SynopsisKurt L. was born March 29, 1931 in Radošov, Czechoslovakia. He describes his family as non-observant. He explains that he was sent to a Jewish orphanage in Prague at the age of four after his mother died. He describes life and schooling in the orphanage. He describes being deported from the orphanage to the Theresienstadt ghetto in late 1941. He describes the layout of the ghetto and the poor sanitary conditions. He discusses the administration and social structure of the ghetto. He describes learning about transports and other camps. He recalls meeting his older brother in Theresienstadt. He explains that his younger sister was also there and both his siblings survived. He describes stealing food and brutal treatment from the guards when the children were caught. He describes how his bar mitzvah was performed in secret. He describes the population of Theresienstadt. He describes working in the crematorium for one day. He describes liberation by Russian troops. He describes staying in a chateau run by an organization that took care of child survivors of concentration camps. He discusses his trouble adjusting after the war. He discusses his choice to immigrate to Canada with his sister with the help of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and the Canadian Jewish Congress. He describes arriving in Vancouver and finding employment. He describes his marriage and family. He attributes his survival to luck. He discusses sharing his experience with his wife and children.
RightsHolocaust Documentation Project | The University of British Columbia | Consent to Record and Retain Records (fn: Under the auspices of the Standing Committee on the Holocaust and Canadian Jewish Congress - Pacific Region) on file
Funding NoteCataloguing and digitization of this testimony was supported by funding from the Government of Canada.