Eva Adorian

* 1926

  • “Transports of old people from Germany started arriving there at a certain time. They were so-called privileged people. Their husbands or fathers had been in the German Army in World War One or they had some merits... They were all people like that. They were indeed great patriots. They had been told – yeah, you will go to a spa resort – and these people arrived there as if they really travelled to a spa. (With nothing, just like when you go to a spa). They packed things for a stay in a spa. And then they arrived into the reality, where they did not even have a bed. They slept on straw mattresses one next to each other. These people broke down, because they came there and they were absolutely not prepared for what was there. The conditions were horrendous. There was no space... It was so horrible!”

  • “We worked there in two shifts, twelve hours and twelve hours. At that time they transferred us to some barracks out of Freiberg, which meant that we would have to walk there for more than half an hour in winter. It was minus fifteen degrees centigrade. We did not have any stockings, anything, no coats, and only those of us who were lucky, and I was among them, had wooden clogs. Those who had been given some shoes found out that the shoes broke apart quickly. We all suffered from frostbite. The skin cracked due to the freezing so that it was bleeding.”

  • “One day there was yet another selection and we did not know what we should do. We remained standing there after the first selection. Those Kapos came there and said that those who were weak or ill or did not have enough strength should raise their hands. It would be better for them to stay here. Mom has always been a sickly person. She wanted to raise her hand. I didn’t know, but somehow I still understood that nobody was allowed to be sick or weak there. Really – I was pushing her arm down by force so that… But what I want to say: those Kapos knew what they were doing. They must have known what it meant. Even if they had been given an order, they could have whispered: don’t do that. But they have not done it. And this is what I cannot forgive them.”

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    Ma´ajan Cvi, 24.11.2013

    duration: 01:49:01
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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A free mind cannot be enslaved

Eva Ehrlichová, after WWII
Eva Ehrlichová, after WWII
photo: Archiv pamětnice, dodala Jitka Radkovičová

Eva Adorian, née Ehrlichová, was born in Prague in 1926 in a well-to-do Jewish family. She had an older sister. Eva was a member of the Jewish movement El Al and she was active in the association Shared Hand, which was helping Jews to cope with critical situations during transports. In 1942 the family had to board a transport for the ghetto in Terezín. Eva stayed there with her mother. While there, she was taught how to draw by the artist Friedl Dicker-Brandeisová. Eva also remembers the infamous inspection by the Red Cross as well as transports of German Jews whom the Nazis had convinced that they were going to a spa resort. Eva contracted typhoid while she was in Terezín. In 1944 Eva Adorian and her mother were transported to Auschwitz, where she has saved her mother’s life during the selection process thanks to her presence of mind. Both were then taken to work in a factory in Freiberg where aircraft parts were produced. In spring 1945 Nazis deported the prisoners to Mauthausen when the eastern war front was drawing nearer. Even after the camp’s liberation, Eva was stayed to help doctors who were taking care of the surviving prisoners. She graduated from secondary school after the war. Eva did not complete her university studies because she emigrated with her mother to Israel where she has been living since.