Nadia Rosa

* 1938

  • "All right. So, Nadi, if I may... so I will ask about the year 1968 in general, and so we continue... It is the third shooting, today is whose... it is September 13, 2023, and we are actually continuing your life story. We will continue with the events after 1968, so I will start with the basic question that actually even before the invasion in August, the process of such a Prague Spring was going on... and how did you even perceive this release even before... in that 1968, or at the end of the sixties years. I don't know if I said that at the beginning of the year sixty-eight, I was in the hospital for six weeks and I didn't feel anything there, you know, in the hospital. Was that something serious? Not. Six weeks… I don't even know if it was the correct diagnosis, well. But my auntie was there at the women's clinic, so I was lying there. And they did various examinations on me. Anyway, I didn't feel it at all there because there is a completely different atmosphere and different things are talked about. But you see other things around you, which was quite scary with twenty women. Well, and then she went out and I went to work again. And there I started to feel that there was a different atmosphere. Namely, I had one boss... I don't know if I told you this before, who was very cunning, he was a great communist, he was also a member of the ŠTB... he also wrote a book, I forgot... such a rough book with all the speeches of Lenarth and such people who were exposed at the time and he ruled... we were still doing... it doesn't exist anymore, it was one, it was called the mill and it was somewhere in the back, you could go there from Košická and it was an old remodeled building and about three or four academic departments were there and we were one of them. And there he ruled with an iron hand over everything... in the yard, everywhere. And suddenly I saw that something had changed in that tone, that he no longer allowed himself to shout at people like that...even strangers, not from ours. And then to us... what happened was that he immediately came to us... so our group was still practicing for hours. The only ones at the academy. And he came to us saying why don't we meet after work in Metropolka. We were all terribly exhausted. And he had... he set up a small library there, and because he didn't know languages, he hired a librarian there, who prepared things for him every day, which he always gave him in the evening from carentcontens... I don't know if you know, it's a collection of everyone, everything that comes out in our field and he had to translate it by morning and put it on his desk. I don't even know what he had with that journalist from Smena, and he said this to this journalist. And he probably also told the journalist what happened before. And she wrote an article in Smena under the line, "Let's go to the cafe on Friday ''. Well, here it is already clearly stated what happened... that one boss who is like this blah blah blah, and suddenly let's go to the cafe like this. So yes, the atmosphere has totally changed. "

  • "And then, they decided to go home. My mother begged my father not to go home, because she saw what happened. Dad just couldn't. He said we can't. So we went home… well, but where to go? They didn't have an apartment. So he... he was still a soldier, so they were housed in Auton in Prague. But what about me? So they left me in a boarding school. And the boarding school... my mother was very clean and somehow it was not possible in England, so she searched, searched, searched for boarding schools and the only thing was to keep it clean... well, she found it. In Brington, it is in the south by the sea and there were some acquaintances of fathers who also lived there with his wife. And there my mother found a Catholic boarding school called St. Sacramento School. That's also Slovak, isn't it? Sacrament. I don't know if it's... I'll write it for you or we'll translate it. Well, and now, I got into this environment and this school was of course nuns and... we had such a young and very nice nun and she played tennis with us... she chose that, dropped her skirt below her waist and played with us. She was very nice and all that. Well, I was there for a year. We little girls dusted the church, that was ours. There we had to sit at long tables and a nun in front made sure we didn't talk or eat with our mouths open and so on. And... everything was fine until... mom came one Christmas, and I have a photo of us playing tennis and we're all like this. And mom found out we have lice. Because one little girl came from Africa, so she brought... she probably couldn't clean it. I remember one Christmas that my mother still had DVT... she put it in our head and it stung terribly. Well, then she left again. And then there were big holidays... I know that one holiday I was there alone. And there were a few children whose parents were I don't know where and couldn't take them. And there was one little girl, very pretty, very blond, blue eyes, and her name was Pamela. She bothered me terribly, I remembered that. "

