Annelore Finková

* 1940  

  • "My mum said that at the beginning, they were a bit... But they made room for us. The farmers were terrible, they took everything they had. 'You've gotten milk and now you have to work to make it up.' Initially, it was a catastrophy but as they'd gotten to know us, my mum found a job, there was no trouble. To the contrary, the boys came over and said: 'Anne, we need sugar to make wine, we have plenty of fruit. I will get you some, and then when we slaughter a pig, you will get some of it.' Back then, they made canned meat. For a while, I attended a village school and then moved to Bad Lausitz to my aunt's."

  • "Our house was also half destroyed, everything was blackened. One day, I got out and witnessed a thing I won't forget. My brother shouted: 'Come on, come already!' The women take a bit longer. I went out with him. 'There is something in her, Anne, come on.' I went to him and there was the pharmacist. There was just the half of him, completely black, everything burnt. I don't recall what it is called now. It destroyed everything." - "Phosphorus shells?" - "I guess it was phosphorus. I can't get it out of my head. My mum said I had to go and forget it. I know many of the things from the recollections of my mum."

  • "Still in Germany, I saw his number..." - "He had a number tatooed on his forearm?" - "Well, of course. From the concentration camp. He spent a year with his mum in Terezín. He only met his father a year later in Auschwitz. Your people surely know that the youth there played theater. My husband witnessed all of this in Terezín. At the beginning, when people asked him: 'Harry, why do you have a number on your forearm?', he would say: 'Oh, that was just childhood silliness.' He hadn't spoken about it."

  • "We had to get out of the house and there were the Russian soldiers armed with rifles, driving us out. We were not allowed to stay, and so we went in the direction of Germany. Back then, it was only one Germany - no East and West yet. It was terribly cold, it must have been January or February. Mum went along, my three-years-older brother, I was five. He helped drive me on the sledge. Often, we took the cattle trains - the same that used to go to Auschwitz. According to mum's recollections, it must have been terrible. There was no toilet, people were packed in. Then we had to get out. We walked more than half of the way on foot in the snow."

  • "They were in Erfurt and had coal, a farm and such things. My mum kept the address in the memory. We wanted to go there, I guess they made the arrangements with my mum. Half of the way, mum had to take me through deep snow. There were plenty of dead people there lying on the road. I wasn't able to walk anymore, I contaiged typhus and pneumonia. There were dead bodies on the side, I still recall that, it was nasty. My mum took the sledge because she didn't know what else to do with me. I had severe fever. She buried a dead child in the snow, and took the sledge to drive me further. It must have been a horrible journey. I know this from their memories. And we ended up here in Schwarzenberg-Lichtenberg, not far from here in Germany. There, we were accommodated in a private home. The landlady's name was Stein, she had two daughters. Her husband was also in the war but she already knew he was dead."

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    Karlovy Vary, 13.04.2018

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    duration: 01:34:32
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My father used to call me Spatz

Annelore Finková in 1942
Annelore Finková in 1942
photo: archiv pamětnice

Annelore Finková, née Miszich, was born on 19 July 1940 in the city of Lyck in the former Eastern Prussia (nowadays the Polish city of Elk). Both of her parents were Germans, with her father working as a financial clerk and mother as an accountant. Annelore had an older brother. By the end of 1939, her father was drafted to the Wehrmacht and fell probably in 1945 in Poland. At the end of the war when the territory was divided between the Soviet Union and Poland, the family had to leave their home. After more than three weeks, they found accommodation in the village of Scharzenberg on the German side of Erzgebirge. A year later, they moved to their relatives’ house in Erfurt. Annelore Finková graduated from a medical school and worked in the field. She got married, divorcing seven years later. Her second husband Harry Fink had Czechoslovak roots and she moved there with two children to reunite with him in 1973. Due to his Jewish origin, Harry Fink spent a year in the Terezín ghetto, surviving the Auschwitz extermination camp where he was in a group dubbed the ‘Birkenau Boys’. He lost most of his family in the holocaust. The Fink family lived in Horní Slavkov, Ostrov and in Karlovy Vary. Annelore worked in Karlovy Vary as a spa medician and later as a nurse in Munich. She is retired and lives in Karlovy Vary.