Flames burned high up in the dark sky
Ing. Karel Ellinger was born in Brno on 27 July 1928, into a mixed Czech-Jewish family. His mother was Christian and his father was from an important Jewish family, who settled in Pohořelice. Karel grew up in Pohořelice, but the family fled to Brno after the annexation of the Sudetes in the autumn of 1938. His father died in the spring of 1939. In April 1943 Karel and his elder brother Jan were taken by transport from Brno to the Terezín ghetto. There he worked in a shoemaker’s shop. Both the brothers were transported to Auschwitz in September 1944. After a week, Karel was moved away from the vicinity of the gas chambers, to the concentration camp in Landsberg in Germany. He was later moved to camp Landshut, where he fell seriously ill; his brother Jan died in Landsberg in February 1945. The Germans closed down Camp Landshut in spring 1945, and they evacuated the prisoners to Dachau. Karel Ellinger was liberated on 29 April 1945 in the hospital of concentration camp Dachau. After recovering he returned to Czechoslovakia in June 1945. After graduating from secondary school in 1950, he studied at the Czech Technical University in Prague and then worked at the Research Institute of Construction Works in Brno. Karel Ellinger lives in Brno.