Irene Brodová

From 1943 till the end of the war she and her husband were in Terezin, her parents died in Auschwitz, her brother survived Auschwitz.

In Ostrava where I lived with my husband, I received the information that the Germans had occupied Upper Silesia, my parent’s home area. I tried in vain to call them on the phone. Private calls were no longer put through. I boarded the next train and went to see them in Frydek. At the station I met a neighbor. He demanded identification. irene-brodova I said to him, “But Mr. Sudek, you know who I am.” Whereupon he replied, “That is of no interest to me, see to it that you have your documents in order.” In this region people were very sensitive to the changed political situation, and my parents had problems with that because the were Jews. With the help of a notary we managed that my mother could come to Prague for a day. She told us that my father was thinking about suicide, and that he had already tried to take his life. All his business partners who used to respect him had distanced themselves from him.

In Terezin I met my brother having been separated for two years. He got me work in the children’s home. Before the children came to the ghetto they had been isolated from their friends because of the new race laws. In the ghetto we could give them the feeling that we belonged together and felt solidarity for each other. My children, the ones I looked after, were sent to concentration camps. In my mind, I was in each of those transports to Poland. Every time I was ready to leave with my knapsack packed. But I was sent back because my husband’s work was important for the war.

The war was over, and I was alone. My parents and my brother were somewhere in a camp in Poland, and I had left my husband. I packed my few belongings onto a cart and left Terezin. A friend took me with her to a village near Prague. But how would my parents be able to find me there – if they were still alive? I returned to my apartment in Prague. The porter greeted me saying, “There is a big surprise waiting for you; your brother has returned.” I ran up four flights and we fell into each other’s arms.

Nurse, born 1911 in Frydek-Mistek, widow.

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