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Jiří Brady (1928) - Biography

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Live a good life

Jiří Brady was born on 9 February 1928 in Nové Město na Moravě to the family of a local Jewish shopkeeper; daughter Hana was born to the Bradys three years later. The siblings' harmonious childhood ended with the demise of Czechoslovakia and establishment of the Protectorate. Their mother Markéta helped her relative, a resistance movement member from Belgium, and was arrested and deported to the Ravensbrück concentration camp in the spring of 1941. Their father was arrested in the autumn of the year and Hana's and Jiří's uncle took care of the children. Eventually they too had to board a transport and were deported from Třebíč to the Terezín ghetto in May 1942. Jiří came to the facility L 417 where a community of boys formed and issued the Vedem magazine. Jiří and his sister Hana were deported to Auschwitz in the autumn of 1944. Jiří survived the selection and was assigned to work at the Gleiwitz auxiliary camp. The war front came near Auschwitz in May 1945 and the prisoners from Gleiwitz relocated to the former Blechhammer prisoner-of-war camp, which became a target of gunfire. The witness along with other prisoners escaped through a hole in the wall. Jiří came to his hometown after a long trek through Uzhhorod and Budapest in May 1945, but his parents and younger sister Hana never came back from the Nazi camps. Jiří was against the communist coup and decided to emigrate. He settled in Canada. The story of his sister inspired the globally renowned educational project, Hana's Suitcase. While on a visit to the Czech Republic in October 2016, Jiří Brady received many official and civic awards, including the Memory of Nation Award, for his lifelong efforts geared towards preserving the memory of the holocaust.

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