  • "Mom was what... what jobs was she assigned to when you were in Terezín? Mom... Mom sorted the potatoes, good for us, bad for these... And when she could... So she wore… And when she could steal, she brought one small potato. But that... if she had been caught, she would have gone to a small fortress. Because I didn't want to eat anything. Neither there, nor there, nor here, just now I untied myself. So my mother was terribly afraid that I would die of hunger. That's what she did to me, such a potato woman, such a tiny, tiny iron, what...iron stove was there, that's it. And with the onion too, I think it saved my life. I ate onions. And the council... not now. Well, and like this... and when I got measles, my mother got really scared, because typhoid was there. And when someone had typhus, he went to the hospital. Many did not return from the hospital. So, every morning, when the inspection came, my mother worked me into that bed, and I was small and thin, so they didn't see it. Because she was very afraid that I would be taken. So she treated you to get yourself together and not go to the hospital. But I had a high fever... And you went to school? Or… So, all this that you know about Terezín... you probably know... it ended with one, the last one... in November, the last big transport went to Auschwitz. And all those children who made those butterflies and those drawings and all that... all that went to Auschwitz. And this book of Hana's, Hana's suitcase, she also went with her brother, but he was sixteen and she was maybe like me, maybe a little less and she perished. He didn't... he came to Canada and became terribly rich, and his daughter from his marriage also founded some foundation, but that book was translated into seventeen languages ​​and we learn history from Ďurica's books. We don't teach. Not anymore. We don't learn. Not anymore. Well, by the time we went through it, it was empty, as it were. Where is the man? Because after the November transport, it was empty, it was as if everything was wiped out. So no schools, because even their teachers went with them, they also perished. And we... I didn't remember that, because the day was the same as the other, so I found one woman who spoke German in the parliament yesterday or the day before yesterday, because she comes from Germany, and she also... she made a living from this. She also had dolls. Hana had the same doll as me, because back then there were only those dolls with porcelain heads. And when I first discovered this Inge, who of course I didn't know there… but her father had a cross from the First World War, so they stayed alive. And when I got in touch with her and started organizing, and it's actually been thirty years, she was ours, she was the first to speak to the children. We had 1,200 children at the seminars, and they were chosen according to how they were. So she was the first. Yesterday she spoke German in the parliament. "

  • "Then the hopes began... what we knew. Stalingrad has fallen, come on now, okay. So now there was hope that something would change. Well, but in the forty-third something really changed, but it was a terrible uncertainty, because one day they could announce that now more transports were going. So, the forty-third year was so... like ordinary. Especially for me, because it wasn't even talked about anymore, or maybe it was talked about, I don't know, but anyway, the terrible pressure lessened a little, because they really thought that Stalingrad was around the corner. And that already... well, like this. Well, and then the same again in the forty-fourth. I still have a photo from when my cousin was one year old and I was photographed near the house, because they lived there again... and it's August 21st, oh well. And then, the uprising... and now everything has been canceled, you know... I don't need to tell you that. And oh papa, someone... they walked the streets where the Jews were supposed to live, and they took all of it. And do you know where we lived? Hotel Falkensteiner... I was happy when it was built and I didn't have to look at the building in front of me. So we were on that side and the Gestapo was upstairs, on Sládkovičová. And that was August, in August the nights were a little light and of course everything was overcast, because there was a war, that was the whole time. But we saw… August? In August there was a resistance... it was the SNP, it broke out. Yes. And what was I talking about... what did you hear? I didn't know if you were talking about the SNP, so yes, you are talking about the SNP. The SNP was not known then, but something changed, of course, but we were occupied, like any other. And... so they chose and someone had to tell my Opapa that in that… that night, because we had already stood the day before, two days before and we saw how they took those Jews into open trucks, to Sládkovičova. So we saw it from the window. And that was already in August? Not after the suppression of the Slovak National Uprising? No, not after suppressing… not after suppressing. When the Slovak National Uprising began, the Germans immediately arrived. Not until suppressed. And... we saw it, those people, and someone said about Opapa that on that night they would come to our street, here. As we were the first... from the bottom. We lived above and below us... if you look at my word... powerpoint, you can see the house there. Downstairs was the office of one, Jesus, a lawyer. A lawyer. A lawyer. Well, I listen to Fico so much... and I can't think of a lawyer. And he said, here are my keys, come down. And we went, it was getting dark of course, and we sat there. And we heard everything. And that was no longer, not before the child. When I imagine, I can feel the fear here to this day. Mom kept me like that, of course... just quiet. And they were breaking everything there and screaming. Well, so this. The next day, it must have been arranged, so we all went to the shelter. I was at someone's house in Jasko Castle, and oh mom, oh dad, mom, uncle and the baby, we were all on our own. And my mother said... i can only imagine that I did the circus, because I was never away from my mother or my mother. I'm sorry… Mom said if you're good, I'll come see you for Christmas. "

