Bedřiška Felixová

* 1935  

  • „And mom lay in the attic room as well. On that evening of the 9th of May, suddenly, there was that noise and clamour outside. My aunt went outside to check what was going on. And she told us that the Russians have arrived and that now wer are free. Suddenly, a horse neighed outside and she said that it was a good omen, that dad had probably returned. He had not, though. Many emaciated people were coming to Terezín from other camps and I would check every train and look for my dad. One day, I met a lady I had known and instead of a chat, I got slapped on my face, she said that was no place for me, that I’d only catch some nasty disease there.”

  • „I remember the place where all five of us lay on a straw mattress, including our grandma and aunt Heřmína. And there we lay and in the night, they gradually stuffed us on board of a tram and drove us to the railway station. And I, a seven-year-old princess, was sleepy and I laid my head on grandma’s shoulder and grandma was not getting the whole situation. And aunt Heřmína was two years older and she got it, that the situation is something which, like, not… Grandma – I don’t know.”

  • „At first, we were assigned to the so-called mica works where we flaked mica. And then the guards found out that mom is a qualified seamstress so she was transferred to sewing army uniforms and that saved our lives. At that time, she was a part of the indispensable workforce of the Reich so she sat on her bum in Terezin and sewed those uniforms. She saved herself this way and weren’t it for her sewing, someone else would be telling you these stories.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Brno, 06.03.2017

    (audio)
    duration: 02:52:20
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 2

    Brno, 05.12.2019

    (audio)
    duration: 01:20:53
    media recorded in project Příběhy regionu - JMK REG ED
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

I don’t harbour any hatred but my heart still aches

Bedřiška Felixová - historical photograph
Bedřiška Felixová - historical photograph
photo: vlastní

Bedřiška Felixová was born on the 17th of January in 1935 in Brno as the only child of a Jewish clerk, Gustav Burgmann, and his wife Regina Burgmannová, a dressmaker. Her parents had met in a café in Brno and they got married in 1927. Towards the end of the 1930’s, the Nazi Germany was rising in power and Bedřiška’s father was advised to move to the United States, the family however chose to remain in Brno. They were summoned for a transport and on the 31st of March of 1942, they boarded a train that left Brno for the Terezín where the Nazi administration set up the so-called ghetto. Shortly after their arrival Bedřiška’s seventy-year-old grandmother died. In Terezín, Bedřiška and her mother Regina at first worked in slicing mica, then they got transferred into a sewing workshop. Gustav Burgmann was worried about his wife and daughter and he would bring them his food rations but in the autumn of 1944, he was sent with a transport to Auschwitz, never to return. In May 1945, Terezín was liberated by the Red Army and both women were able to return to Brno.