Oral History

Hana Mueller Bruml describes her deportation to and arrival at Theresienstadt

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.


When we came to the gathering station, uh we were told...we were fifteen hundred people, and all of a sudden [they] said only a thousand will go. All the women will be pulled out. But then they pulled us back, so I didn't have...They took my number next to my husband and they gave me another number. So I went through all the years in Theresienstadt as "Transport BA" and "Number 1101." And uh in uh...during the time in this gathering place--it used to be exhibition hall--uh we were...Over the mar...over the PA system came "Anybody who has money on him, or gold, or cigarettes, or matches will be shot, da da da da." I had all of this on me. We had to, because we had to protect ourselves somehow. In the lining of our coats. I had a metal...you know, Yardley talc used to come in a metal box. In that box, I had some jewelry. And so you heard all of this, and nevertheless you had to sort of stay with it. We came to uh our...Bohusovice [Bauschovitz]. At Bohusovice was the train stop for Theresienstadt. And as I said, I don't know if I said it, my husband was rather weak and sickly at that point. And we carried a big bag, each tried to hold one handle, in which were food mostly, and in the other side, we each had a bed roll. And on our backs, we had a knapsack with just a change of a few things. Turned out that was the only thing we had for the next years, what we carried with us. When we came to Bohusovice, in front of the train was Jacob Edelstein, whom I knew. And I said, "Hello," to him, and he said to me, "Try to get yourself to, confirmed to work as soon as possible." I didn't know what it meant. But what it meant, if you are not going to get work immediately, and be protected you would go on. And many from our people...So of course I went with all possible speed about protect ourselves.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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