Chana Malka

* 1923

  • “When we arrived in Auschwitz, they opened the door and said: ‘Leave everything, jump out and run.’ We were in the last wagon, there were 1650 of us and since our friends had parents in first wagons, they said, ‘Let’s run ahead, we may find our parents.’ So the three of us ran ahead and the Germans needed just two-hundred young girls for work, so we went left and all the others went right. It actually saved my life that I was with them.”

  • “Everything that was here we did to have a better life, while in Europe we knew that death awaited us there. We didn’t know whether we would be alive the next day. When we were moved from Oederan and until we returned back to Theresienstadt, we thought they would kill us, as they didn’t want the world to know what was happening to us. This was something completely different, you were afraid all the time what would come. Here it was a war, but everybody hoped they would survive and start a new life.”

  • “In the Hamburg barracks there were many people. They waited for their names to be called and then there was this gate that you walked out through. People stood their, had labels hung on their necks and depending on the label then sent them out. What happened outside, I don’t know. I remember this because when my mum was in the transport, I made myself such a label but they knew it was forged and did not allow me to go with her and she went on her own. But we didn’t see it. Despite the fact that I worked close to the railway. When there were transports we had to have our windows closed so we didn’t see them go.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Praha, 13.12.2016

    (audio)
    duration: 56:09
  • 2

    Haifa, Izrael, 13.12.2016

    (audio)
    duration: 02:04:51
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

Whatever you say about the holocaust, it will never fully express what it was

malka.jpg (historic)
Chana Malka
photo: ED

Chana Malka was born as Hana on February 21, 1923, in Strakonice to the family of Karel and Irma Fialovi. She lost her younger sister Rena when she was ten a due to her death the marriage of her parents fell apart. She was raised by her mother in the house of her grandparents and her aunt. The Jewish origin of the family on her mother’s part was the cause of persecution after 1939 for all members of the family. Her grandmother died while still in Strakonice when she fell ill with pneumonia and they were not allowed to call for a doctor until it was too late. Her grandfather suffered a stroke and died after two months in Theresienstadt. Her uncle was shot dead by the Nazis in the Mauthausen concentration camp and her mother Hana died in a gas chamber in Auschwitz. Hana was in Theresienstadt, Auschwitz and Oederan, a concentration camp close to the Czechoslovakian border. When the war ended, she finished her secondary school and applied for study at the university in Prague. Half a year later, however, she decided to move to Palestine, where she stayed with her uncle and found a job. Soon she married Meir Malka and had two children with him. Meir was in the military service at the time, Hana avoided military service. The Arab-Israeli wars did not impact the family personally, but the present threat meant a life in permanent fear. Since 1960s Hana has returned to Czechoslovakia with her family, visited the new family of her father, but never regretted moving to Palestine. She has been practicing Feldenkrais’s method and has been lecturing to young people in Germany.