Jiří Lom

Arrested 4 June 1940, he spent time in 27 different prisons and camps in Pardubice, Prague-Pankrac, Small fortress/Terezin, Berlin, Munich, Waldheim, Weimar, Auschwitz, Schwarzheide and others. Survived the death march to Terezin.

His parents, brother and most of his relatives died.

Because of my membership in the national movement of the workers’ youth, I was arrested by the Gestapo in Pardubice on June 4th 1940. I was sent to prison in Prague where an examining magistrate of the Peoples’ Court sentenced me for inciting high treason. By the end of the war, I had been registered in 27 prisons and camps. Before the war I was an officer and a lieutenant with the military. This was good training for me, and it contributed to my surviving hard times. I served with the pioneers, was used to hard physical work, and had learned to ration my energy and organize my work. What was worse than Auschwitz were the 8 hours in the Alexanderplatz prison in Berlin. jiri-lom Crowded with prisoners. Hardly any air to breathe. Crowded with prisoners; hardly any air to breath; no way to get to the bathroom – simply no room. The atmosphere was so aggressive not even the police wanted to go among the prisoners. Those who had money could buy bread, but also a revolver. We sat closely on wooden benches. When we folded them up in the morning we discovered more prisoners who had been waiting three weeks for their transportation to Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

In 1942 I was incarcerated in the Small Fortress in Terezin for the second time. Those newly arrived did not get anything to eat on their first day. Instead, groups of two prisoners had to squat down opposite each other and hit each other’s face for half an hour. Anyone who did not hit hard enough was shown personally by an SS-man how to hit.

In Auschwitz you had to believe in miracles. It was a miracle that several times I got a book. Once, when I had two cigarettes which I could have traded for bread or margarine, I decided to exchange for a book of Classical History. This possession was a danger and, if I had been caught, I probably would not be alive now.

My name was Jiri Löwy before I changed my name. And that happened as follows: In 1938 I was drafted with a special order for the military and sent to the Adler-Mountains for mobilization. My father found me and reported that he was worried about the anti-Semitic developments in Pardubice. He told me: Jiri, you have not been brought up to be Jewish, but still I think it might be better if you changed your name. I could not see why. But during my long solitary confinement, I had enough time to think about this. After the war I decided to change my name from Löwy to Lom.

Unfortunately the end of the war did not mean that anti-Semitism had ended as well.

Librarian, born January 29, 1913 in Pardubice, married.

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