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Oral history interview with Hana Maria Pravda

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1285.31 | RG Number: RG-50.149.0031

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

Hana Maria Pravda, born in January 29, 1918 in Prague, Czech Republic, describes her family; her childhood in Prague; the history of Jews in Czechoslovakia; her education; the reaction to the Munich Agreement in 1938; Czech patriotism; the attitude towards the German speaking population of Czechoslovakia; the reaction of the Czech population to the German invasion in 1939; the confiscation of her family home; moving to a village with her new husband; being betrayed to the Gestapo by a neighbor; her arrest by the Gestapo; the attitude of Czechs to the German occupation; Czech collaboration with Germans; being an inmate of Theresienstadt concentration camp from 1942 to 1944; the journey to the camp; her attitude towards the prospect of imprisonment; conditions in the camp; her sense of optimism; the medical care; entertainment in the camp; punishment for those who tried to document their time in camp; a visit by the Red Cross; relations between German and Czech inmates; medical problems; volunteering to leave the camp; being an inmate in Auschwitz concentration camp from October 1944 to 1945; the cattle truck journey to the camp; advice given to new arrivals by inmates; the selection procedure; the attitude towards Germans; showering and head shaving; not receiving a tattoo; receiving clothes; her knowledge of the gas chambers; the reaction to the Allied bombing; survival techniques; her selection for work in the Krupps factory; the nature of her work; treatment by German guards; the German use of dogs; the execution of an escapee; health problems and lice; relations between inmates; the death march away from the camp in 1945; conditions during the march; the killing of her friend by SS guards; escaping from the march on January 29, 1945; betrayal by Hitler Youth after escaping from march; how she was allowed to escape from the march for second time by an SS guard; receiving aid from Russian forced laborers; being advised to go to Poland; taking refuge in a school; delousing organized by Russians; returning to Czechoslovakia; the impact of her experience on her religious beliefs; and why she and not others survived.

Interviewee
Hana M. Pravda
Date
1985 October 10  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
3 sound cassettes (90 min.).
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:48:21
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn510839