Doris Donavalová

Her father was deported to Terezin in July 1942; then transferred 1st September to Raasika; she and her elder sister were deported to Terezin 9th September, at the end of September 1944 alone to Auschwitz, Winter 1944 labor camp Hochweiler, death march to Breslau, concentration camp Groß-Rosen, until liberation in concentration camp Bergen-Belsen.

I come from a mixed marriage; only my father was Jewish. He thought that if he divorced my mother we would be safe with her. He left us and moved into a sub-let room. Sometimes I met him secretly in a cafe. The only one that was accessible for Jews was in the basement of the Hotel Paris. On his fiftieth birthday he received the order for transportation. doris-donavalova-Kopie That was a shock for me. My mother packed his things and sewed diamonds and gold coins into his suit. We lived near to where the transportation left. In the quiet of the night we heard the clattering of the shoes of thousands of people marching silently to the railway station. On Sept. 9th 1942 my sister and I also had to leave for transportation. When we left, we looked back to our apartment where we were certain our mother was standing at the window.

In Terezin I met the love of my life. Every evening after work I waited for him. We hardly had any chance to be alone. In the forge there was an iron bed that they rented out.

We married in the ghetto. Everybody helped so that it was a nice celebration. My mother sent us a wedding cake, a white shirt and a tie for Otto, my husband. A seamstress decorated my dress with a white collar of white tulle and cuffs, and someone brought white carnations from the greenhouse. All this had to happen secretly. The wedding ceremony was conducted by a rabbi. Afterwards we set out on a honeymoon to walk on the entrenchment. We spent our wedding night in a tiny cabin which was built on stilts. In a short time, my Otto was one of those who were deported. From the top floor of the barracks I looked down to him. I could not speak with him any more, only look in his eyes. And as he looked up to me, everything was over. That was the last time I saw him.

Shortly afterwards, at the end of September 1944, we were told that 500 women could volunteer for transportation. We would join our husbands and be able to help them with their work. More than happy I signed up, organized food for Otto and dressed in my nicest clothes. Over my suit I wore a coat made of balloon silk and I even had silk stockings. I wore my long blond, curly hair open.

The commander of the camp came by and stopped in front of me, asking, “So what do you want here?” I told him that I wanted to join my husband; upon which he replied, “If you are that stupid, then go.”

What I had to endure after that almost made me lose my mind. I was almost dying, fantasizing and down to 35 kg when the war was over.

Dental assistant, born April 4, 1924 in Prague, 2 daughters, widow, her first husband died in a concentration camp, she remarried after the war.

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