Oral History

Hana Mueller Bruml describes black market activity in the Theresienstadt ghetto

In 1942, Hana was confined with other Jews to the Theresienstadt ghetto, where she worked as a nurse. There, amid epidemics and poverty, residents held operas, debates, and poetry readings. In 1944, she was deported to Auschwitz. After a month there, she was sent to Sackisch, a Gross-Rosen subcamp, where she made airplane parts at forced labor. She was liberated in May 1945.


At one point I was able to make contact and I sold my, first I sold few of the, used up some of the money I had on black market to buy extra food. The extra food was smuggled in by the Czech gendarmes. Uh...so we bought some, as much as we could. And...um...finally...we were allowed to keep a wedding ring, so I sold the wedding ring, exchanged it for bread. I thought the bread was more important. Again, through the gendarmes. Uh...Misha's mother, Irma Lausher, my cousin, who had...who was teaching the children in the youth home, she was...uh...she has an incredible memory, and she wrote me books of poems for my birthday, and even under these circumstances we tried to celebrate birthdays. You know, a slice of bread, a small loaf of bread, was a wonderful birthday present. Somebody saved it up or made the connections. Uh...the...the tendency was to try to maintain as normal life as possible.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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