The Germans explained that the men were going ahead to prepare another ghetto. We wanted to believe it.” He hugged her head to his chest. Prisoners in striped jackets whispered instructions, helping them. I don’t remember his face, only his gloves, but his face is not important.“Don’t say you are ill, don’t say you are young, or tomorrow you will go through the chimney.” A German officer stood at the head of the queue directing people right and left. The important thing was his finger, because with his finger he pointed right, left, right, left.“Education was forbidden, but the Germans wanted to show it was a normal place.” A building was tarted up to look like a school, with a sign reading “Holidays” to explain the absence of teachers and pupils.More signs pointed the way to parks and public baths.
“Sometimes it was not possible.” Soon after, she sent him a childish drawing of a snowman. The sole footage that exists is a propaganda film promoting Terezín as a “spa town” for the benefit of a visit by the Red Cross.In the event, they were among 45,000 Prague Jews who were transported by train to the fortress of Terezín, three hours away. Men were immediately separated from women, parents from children.Helga was put in a room with about 30 girls her age.And after that we were going to be included in a transport, until my father managed to stop it. He was waving and trying to smile, but it was not a smile.” Three days later, it was the turn of Helga and her mother. We supposed it was a factory.” She waits for it to sink in.For one plum, you could pay with your life.” In October 1944, Helga’s father was loaded on to a railway truck. Their destination – Auschwitz-Birkenau – meant nothing to them. “Everything was terrible, but everything was much worse than we supposed.” She stepped on to the ramp with her mother.