Gertrúda Drozdová

* 1928  

  • “When the Germans began to chase people at night, we used to call it a raid. There were usually two guards, two SS members in uniforms with rifles. They used to go from house to house, ring the bell at housekeeper’s and ask, where the Jews lived. And the housekeeper then said: ‘You know, what was I supposed to do? They had rifles!’ So she told them the truth. They took us that night to Kozia Street and centralized us in one house. I think it was number 21. Here they brought us, took notes and divided people into transports: ‘You will go here, you there!’ And then they took some people to the station. Luckily, we had papers there, since everyone tried to hunt for something, what could cover his identity. Those were dreadful times.”

  • “They robbed the stores, everything! All of the better apartments were taken! They completely precluded our living! Precluded whole families, people. Well, try to live without money. Good thing is that it seems now like the time has passed quite fast. The persecution took several years, beginning in 1938 and escalating year by year. The worst of all was the year 1942, I guess, but we survived it. The wartime was terrible. In each sphere it was tough, even the shopping, food, some stores were already closed. Fortunately, some stores were open, although, when one lacked money, what could he do? We cooked and ate just potato pancakes. This was available as well as the milk was quite cheap. I remember there was a cannikin for 2 liters of milk and we used to fill it in shops.”

  • “My father was taken into Bergen-Belsen. He was unable to hide or so. He got to Bergen-Belsen and I remember that when he returned, he carried a loaf of bread under his arms. He guarded his food, because he didn’t know what the situation was like back home.” “Please, tell me – did you say he went to the camp as a well-built man?” “Yes, he had around 90 kg and he lost almost a half of his weight. He experienced so much. Once he also mentioned that when the Americans came to liberate Bergen-Belsen, the Germans wanted to liquidate the camp. The people were forced to walk to other places. My father said they were driven into the freight cars, locked and left without food or anything for six days. They stayed at the railway line and by that time the Germans ran away. Simply, he told us it was awful. That when the cars were opened, there were dead people falling out, since some were so terribly weak…”

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    Ohel David, 17.04.2018

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    duration: 01:03:53
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th century
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If someone is dissatisfied, he should try to live during war!

Gertrúda Drozdová was born on June 21, 1928 in Bratislava. The first three years of elementary school she attended at the orthodox elementary school in Zochova Street in Bratislava. After the fascist takeover, this school was closed along with other Jewish schools. During the war she and her family had to constantly move. They were usually accommodated by their neighbors, who lived alone. These used to support the family also financially, since none of its members worked back then. Gertrúda and her mother managed to avoid deportations, but her father was deported into Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. After the war, Gertrúda was apprenticed to become a dressmaker and she tried to forget atrocities of the war. In 1955 she got married to active noncommissioned officer and together they had one son. Nowadays she lives in Ohel David senior house.