Věra Idan

* 1926  

  • “Ota Kraus – you know his wife, Dita, for sure – he was just a bit older than us but it made a huge difference back then. He told us: ‘You have six months, six full months. Us, we have only two. Do you see the smoke? Can you smell the stench? That’s where we will be in two months.' That’s how our acquaintances came to visit us youngsters. The whole September transport was gassed.“

  • “Those who came to Auschwitz wrote back: 'I met…' and named someone who died long time ago. People [in Terezín] did not understand what they were writing. Those who were in charge of Terezín must have known but they didn't speak about it. We knew that we were going nowhere better, but we thought: ‘What’s the matter? We know how to work, so what could happen? We will just get a harder job’.”

  • “By early 1939 my mother wanted to flee. It was possible to get to Poland through mines and then continue further. My father had a cousin who lived in England and who was rich. He would have sent us the flight ticket to England, not saying a word. My father said: ‘I will not leave Czechia with two small kids and a bag on my shoulders. Nothing can happen here.' That was my father. A few months later he was deported to Nisko. He wasn’t the only one thinking this way. Because of the culture, the writers, Beethoven, Mozart… how could they? That was unthinkable. They [my father and others] were blinded.“

  • “I do not remember at all who gave us the tickets for a concert or a theater, for the Brundibár show or for opera. I remember that I went to see an opera with cucumbers which I had stolen in the staff’s garden. I carried them in my bra, one on each side, and sometimes also in my pants. Of course, at a concert, you are squeezed in between a lot of people. Someone who stood in front of me turned around and said: ‘Ouch, what do you have there?' And, I could not tell him that I was carrying cucumbers."

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    Tel Aviv, 04.12.2016

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    duration: 02:10:36
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    Praha, 05.12.2016

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    duration: 02:08:37
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‘We know to work so what could happen to us?’ We thought before leaving for Auschwitz

IMG_20161204_0010 - kopie.jpg (historic)
Věra Idan
photo: dobová archiv pamětníka, současná natáčení ED

Věra Idan, née Rosenzweigová, was born on the 20th April, 1926, to a Jewish family living in Košice. She is the older of two daughters. Her father, Oskar, sold wood and her mother, Paula, was a housewife. Because of her father’s business, the family moved to Ostrava in mid 1930’s, where Věra and her younger sister, Mariana, attended a Czech school. When Jewish children were banned from public education, Věra started attending Alijat ha-noar School (Jugend Alijah Schule) lead by the Zionist movement in Prague and Ostrava. In October of 1939, Věra’s father was deported to the Nisko camp. He eventally managed to escape, and later fled to the USSR where he died in 1943. Věra, her mother, and sister were soon deported to Terezín on the 30th of September, 1942. There, Věra was put to work in agriculture and laundry. Together with her sister and mother, she was listed for a transport heading for Auschwitz on the 15th of May, 1944. After spending six weeks in the family camp, they went through selections together and soon transferred to Christianstadt camp, a branch of Gross-Rosen. Following the evacuation of the camp in February of 1945, they were sent on a death march to Cheb for six weeks. From there, all three were transported to Bergen-Belsen by the end of March, where they were finally liberated on the 15th of April. But on the 2nd May, 1945, Věra’s mother died, and Věra and her sister became severely ill. In July of 1945, they went for rehabilitation to Sweden and returned to Czechoslovakia in August of 1946. Once back in Prague, Věra met Otto Immerglück, whom she knew from Ostrava, and the two married in 1947. In 1949, they left together for Israel, changing their surname to Idan. They would spend ten years living in the Ha-Chotrim kibbutz before moving to the village of Michmoret in 1959, where Otto worked as a teacher. Together, they raised three sons. Věra Idan is now a widow living in Michmoret.