“They loaded us into cattle cars. I wondered there were very few seats to sit on and that each of us received one loaf of bread. The bread froze on the next day, so for the whole five days we had nothing to eat. We didn’t get any water. Yet, when being travelling for three days, the train stopped. The women were quite hysteric and began banging on the door, crying for water. So one of the SS members made up his mind we actually deserved some water in the end. He placed a bucket with water in the car’s midst. We immediately realized that as soon as the train moved, it would bounce and the water would spill. Thus everyone tried to find everything possible to save and share the water into cups, bottles, flasks… On the next day when I opened the flask, hoping it would help to keep the water from freezing, no liquid came out. It was frozen and we couldn’t do anything about it.”
“The victims had to be accompanied into the gas chambers by their co-suffering prisoners. They had to take them to the gas chamber, close the chamber, and turn on the gas. Then when they turned off the gas, they had to open the chamber and these two men had to take all the corpses out. Such dead bodies looked like a fir tree. When the gas started to be effective, everyone tried to climb up. They hoped some vent could be there, carrying children on their shoulders. Exactly like a fir tree. All of them being attached to one another. So these two men had to unbind the corpses and check, who had any golden teeth to be taken out. Those had to be handed in to the SS members.”
“It was such a terrible cold there, it’s even hard to describe. I don’t know how many degrees below zero there were. Well, but one still needed to go to the toilet or wash himself. Thus we asked where we were supposed to go. I was sent to one long room, where were the toilet seats. One row and a second row. As I went out, it was impossible to enter because everything froze right away. The toilet contents was completely frozen, however, as the toilets were totally full, people had no other choices than to do their needs all around the toilets. One didn’t even know what to do, where to go to relieve himself.”
I can’t live without you and if you are not going to Israel, I am not either
Klára Chlamtáčová, née Čatová, was born on February 23, 1921 into a Jewish family of a distiller from Zlaté Moravce. Due to passed anti-Jewish laws were the family businesses aryanized after the war. Klára inherited her father‘s positive attitude towards the industry and her mother‘s talent to speak foreign languages. After the graduation from grammar school in Zlaté Moravce she enrolled at a technical school in Vienna. When the first deportations from Slovak State began in 1972, Klára and her first husband Adolf Šlezinger fled to Hungary. However, during their runaway they were at first captured in Nové Zámky. In Budapest they obtained fake IDs, but were detained by the security corps members and rearrested for illegal border crossing and documents counterfeiting. Klára spent in prison about half a year, her husband was sentenced to nine months. From the Budapest prison, Klára was sent to a labor camp. After her husband was released, they returned back to Slovakia. There they were hiding for some time in Topoľčianky and in Bratislava. There they were captured by fascists and in November 1944 deported to labor camp in Sereď. Adolf was transported Bergen-Belsen concentration camp and Klára, back then being in a late stage of pregnancy, was assigned for transport to Theresienstadt. In this camp she waited to see its liberation by the Russian Army of May 11, 1945. After the war she returned to Zlaté Moravce and found out her husband hadn‘t survived. She remarried and had her second child. She worked as a dressmaker and later on as an accountant. In 1964 she and her family emigrated to Israel, where she lives until now.