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Lisa Miková (1922) - Biography

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We thought that Birkenau was in some nice place. Birken means birch trees.

Lisa Miková, née Lichtensternová, was born January 31, 1922 in Prague in a Jewish family. With anti-Semitism on the rise, the family was considering emigration to Switzerland in August 1938, but they eventually decided to return to Prague. In autumn 1938, the parents sent their daughter Lisa to relatives living in Zagreb, Croatia, from where she was to travel to England, but she returned o Czechoslovakia again. After her expulsion from grammar school she attended English Grammar School in Prague and she passed the state examination in the English language. Later she studied at Rotter's school of graphic design for marketing and fashion design in Prague, but she was expelled from the school due to her Jewish origin. On January 27, 1942 she and her parents boarded the transport to the Terezín ghetto. She lived in the Hamburg barracks and she worked as a draftswoman in the Magdeburg barracks where she met her future husband, Ing. František Mautner. They married in Terezín in 1943 and she became involved in the illegal movement in Terezín through her husband: she was drawing plans of Terezín for the Czechoslovak resistance movement. Lisa's parents were deported to Auschwitz in September 1943. Her husband František went to Auschwitz on September 28, 1944 and Lisa followed him in early October 1944. In November 1944 she was deported from Auschwitz to the camp in Freiberg near Dresden (subcamp of the Flossenbürg concentration camp), where she worked in an aircraft factory. On April 13, 1945 she was transported to the concentration camp Mauthausen, where she lived to see the liberation on May 5, 1945. Her parents had died in Auschwitz; her husband František returned after having been interned in several concentration camps. After the war, Lisa worked in a bookshop, in a culture centre in the German Democratic Republic and later in a company which imported books from abroad. She graduated from the Higher School for Booksellers in Leipzig. She and her husband changed their names from Mautner to Mika. Mrs. Lisa Miková lives in Prague.

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