Michaela Vidláková

December 1942 her family was transported to Terezin, where they stayed until the end of May 1945, Grandparents, uncle and other relatives were murdered in Treblinka and Auschwitz.

My parents had been Zionists since their youth, and their greatest wish was to live in Israel. My father had spent five years in what was then Palestine, and he had co-founded a Kibbutz. In 1930 he came to Prague, only in order to get married to my mother, and then to return together.

The journey back had to be postponed again and again because of circumstances in the family. In 1939 we received permission to emigrate and go to the States, but my grandmother did not. That is why we stayed.

When I came to Terezin in 1942, the ghetto was so overcrowde that many were held back in the lock, from where they were deported to Poland immediately. A man who worked for the Jewish town administration and who knew my father was in charge of deciding whether someone was important enough for the ghetto to stay. He asked my father, who was skilled with everything, whether he could work with small leftover pieces of wood. The only toy I had was my dog Pluto, which my father had carved from wood. michaela-vidladkova The administrator was excited and said that they would start a workshop; and thus we were allowed to stay in Terezin. At first, we were separated; I spent some time in the children’s home. After several transportations, when there was more room, I could stay with my mother. We were allocated a corner in an attic. Furnished with a bunk and a piece of cloth. My father and two other men accommodated themselves on the same level, where we could also wash.

Because I was seriously ill I was in the hospital for infectious diseases. They found out that I was suffering from scarlet fever, typhus and measles. Children and young people were given more food, at the expense of old people. When the food was given out and I wanted to share some of my soup, there were suddenly ten people looking at me hungrily. For me it was hard to decide who to share with, everybody was so thin and sunk in. Maybe this experience is the reason why today I work in the social field. In the fall of 1944 most all of the children had their fathers in one of the transports. One girl asked me, “Aren’t you sad that your Dad is gone?” I was embarrassed to say that my father was not among them. He had been registered and waited in the barracks the be put on the train. Then there was a strong storm in the night, which blew the tiles from the roofs of the buildings. Volunteers were wanted for repair works, and he signed up. Every day after work he had to go back to the barracks and on the third day he found them empty. He could stay in Terezin.

The transports from other camps in the spring of 1945 brought typhoid fever to the ghetto. We had already been liberated, but had to spend time in quarantine. My father, certain not to have been infected, got into his work clothes, and stuffed old tools into a carrier. Pretending to go to work he left the ghetto and went to Prague. He found an apartment for us and prepared everything for our homecoming.

Biochemist, born Dec. 1936 in Prague, widow, 1 son.

Share this post on...Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone
Share this post on...Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone