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Oral history interview with Zuzana Ruzickova

Oral History | Accession Number: 2010.7 | RG Number: RG-50.615.0001

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

Zuzana Ružičková, famed harpsichordist, describes her childhood growing up in Plzeň in an assimilated, well-to-do Czech family; not being aware of antisemitism until the Nazi occupation; her early music lessons and engaging in lessons secretly after the German occupation; the Nuremburg Laws; becoming a Zionist; her parents’ desire to send her to England on a Kindertransport, but she did not want to leave them; being moved to a shared house; being sent with her family to the Terezin ghetto (Theresienstadt) in January 1942; meeting Freddy Hirsch, who took care of the children and elderly; helping Freddy care for the children; being allowed to visit her parents on the weekend; the death of her father and grandfather in Theresienstadt; going outside the ghetto to work in the fields in 1943; the visit of the Swiss Red Cross to the camp in 1943; being sent with her mother to Auschwitz in 1943; being tattooed and made to sign a document stating that she had been arrested for anti-German activity; being told by Freddy in Auschwitz to lie about her age and claim to be 16 years old; helping Freddy with the children in Auschwitz; the horrible conditions at Auschwitz; how may prisoners were burned alive; being saved from being gassed in 1944 and chosen for slave labor; being sent with her mother to Hamburg, Germany; being transferred to Bergen-Belsen in February 1945; being liberated by British troops; working in the British general hospital as a translator; experiencing survivor’s guilt; how she met her husband Viktor; and taking up music again.

Interviewee
Zuzana Ružičková
Interviewer
Marie Winn
Date
1991  (creation)
Language
English
Extent
1 folder.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Marie Winn
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:37:40
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn39188