In 1942 for nine months housemaid in the family of prominent Nazis; until the end of the war did forced labor in several companies. Her father was arrested in 1938, taken to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp , deported to Terezin in 1942, deported to Auschwitz in October 1944 into the gas; her mother committed suicide in April 1940.
Part of a big family; only a few survived.
I only became aware that I was Jewish during religious education at school. It was a free hour for me. With the German occupation the school system changed. The former system became meaningless. The teacher ordered: From now on we will greet saying “Heil Hitler“. I came home, opened the door, and said: Heil Hitler. For that, my father slapped my face for the first and the last time. Going to school was like running the gauntlet for me. All of a sudden I was despised and discriminated against. Every day I found clippings from “Der Stürmer“ or similar newspapers on my desk. Even the teachers went along. Without cause I was accused of things and punished. This changed only when I entered grade 5. I had a wonderful teacher who would not tolerate that I suffered injustice. The nightly Gestapo-raids of our apartment, my father’s arrest during the “Crystal Night”, and many other harassment were difficult to take, especially for my mother. She was so exhausted that she became more and more convinced her suicide would save her children. She had deposited her jewelry with a friend, and she often mentioned that she wanted to go and get it back, but she never did. One morning I woke up and saw my mother at the window. My eyesight has always been bad, but my sixth sense told me what she was about to do. I screamed, my grandmother hurried in and we were able to save her. I made her promise never to do it again. She replied, “I promise never to do it before I have gone to get my jewelry back.”
It was on April 17th 1940. I was sitting in an armchair and reading. She came in happily and said, “I have my jewelry”. Absorbed in my book, I did not realize the implications of her words. The following day she was dead; she had hanged herself. Ever since I have felt guilty because I might have saved her. At that time, I was ten years old.
PhD. CSc. sociologist, translator,born Sept 29, 1929 in Varnsdorf, 1 son, married.