Hana Reinerová

From July 1943 until September she was 1944 in Terezin, until October 1944 in Auschwitz, she did 6 months of forced labor in Freiberg, stayed until 19th May in Mauthausen.

Her family did not survive.

My mother married and went to Bulgaria, where her husband, a Czech, was the director of a bank. He had to leave his post, and because of that we moved to Hradec Kralove in 1932.

Shortly before finishing his medical studies my brother and his friend were arrested. They hanged his friend, and my brother was imprisoned in Prague. All that was too much for my parents, and so it was my task to take fresh clothes to him. One day there was a soldier, he trembled and grinned at me, and he said, “He won’t need this any more.” Then he gave me the dirty clothes. After some time we received a message from him, sent from the concentration camp in Mauthausen.

When my grandmother was buried in January 1940 our family was together for the last time. My mother stayed in Benesov to pack up our apartment. In the meantime, there had been an order that Jews were no longer allowed to move to other places. My father was in Hradec Kralove, my brother in the camp, and I was in Prague, where I worked and lived illegally. We would be separated forever.

It took us two months to travel to Mauthausen, crowded into cattle cars. In the mornings and in the evenings we were allowed to get out to relieve ourselves. In Mauthausen they made us run up the mountain to the fortress. We were very thirsty. hana-reinerova But would not let us drink from the clear mountain streams that we passed. Some of the women were pregnant and gave birth while we were travelling, others had their babies in the fortress. Two of the children who had been born in freedom are still alive.

My husband and I had married before Terezin, and we had agreed that we would use Professor Alois Haba as a contact to find each other. He was a famous composer, who worked with my husband, Dr. Karel Reiner. In the train station in Prague there were many people trying to help us. I asked someone to go and see this professor and tell him about me. The man I asked happened to know him, and gave me his address. The war was already over, but there were still soldiers who had barricaded themselves into buildings, and there was a curfew. I spend the first night with my girl friend in the radio building. The employees fuzzed all about us. They gave us everything we had lacked for years. The sofa had white covers, there was tap water and fragrant soap. The next day I went to see this professor. He had a letter from my husband from Dachau, saying that he should look for me. I went to the station and waited for transports from Dachau. The train arrived and I had him called out. It was in the evening shortly before curfew time. He got off, I grabbed him and we hurried to our place. The clock struck, indicating the curfew, when we closed the door. Only then could we talk.

Translator, born April 19, 1921 in Benesov, widow, 2 children.

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