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Oral history interview with Ilona Hájková

Oral History | Accession Number: 2011.439.27 | RG Number: RG-50.675.0027

Ilona Hájková (née Orenstein), born 1932 in Pardubice, Czech Republic, describes living with her family in Hrochův Týnec, Czech Republic; her father’s Jewish origins; her mother, who was Roman Catholic; moving to Chrudim, Czech Republic in 1938; how her brother, Roman, had Jewish nationality in his birth certificate and her father was able to get the papers changed; her father changing their surname from Orenstein to Orský; her parents’ decision to divorce; a collaborator who kept watch of her father; her brother having to leave gymnasium and work as a mason; her father having to wear the yellow star; her father’s friendship with the Goldschmidt family, who also had to wear yellow stars; her father transferring his clothing business in Hrochův Týnec to his wife and the closing of the store soon after; the antisemitic signs on several businesses in Chrudim and being discriminated against at a candy store; her father’s arrest; receiving several letters from her father and visiting him in prison; her father’s imprisonment in Terezín and Kaufering; her paternal grandparents, Rudolf and Matylda Orenstein, who lived in Zájezdec; going with her mother to help her grandparents pack for their transport and say goodbye; the looting of her grandparents’ home moments before they were taken; liberation and the Russian soldiers who stayed in their house and destroyed a lot of valuable property; and her mother’s marriage to an American and leaving for the United States with Roman.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Ilona Hájková
Adam Hradilek
interview:  2014 July 01
1 digital file : MPEG-4.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, courtesy of the Jeff and Toby Herr Foundation
Record last modified: 2020-05-04 15:49:29
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