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Marie Vítovcová (1928) - Biography

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It was spring, we walked and were free

Marie Vítovcová, née Spitzová, was born on June 15, 1928, in Prague into a Jewish family. Both parents left the Jewish Church and joined the Czechoslovakian Hussite Church. Marie and her young sister Soňa grew up in Prague, Bubeneč, and they were members of Scout and Sokol organisations. After the establishment of the protectorate Bohemia and Moravia and introduction of anti-Jewish laws her father lost his job, Marie had to leave school and the family was gradually deprived of rights and property. On December 10, 1941, the Spitz family was put on a transport to the ghetto in Theresienstadt. There Marie lived in an orphanage and worked in agriculture. In late September 1944, her father was deported to Auschwitz, followed by Marie, her mother and sister on October 6, 1944. After eleven days in the women’s camp in Auschwitz Marie and other women were selected for work and left for the labour camp Märzdorf on the Polish side of the Giant Mountain. The prisoners worked in a flax-processing plant. It was in Märzdorf that Marie saw the liberation in May 1945. Her mother and sister died in Auschwitz, her father in the Kaufering camp and most of her larger family did not survive the war. After the war Marie returned to Prague, where she was taken care of by her aunt and uncle. She trained as a gardener, married and raised a son and a daughter. Mrs Marie Vítovcová is a widow and lives in Prague in an old people’s home.

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