Oral History

Hana Mueller Bruml describes the vibrant cultural life 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.


Edelstein, who was a Ju...Judenaeltester [Elder of the Jews], was a wonderful man and he did what he could. But he himself was deported. And we had other Judenaeltester which made things worse. But nevertheless, there was this tremendous, vibrating cultural life. I remember seeing "Fledermaus" in um...a whole production of "Fledermaus." Uh I remember going to a poem reading. There were philosophical debates. There were concerts. Uh there was this need to live very intensively, and I think this was about the essence of
Theresienstadt. You had these few years, so you have to live them so intensively. You had to use every minute you had.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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