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"Shakespeare Saved My Life"

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2008.191.1

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    "Shakespeare Saved My Life"

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    Consists of one memoir, 84 pages, entitled "Shakespeare Saved My Life," by Eva Porges Rocek. In her memoir, Eva describes her family's history, her memories of the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia, the antisemitic laws and regulations, her family's deportation to Theresienstadt (Terezin) and then Auschwitz, her liberation by the Russian Army in January 1945, and her life after the war in the United States.
    creation:  2007
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Eva Rocek
    Collection Creator
    Eva Rocek
    Eva Porges Rocek (May 29, 1927-June 28, 2015) was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia to local businessman Viktor Porges and his wife Anna Marie Bondyova. Eva was 12 years old when the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia in 1939, and her family was deported to Theresienstadt (Terezin), Czechoslovakia. There Eva was forced into slave labor at various jobs, including cleaning public toilets and being assigned to a youth corps responsible for growing crops. It is also in Theresienstadt where she met her future husband, Honza Robitschek (now Jan Rocek). She and her parents were deported to Auschwitz in German-occupied Poland in October 1944, where she and her mother were separated from her father, who was killed. Eva and her mother were then sent to the Kurzbach concentration camp, located in today’s Poland, north of Breslau (Wrocław, in Lower Silesia), from which they were sent on a death march in January 1945. They escaped from the march and were liberated by the Russian Army. After the war, they returned to Prague, where Eva reconnected with and married Jan in 1947. She earned a Doctor of Technical Sciences degree (the equivalent to a PhD) in chemistry, worked in pharmaceutical research, and had two sons,Thomas and Martin. The family escaped communist Czechoslovakia by moving to the United States in 1960, where Eva became a professor of chemistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

    Physical Details

    1 folder

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    The donor, source institution, or a third party has asserted copyright over some or all of these material(s). The Museum does not own the copyright for the material and does not have authority to authorize use. For permission, please contact the rights holder(s).

    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Rocek, Eva, 1927-2015.

    Administrative Notes

    Eva Rocek donated her memoir to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on Feb. 9, 2008.
    Record last modified:
    2023-02-24 13:36:22
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