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Hana Bořkovcová (1927 - 2009) - Biography

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I said that I was 18 years old and I was sent to work. My daddy and little brother weren't so lucky

Mrs. Hana Bořkovcová, née Knapp, was born on June 4, 1927, in Prague in an assimilated secular Jewish family. Her father owned a company supplying dental surgeries. After the introduction of laws restricting the lives of Jews in the Protectorate, Hana was expelled from school and continued her studies at a Jewish school. In July 1943, Hana, her parents and her younger brother Michal were deported to the Theresienstadt ghetto, where she worked as an assistant educator of young children. Hana's family didn't escape the great wave of transports from Theresienstadt in the fall of 1944. She was deported along with her parents and her brother to Auschwitz. Together with her mother, she passed the selection and after a few days, they were transferred to Kurzbach (today Bukolowo), a labor camp falling under the Gross-Rosen camp complex. In this camp, Hana suffered a severe frostbite to her feet. In January 1945, together with her mother, she set out on a death march from Kurzbach. For both of them, the march ended in the village of Wohlau, where they saw the end of the war. Her father and her brother Michal were murdered in Auschwitz. In the summer of 1945, Hana and her mother returned to Prague. She married and converted to Catholicism. She raised five children and had 16 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren. She was the author of several books for children and young people (for e.g. The Strange Girl, Around the World in 80 years, The Forbidden Girls) and the autobiographical novel A Private Conversation. Her diary from the years 1940 – 1946 was published posthumously under the title I'm Writing and the Notebook is on my Knees. Mrs. Hana Bořkovcová died on February 25, 2009.

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