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Oral history interview with Eva Burns

Oral History | Accession Number: 1997.A.0441.4 | RG Number: RG-50.462.0004

Eva Burns (née Gerstl), born in 1924 in Prague, Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic), describes her father, who was a pediatrician, and her mother, who was a concert pianist; living a mostly secular life with some intermarriages in her mother's family; how the German takeover of Czechoslovakia in 1939 drastically affected their lives; her brother being sent to Kladno and the rest of the family to Theresienstadt; receiving help from non-Jews; being deported to Theresienstadt on November 17, 1942; how Theresienstadt was a "show" camp with books, a coffee house, and concerts; being part of a chorus preparing Verdi's Requiem and observing religious activities and humor; being transported to Auschwitz in May 1944 and six weeks later to Christianstadt, a women's labor camp; helping to sabotage grenades in the ammunition factory; the cruelty of the women SS guards; escaping from a death march in February 1945; assuming a German identification and working in the Sudetenland; how in the spring of 1945 she went to Prague, where she worked for the family of an SS officer serving at the front; revealing her Czech identity in May 1945; getting married in November 1947 in Prague; and immigrating to the United States in June 1948.

Interviewee
Eva Burns
Date
1980 February 10  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
2 sound cassettes (60 min.).
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, gift of the Holocaust Oral History Archive of Gratz College
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:39:39
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn508625