  • "So you came back in the thirty-ninth, before the Jewish code was adopted, you were a very tiny child, and... Well, so and there we went to that Goat... and from that Goat my memories begin. Do you also remember that situation... well, maybe you don't, but if you do remember... how did the adoption of the Jewish code affect your family at all? You, your mother, your grandparents... Grandparents, yes, they were no longer there, but mine... who actually raised me, whom I loved and... Well, first of all they had to give everything, furniture... I found somewhere, but I found somewhere a paper from the collection office, where they had to hand over their furniture… all that was required in the Jewish code. So we are left with that apartment in… On Kozia street. Kozia street... It was one bedroom, one kitchen. And of course the water was on Pavlačka, the toilet was on Pavlačka... and what they left for them was a double bed, mine, mine... or they got it later, like my child's bed, or we slept already, no... I had a child's bed and my mother was also there while she was sleeping in the kitchen. So they lost everything, and of course, their... their business was destroyed. Well, that lady, I found that too in all kinds of papers. It is interesting that those papers... I received a lot from... I, I don't know if you know, but there was an action that was negotiated with some senator from America, that the insurance companies from Switzerland should give money back for those... because I know Of course, I didn't know about papa until after... he started his business in the 19th century, and then he insured. And many followed me... I was very active in this, or our social worker knew nothing... so she sent all these people to me. For the first time, I speak German and... well, I was at the computer and I asked papa's name and it popped up that he had insurance… and he had an insurance policy for 10,000 Czechoslovak crowns, which I don't know what they were worth, and I received 3,750 dollars, which we shared with my only cousin, the daughter of my mother's brother. And a cheeky letter that they didn't have to give it to us, just because it was moral... that... yes, they didn't have to give it to us for 3000... in sixty years? Do you know what interest is? Well, it doesn't matter. We have lost so much… But, well… maybe back to… as you mentioned that the store was Aryanized, do you also know who was Aryanized? Aryanized… Do you know who? Struhárová, who... I don't know who she was. And about papa and his helper, who was from the German minority, because papa mainly spoke German... they spoke German... even I, until the age of six, only knew German, and... so he had to have someone. And this lady worked there from the beginning and we are... I considered her an aunt, like family, well. She also had a mother like that, well... so they worked there, and Mrs. Struhárová took the sales."

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    Rosa Nadia

    duration: 04:59:42
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th century
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“Well... we already have France here, because she came from France, we already have an English girl here... we only miss Hitler here,” the first remark of Nadia’s classmate from elementary school, after returning to Bratislava.

Nadia Rosa, née Fialová, was born on April 27, 1938 in Bratislava, as the only child in a family of Jewish origin. Her mother, Reneé Beerová, later Fried, came from Bratislava, from the family of a carpet and curtain merchant. Even though at that time she managed a rarity, namely to get an education at a business school, she still stayed at home, as a housewife. Nada’s father, Alexander Fried, came from Klátová Nová Ves and worked as a sales representative in an American company that was involved in film production. Although both parents were of Jewish origin, the mother’s side was more secular and did not emphasize the observance of all Jewish sacraments. On the contrary, the family from the father’s side belonged to Orthodox Jews, which ultimately could mean a problem for the conclusion of the marriage. It didn’t happen, and even though Alexander was thirteen years older than Reneé, they managed to get married. During the Second World War, the family was divided. Nada’s father, due to his work obligations, remained in what was then Yugoslavia, where he was detained and placed in a concentration camp. He managed to escape from there and reached Palestine through Turkey, where he joined the British army. Naďa and her mother stayed in Bratislava with their grandparents. Thanks to the economic exemption, they did not have to hide until 1944. After the outbreak of the SNP, the whole family had to go into hiding, but they were discovered. They traveled to the concentration camp in Seredi, later to the Terezín concentration camp. Nadi and her mother Renée managed to survive these horrors perpetrated on the Jewish population. After the war, they managed to meet their father, with whom they emigrated for several years to England, where Naďa attended the Catholic boarding school of Saint Sacrament. In June 1947, they returned to Bratislava, where Naďa started an eight-year elementary school. After 1948 and the political coup, the father lost his job in the film production of the American company and became a social worker in the underground constructions. Mother worked in a toy store, where she later became an accountant. In 1952, Nada’s father was arrested and imprisoned for three months, returning in a very poor condition. It was enough for the regime that he once worked for an American company and was part of the British army. In 1953, Naďa entered the Bratislava gymnasium, where she studied for three years. After high school, studies at the university followed. Naďa decided on Comenius University, faculty of natural sciences. After completing her studies, based on her major, she finally joined the new factory in Boleraz near Trnava in 1962, where she dealt with the biochemistry of microorganisms, in the laboratory. She stayed there for four years, but with many problems. Naďa has been through more than one love, but with her future Alexander, she officially met at the birthday party of their mutual friend, while she had known him by sight much earlier, from language courses. Naďa loved Alex, but she did not want to get married right away. Since she was twenty-eight years old and her mother’s pressure was already too much, on August 12, 1967, she got married. They have one child together, a daughter, Daniela, who was born in 1970 in Hamilton. After the invasion of the Warsaw Pact troops, Naďa decided to emigrate with her husband in 1968. She emigrated without her parents, but her husband’s mother went with them. They arranged a three-day trip to Vienna, from where they never returned. Thanks to the help of her husband’s acquaintance, they continued through Salzburg to London, to Nadia’s cousin, where they waited six weeks for visas. They succeeded and settled in Hamilton, Canada, where they still live today. Soon, Nadia’s parents also came to see them, but many problems awaited them together, so the beginnings were not easy at all. They adapted and today they are very satisfied with their lives, they don’t miss anything. Naďa and her husband visited Czechoslovakia for six months after the Gentle Revolution, i.e. after 1989, but they no longer considered returning to their birthplace.