The girls were hiding from death in a cellar for six years
Gertruda Milerská, née Lachsová, was born on January 26, 1933 in Třinec. Her father Ferdinand was a Jew originally from Lviv, her mother Helena was a Catholic of Polish nationality. The couple had an umbrella workshop and a thriving business before the war. After Germany invaded Poland in 1939 and occupied Cieszyn region, including Trinec, the Nazis arrested Ferdinand Lachs and took him to a concentration camp. He died in Auschwitz. Until the end of the war, her mother was hiding Gertrude and her one-year-old sister Hanne in a cellar in Třinec. Their mother´s acquaintance arranged that their baptismal certificates disappeared from the registry. The witness´s mother worked in Třinecké železárny and also went to help the farmers to support the children for whom she did not receive food stamps. The sisters learned to read, write and count in the basement. Gertrude first went to school when she was twelve years old. She worked in Třinecké železárny and engaged in various sports. She competed successfully in swimming, canoeing and cross-country skiing. She got married and had two children. It was not until the 1990s that she claimed her Jewish roots. She became a member of the Jewish organization Hidden Child. The Ministry of Defense granted her the status of a participant in the national liberation struggle and a political prisoner from 1939 to 1945. In 2022, she lived in Třinec.