Alžbeta Brodyová

* 1925  

  • “We didn´t know what happened with my father and brother, since men had to go separately from women. When we returned to Auschwitz – Birkenau for the second time, we didn´t work. In one of the barracks there were terribly many fleas. They said: ‘This barrack has to be disinfected.’ They were taken to Auschwitz, we were in Birkenau. It wasn´t far, but one had to walk through a lane without barracks. One woman from Šurany, who was in that block, went there too. Her friend was my best friend, and she came to the camp yet in 1941. Her name was Anna. As she walked, she saw men working. We didn´t have any contact with any men prisoners. She said that they walked and suddenly they saw men. She looked on the ground and noticed some labels. They picked them quickly and when they returned, they started to read them. One label was written in Hungarian: ‘We are looking for Tereza Schwartzová, Alžbeta Schwartzová, if anyone knows anything, please, give us a sign in any possible way.’ So among those working men, there was also my and her father. On the next day, another block was being moved and she switched with another girl to be able to go there and see her father. She said my father and brother were working there too. I didn´t have any paper, nor a pencil, however, our guard was one Slovak Jewish lady. I told her: ‘Edith,’ – she was really nice. You know, some guards were really mean. I told her: ‘Listen, I would need a pencil and a piece of paper just for a little while. I will return the pencil at once.’ And I wrote: ‘We are alive, I am with my mom. We are alive yet, but we´re fearful what shall follow.’ We wrote it in Hungarian. So she took it and switched once again to go and throw it in there. The men took the labels as they worked, and responded once more. My brother, who was very religious, wrote us: ‘We are very glad you are alive and together. Don´t worry. Lord will help us.’ And now I am asking: Where was God? Where was he? How did he help us? Whom did he help? Ever since then I am not religious at all. I don´t celebrate Sabbath, I don´t light a candle. I don´t go to church, only during Pesach. And not eating bread I take more as a memory of our home. And it was the feast… It was time when I used to fast for the whole time I was here, as well as in Slovakia, but for over two years we don´t fast anymore.”

  • “Imagine, there were men, women, children. They placed there one bucket instead of toilet, where people could pee-pee and such. And there were men and women together. It was awful. We had nowhere else to go. If one wanted to get to the bucket, he had to pass me, pass others to reach it. I was so ashamed. I was so terribly ashamed. I was holding it, holding, and holding, because I felt ashamed so much. That´s why I didn´t even eat. I didn´t eat so that I didn´t need to go to the toilet. However, one night I realized I was extremely hungry. You know, when they took us from the ghetto, they said: ‘Take something to eat along.’ So in the flat where we stayed I went to the pantry. People, who owned that house, had various preserves and jams there. I found one jam and I took it, thinking, well, if there was nothing else to eat, we should be fine with this. I was hoping they would give us at least some bread to spread it on. And then, at time when I was so hungry, I remembered to open the jam and try it. As I opened it, I found some stones inside. Those were brilliants. I was still waiting for some light in the train as we travelled through the dark, as I wanted to find out what I had in my mouth. Brilliants. You know, the woman who lived there, hid the brilliants in the jam. My father was responsible for the whole car at some point of the journey and the officers said, he would be hung in case somebody carried any money or jewels in that cattle car. I was so terribly afraid for my father, that I threw all of the brilliants away. Thus I have no idea, if anyone found them or not.” (Laughter)

  • “I don´t know if you ever heard about that, but there is a place called Yad Vashem. I think when someone visits this country, he should go and see that sight, since it is something very special. Precisely, one building for children. When I went there for the first time, I thought I was in heaven. I saw the stars and thus I imagined myself in heaven. There was one lit candle with a mirror. It is structured for you to come into the dark and see only the stars. And then you can hear voices of children.”

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    Tel Aviv, Izrael, 28.10.2016

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Scenes in films about concentration camps are horrible just because you haven´t experience them

Alžbeta  Brodyová
Alžbeta Brodyová
zdroj: Sandra Polovková

Alžbeta Brodyová, née Schwarzová, was born on April 3, 1925 in Šurany.  In 1938 the southern part of Slovakia was annexed to Hungary. Until she was 15, she attended elementary school in Šurany. Since 1940 she was apprenticed to become a dressmaker in Nové Zámky. In March 1944 a Jewish ghetto in Šurany was established and Alžbeta along with her family was placed there. In June 1944 she was deported through Komárno and Košice to Auschwitz. Later on she and her mother worked in a Kraków stone pit for 2 months. In October 1944 she was transported to work in the Sudetes factory. After the liberation she met her future husband Andrej Brody in Nitra. At first they lived together in Nitra, then in Bratislava. Later they moved to Israel. In 2017 Alžbeta Brodyová turns to be 92 years old.