No one asked for names in the camp
JUDr. Hanuš Gaertner, né Hans Gaertner, was born on 4 January 1926 in Hamburg. Both his parents were Czech Jews who had lived in Hamburg from 1924. His father had a logistics company there, his mother was a housewife. Hanuš attended primary and grammar school in Hamburg; from September 1938 he lived with his relatives in Prague. Until his expulsion in 1940 he continued his studies at the English Grammar School in Prague. He was a member of the Zionist movement of Maccabi Hatzair, and he briefly attended the Alijah Schule in Prague. On 10 August 1942 he was deported to the ghetto in Terezín. In December 1943 he was taken by transport to Auschwitz, where he stayed for half a year in the so-called family camp. In June 1944 he passed through selection and was chosen for labour in Schwarzheide, an auxiliary camp of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. On 18 April 1945 the camp was evacuated and he was sent on a death march to Varnsdorf. From there he was taken to Terezín, where he was liberated in May 1945. He returned to Prague, where he was reunited with his mother and his younger brother Štěpán, who had waited out the war in Switzerland; his father had died. Hanuš Gaertner graduated from the Faculty of Law of Charles University in 1950. He was employed briefly as an assistant at the faculty before joining the Czechoslovak Press Agency (ČTK); he later worked as a German translator. In July 1968 he went to Switzerland with his mother and daughter; the family remained there following the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia in August 1968. He lived in Germany, worked as a lawyer and certified translator and interpreter. He returned to Prague in 1992 and lives there to this day. He is the chairman of the Association of Former Prisoners of Camp Schwarzheide, he compiled and published the book Schwarzheide - Nezapomeňte! (Schwarzheide - Do Not Forget!); a documentary was filmed about his life.