Marta Dittrichová

* 1923  †︎ 2022

  • “And then, before the end of the year, before Christmas, in 2942, they got a summons to a transport on the 17th January of 1943. And I still see them. Everyone could take only a limited amount, a sheet and the most needed clothing items and toiletries. I have to add that I bow to those who survived the concentration camp, I deeply respect them. But when I recall what we went through, I don't have words to describe it. It was a mixture of feelings, I can't even say it, misery and fear and we lived in them every day.”

  • Brother's trial “I was at the court. They read the accusations to my brother and asked: 'Do you feel guilty?' He bowed and said 'Your Honour [the judge], Your Honours [the assistant judges], Your honour, Doctor [the attorney] and all present, I do not feel guilty.' There was some secret police officer from Hradiště in the first row who jumped up, grabbed the paper with the accusations and told him: 'Here it is in written. You signed it!' And my brother bowed again and said: 'My Lords, I would need to tell you under what condition I signed the confession.' I thought that he [the officer] would jump out of his seat and lynch him. And the attorney just looked down, looked at me and nodded. We knew that it was bad. At the end, he got fifteen years in jail.”

  • “I was there, once, about five years ago, at náměstí Míru . When I came, there was already a plenty of people and they were handing out flyers with names of people tortured to death in a concentration camp. There was such a podium and everyone went there and read those names. And when I came, I also got a flyer, there were about eight names and I asked the lady, 'Why do I need to read names of strangers when there are 29 victims in my own family? My mother, my grandfather…' Several people from the Jewish community of Prague and they were: how come? What is my name and how is that possible that they know nothing about me? I told them that it is very painful for our family and for others who went through the ordeal and that I never wanted to get engaged, we were neither members of the Society of Antifascist Fighters nor the the Society of Family Members of Victims of Nazism because it [the events of WWII] was talked about there over and over.”

  • „In 1942, in October, my parents were summoned to Uherský Brod to register. I went there from Zlín and I and mom went along with the crowd coming to register. And when the German man was writing down my mother's name, I said, 'How come?' and that we are Christians – dad was a Catholic so mom had lived in a mixed matriomny but at that time, they were already divorced. They got a divorce in 1931 or 1932. And he replied that if I want, he can add me to the list. Mom just pressed my hand and said: 'Silence'”

  • “The Germans came and they came to school to institute their new order. Every first Tuesday of the month, I had to report to Gestapo. The officer's name was Raschka. I was always scared when I went there. Armour-plated doors and many soldiers all over the place. He forbade me, he strictly informed me that I am not allowed to go anywhere, not to take part in anything, no theatre, no cinema. I was only allowed to go to Rajnochovice. And when I was visiting him for the next time, I had to show my train ticket, he asked whom I met outside my family and so on. And as far as I know, they would go to school to ask about my study results. At school, they were happy with me because as I said, I was a member of their sports team so I left a good impression in their memories.”

  • “I went to the city council [to find out] who returned from the concentration camp. There, they told me that [it was] Mr. Leinfelner and Mr. Klein, so I went to theirs. When they saw me, they recognised who I was and asked, 'What are you doing here?' 'I'm going home and they say that Mom is returning to Rajnochovice and that she is sick.' Mr. Leinfelner hugged me and said: 'Marta, I am sorry that I am the one to divulge the news. But, your mom is not going to return, she, with my mom, when we arrived to Terezín, went straight to the transport to be gassed. Don't wait and don't wait for uncle Albert because he stood in the transport aimed for Auschwitz.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Praha, 20.03.2019

    duration: 01:54:53
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
  • 2

    Praha, 01.04.2019

    duration: 01:34:17
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
  • 3

    Praha, 08.10.2019

    duration: 41:11
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

Thirst for life

Marta Dittrichová, Business Academy graduation photograph. 1942
Marta Dittrichová, Business Academy graduation photograph. 1942
photo: archiv pamětnice

Marta Dittrichová, née Mohylová, was born on the 27th October in1923 in Rajnochovice. Her Jewish great-grandfather came to Moravia from Tirol and in Podhradní Lhota, his family built a prospering business: butcher’s, meat delikatessen shop and their own slaughterhouse. At about the time when Marta was born, her mother Ida and father Jan Mohyla lived in a nearby house which however, according to the cadastre, was a part of the neighbouring village of Rajnochovice. Marta grew up with her older sister Eliška and younger brother Milan. She attended basic school in Valašské Meziříčí and later, Tomáš Baťa’s Business Academy for International Trade in Zlín. In the 1930’s, her parents separated. In 1943, mother, her brother Albert and their father Emil had to join the transport first to Terezín and then further on to Auschwitz where they all died. The same fate befell on the wider family – 29 family members of surnames Fanty, Hirsch, Herman, Pollak and Löff perished in holocaust. Only Marta’s grandfather’s brother Josef Fanty returned from Terezín. He spent the rest of his life in Rajnochovice and he is buried at the Jewish cemetery in Holešov. During the war, the family business was under the Protectorate’s forced management. Marta’s brother Milan Mohyla apprenticed as a butcher here but as he was of mixed Jewish ancestry, in 1944, he had to go to a forced labour camp in Postelberg/Postoloprty. He managed to escape from the camp before Christmas and he spent the rest of the war in hiding. After Marta graduated from secondary school, she got a job in the Moragro company in Prštné (today a part of Zlín) and in Brno. After the war, the siblings attempted for further expansion of the family business. In 1949, Milan was arrested and along with other defendants in the case of the subversive group Hory Hostýnské [Mountains of Hostýn], he was sentenced to 15 years in jail, later, the sentence was commuted to nine years of imprisonment by the Supreme Court. He was granted an early release for health reason after having served seven years in the uranium mines of Jáchymov. During his absence, Marta managed the family business which was meantime nationalised and cared for her grandfather’s brother Josef. In 1953, she married Karel Dittrich. After her brother returned from prison and gained full health, they moved to Vsetín where Marta got a job in the State Bank of Czechoslovakia. She worked here for 21 years until she retired. She raised one daughter, Alexandra. For the last three years, thanks to the support of the Jewish community in Prague, she lived in a retirement home. Despite her advanced age, she participated in public life and took part in events commemorating the victims of holocaust. Marta Dittrichová died on February 12, 2022.