Anina Korati, roz. Vohryzková

* 1921  †︎ 2016

  • “I was born in Prague, and I still believe that it really was a fortune of fate, because in my memories, in the factual ones and in the emotional ones, I have loved and appreciated the Czechoslovak Republic. I had the feeling that it was a liberal, intelligent, polite, friendly and funny country.”

  • “Everything there is in bloom and yields fruit. Purely tropical climate. People of all colours were standing along the road and shouting a welcome to us: ´Bienvenue, welcome.´ They were throwing flowers at us. We felt like being drunk from all this. The bus eventually stopped in front of an iron gate, and the inscription said: Her Majesty’s Prison. So that’s where we were.”

  • “It lasted for hours, we were not allowed to do anything, not even to speak, just to stand and wait. There was a staircase inside, and Gestapo men were standing on some of the stairs. I remember one of the worst experiences of my life. Up on the staircase, on the first floor, one of the Gestapo men was dragging a man who looked like my daddy, who was nicely dressed and wore a hat. The Gestapo man was shouting at him: ´Sau Jude,´ and he was kicking him so that the man fell down. The hat fell off from his head and it was rolling downstairs. The Gestapo man was kicking him down the stairs and I felt what I have never felt before in my life: fear. I remember that – well, maybe I made it up, but I feel it very intensely – that at that moment I decided that when I had children, they would never get to know fear like this. I had to find a life where this fear did not exist.”

  • “One of my girlfriends and I were already sitting in a small motor boat, which was to take us from Atlantic to Patria. We were already in the boat, I was looking at the ship Patria, and on the second floor I saw Gerty, one of my friends, who was a well-known swimmer from Brno. I motioned to her to keep some good seats for us on Patria. My private recollection: I turned around to tell my friend Ruty that Gerta would be guarding our seats on Patria for us. As I turned my head to her, I heard a loud bang. I looked back and there was no Gerty and no ship to be seen. The ship turned over instantly, there was terrible chaos and they took us back to Atlantic. From there we were taken to Atlit, which was a detainment camp with barbwire around it. It was controlled by the Englishmen, not by Germans, and they did not make it unnecessarily difficult for us, but still…”

  • “So to explain who I am. Now my name is Anina Korati, it is a Hebrew name, which comes from the fact that my husband’s name was Tramer, but he wanted to have a Hebrew name. He thus decided that ´trám´(a beam in Czech – transl.’s note) was a nice word, and it translated into Hebrew as ´kora.´ Our name is thus now Korati, which means ´the beam of my house´. Many people think that it comes from Italian, but it is not so. Now why I am called Anina: my original name was Anna, and they called me Anina at home, and since almost nothing has been left from my life except this name, when I settled in Palestine, I decided that Anina sounds Hebrew enough, and that I would change my name like this. So this is what has remained with me.”

  • “What has Gandhi taught? Non-violent resistance. We, the girls, were to undress completely and lie on the beds covered with the Palestine Police blankets. I can still feel it now, the blanket gave me an itch. We were lying there and waiting, and an English soldier or policeman would always come and say: ´Get up, you have to go away.´ Then somebody came to tell us that it was of no use, that all the men had been already transported away; they had used violence against them. The men were also naked, and they beat them a little with batons and slightly hurt them, and then violently made them go away. We thus put on our clothes and as a sign of protest, we threw everything we had onto the ground. I think that some two months later, the Englishmen brought it all to Mauritius.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Kfar Ruppin, Izrael, 06.04.2014

    duration: 02:29:52
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 2

    Izrael, 01.05.2014

    duration: 27:29
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 3

    Izrael, 16.01.2015

    duration: 02:54:20
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

I decided that when I have children one day, they will never experience fear

korati orez.jpg (historic)
Anina Korati, roz. Vohryzková

Anina Korati was born in 1921 in Prague as Anna Vohryzková in the family of a Jewish attorney. Her parents were Zionists, and Czech language was spoken at home. Her younger brother Josef Vohryzek (1926 - 1998), who later became a literary critic and was one of the signatories of Charter 77, spent the years 1940-1945 in Sweden. In 1940 Anna Vohryzková set out for Palestine with a group of Zionists. They traveled from Bratislava on the steamship Helios on the Danube River, and then from Romania on the steamship Atlantic. After more than a month of arduous journey they finally arrived to Haifa. While in Haifa, Anna witnessed the sinking of the ship Patria, onto which their group was supposed to transfer. After their arrival, the British officials interned her in the camp Atlit, and later she was transported together with the other passengers from the steamship Atlantic to the island of Mauritius, where they were awaiting their release until the end of the war. Anna Vohryzková kept writing her diary during the whole time of her journey until the internment in Mauritius. After their arrival to Israel, she married Kurt Tramer, her friend from the group, who had served in the Czechoslovak army, and later deserted and joined the British Mandate army under the name Chaim Korati. Anina Korati and her husband settled in kibbutz Kfar Ruppin in the Jordan Valley very close to the Israel-Jordan border, and they have been living there ever since.