In this video, Eva describes her parent’s life during the 1930s.
In March 1939, the Nazis invaded and occupied Czechoslovakia.
During their occupation of the country, the Nazis implemented a number of antisemitic laws, restricting Jewish life.
In this video, Eva discusses her mother’s experience of this pre-war persecution.
During the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, Jews were forced to wear a yellow star with the word ‘Jew’ on it, to distinguish them from non-Jews.
Here, Eva describes her mother’s memories of wearing the star.
Between November – December 1941, both of Eva’s parents were transported to Theresienstadt (also known as Terezin).
In this video, Eva explains how her parents found out they were being transported and her mother’s journey there.
Anka and Bernd, Eva’s parents, were imprisoned in Theresienstadt for three years.
In this video, Eva describes her mother’s memories of life in Theresienstadt.
In 1944, Anka, by then pregnant with Eva, was sent to Auschwitz, where she survived a selection and was selected for work.
In this video, Eva recounts her mother’s memories of the journey and selection.
After arriving at Auschwitz, Anka went through ‘selection’, where prisoners were selected to work or sent to the gas chambers to be murdered on arrival.
Anka was selected to work. Here, Eva describes her mothers memories of selection and roll call in the camp.
Despite being imprisoned in Terezin for the duration of the war, Eva’s paternal grandfather survived.
In this video, Eva tells his story.
Eva’s aunt and other family members were sent to Auschwitz earlier than her mother and father.
After arriving in the camp, Eva’s aunt was forced to write a postcard home to her family stating that she and her child, Peter (Eva’s cousin) were happy and healthy.
Although the postcards were screened for any messages that may have warned others of their situation, Eva’s aunt managed to hide the hebrew word for ‘bread’ into the postcard, to indicate that they were starving.
The family understood the message and sent food to Eva’s aunt, but before the postcard had even been posted from Auschwitz, Eva’s aunt and cousin had been killed.
In October 1944, after spending ten days in Auschwitz, Eva’s mother was transferred to a military factory in Freiberg to complete forced labour.
She was kept at the factory for six months, working on German bomber planes. All the while, she became more and more pregnant with Eva, which was very dangerous.
In this video, Eva describes her mother’s memories of the factory.
While Anka, Eva’s mother, was working in the factory in Freiberg, the Allies began to extensively bomb Dresden.
Although devastating for those in Dresden, Anka and the other prisoners had hope that the Allies were getting closer, and might one day free them.
In April 1945, as the Allies closed in, the Nazis began to evacuate prisoners. Anka was transferred from the factory to Mauthausen concentration camp.
She was transported in a coal truck, with no roof, on a journey that took three weeks. The Nazis gave the prisoners no food or water during that time.
After arriving in Mauthausen, and seeing the name of the camp, Anka went into labour, giving birth to Eva on 29 April 1945.
Eva and Anka were liberated just a few days after Eva was born in April 1945.
After their liberation, they returned to Prague, where they lived with Eva’s aunt for three years. It was during this time that Anka learned of the death of her husband, and Eva’s father, Bernd.
In 1948, Anka remarried, and the family moved to Britain.
Before the war, Eva’s aunt, Ruze, was offered a vias for Britain but decided to stay in Czechoslovakia instead.
Here, Eva tells her aunt’s story.
After the war, many survivors attempted to find possessions they had left in the hands of family and friends.
For Anka, the most important of her former possessions was her family photographs.
In this video, Eva explains how Anka recovered her wedding photograph.
In this video, Eva recounts when she first became aware of her and her mother’s experiences during the war.
Eva Olga Clarke (née Nathanová) was born on 29 April 1945 in Mauthausen concentration camp.
Before giving birth, Eva’s mother, Anka, had survived three years in Theresienstadt , deportation to Auschwitz-Birkenau , six months of forced labour in an armaments factory in Freiberg, and a three-week train journey in a coal truck to Mauthausen , which was liberated shortly after their arrival.
Anka’s husband was Bernd Nathanová, whom she met and married in Prague in February 1940. Shortly after, the couple were deported to Theresienstadt . In Theresienstadt, Anka became pregnant with their first child, Dan, who then died of pneumonia aged two months. Anka fell pregnant again, this time with Eva, but, soon after, Bernd was deported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp complex. Anka volunteered to followed Bernd but the couple were not reunited at the camp, and Bernd was murdered on 10 January 1945, just days before Auschwitz was liberated by the Soviet army.
After the war, Eva and Anka returned to Prague, where Anka married Karel Bergman. In 1948, the family emigrated to Britain, where Eva still lives.