injustice done to the Jews and later to Israel – many readers were previously influenced by other tendencies. This remains and for that I thank you again!
I valued you as a friend and I will never forget our meetings after the war in Prague, Israel and the USA. Especially after your marriage with Věra Weislitzovä, who also hails from Ostrava, who made you love Israel, our relationship became even closer.
I will not forget both of you, but today I mourn a precious human being!