Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Edith Roth - March 28, 1982

Leaving Czechoslovakia

This was during the Russian occupation, so how did you leave Czechoslovakia?

We escaped.

When was this?

Well after living a long while, we, and seeing that most of the Jewish people they left. They were leaving, either to Israel or to the United States, it was just the only two places to go and, so we moved in deeper to Czechoslovakia, where Czechs were living, okay, it was about half an hour from Prague, we lived in Podmoky, they called it. And the Czech people were just absolutely great to us, they, they gave us a furnished apartment with everything in it, dishes, pots, everything in it, radio, everything in it. They were, they were the ones who did everything the Germans should have done. They did everything. But we stayed there about three months and were just beginning to sort of put ourselves together and uh, uh, one night the Russians' trucks is going around on the loudspeaker telling everybody to move from, we have to go back, okay. Uh, and you never knew when they were going to knock in your door and take you somewhere, things were and we were, we made up our minds we're not going to go through this again, so my husband came, I was married already then, and my husband came home from work, I said "Did you hear?" You have to remember we were very young, both of us, and then I said, "Did you hear what was going on?" and he says "You're telling me." He says, "Pack your bag, we're leaving." And this apartment that you see all fixed up and everything, two of my girlfriends got married in it. We, we just took two suitcases, one for me and one for him and we went, we, we had Czech money on us, we had Hungarian money on us, we had dollars on us and we just went. We went, we went, we were going to go to the American occupied zone in Germany and register over there. And, we got to the, we got to the, how do you call it ???, to the where it's divided.

To the border?

To the border, yeah. Oh, but, uh, they also had dogs, the German on one side too border, the German border, and the and, the Russians were there already, it was the Aš they called it. And we had to show papers so we, we were afraid to show papers, but under ??? if they ask you where they're going, you said Israel, they let you ???, if you said Israel, they let you, if you said America even, if you said Israel, they, so we started to run, on foot. We, we had to throw away one suitcase because he had to carry me on his shoulder, we uh, we just uh, the dogs were shooting at us and the dogs around, we escaped.

And where did you wind up?

On the street in Germany, back 'til we went to the, we lived in Bamberg, Germany, in the Lager.

Displaced person?

Displaced person camp where, where it was set up for the people, for the survivors, not the ghetto in town with the Germans, but that was a displaced person camp. We had to register and everything, and we were sort of fed from the Jewish um, from UNRRA

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