We told ourselves that it couldn't get any worse than what it was, in Terezín
Eva Roubíčková, née Mändelová, was born in 1921 in Žatec into a family of German-speaking Jews. Her father, a veteran of World War I, taught Latin and Greek at a grammar school. During the Munich crisis, anti-Jewish sentiments soared in the predominantly German Žatec, and the family was forced to depart the city and live in considerably more meagre conditions in Prague. Their plan to emigrate in 1939 did not work out, and in 1941, Eva and her whole family could not avoid deportation to the Terezín ghetto. There she started doing farm work, which saved her from transportation east. But not so her parents and grandmother who were taken away in the autumn of 1944. When Eva realised that she was left alone in Terezín, she volunteered for transportation. She did not leave however, as the transports were cancelled. For almost the whole time in Terezín (until the autumn of 1944, when her relatives left) she diligently wrote a diary, giving a colourful picture of the Terezín reality, and of her own experiences. Her book, The Terezín Diary [Terezínský deník], was first published in Czech in 2009. An important role in her life during the Terezín internment was played by the Czech railwayman Karel Košvanec, who, selflessly and despite great risks, constantly supplied Eva and other prisoners with food and other goods. When during one control, the gendarmes found smuggled food on Eva, she was imprisoned by the SS guards and cruelly interrogated. It was a matter of luck and coincidence that she did not end up in a transport east or was not otherwise persecuted. She continued to smuggle goods into the ghetto, despite the great danger. Unlike her parents, Eva survived in Terezín till the end of the war. After returning home, she married Richard Roubíček, her pre-war fiancé and soldier on the western front. She died 1.12.2013.