“My dad was transported to concentration camp in Theresienstadt on December 4, 1941. This was the second transport to Theresienstadt - AK 2. AK 1 was the first transport, which took place at the end of November 1941. It means, there were always two transports carrying about a thousand young men, all being app. thirty years old. They had to build up that whole concentration camp in Theresienstadt. By leaving in the second transport, my dad had maybe even some privileges; he was quite lucky not to be sent further to the East. So he endured the whole war in Theresienstadt, where the Soviet Army liberated him in May 1945.”
“My mom gave me a golden cigarette case when I was leaving and she told me that this case has already been in London. My daddy gave it to his friend, Dr. Viktor Steiner, (Djusek Steiner) who was a gynecologist any my dad's very close friend. He left to England before the war. My dad gave him this cigarette case and told him: 'Djusek, whenever you shall be down or short of money, or lacking food, just sell this case.' Djusek kept this cigarette case and after the war, he returned to Prague with his wife Zuzana, whom he got married with in London. Djusek walked through the Wenceslas Square when he met my father. They met together, embraced each other and were very happy to had survived the war. And Djusek took out the golden cigarette case from his jacket, opened it and said: 'Franto, would you like a cigarette?' And they both began to cry. Djusek had never smoked. That case was full of cigarettes and he gave it back to my dad. So when I was leaving for London, my mom gave me the same case with the same words: 'You know, whenever you shall be down, just sell it.' When I was travelling by train to London, I went with Zuzana Steinerová, who coincidently travelled by the same train from Vienna to London. When we arrived at the Victoria Station, he husband Djusek waited for her there. I saw him and he cried as he was my father's very good friend. That's when I told him: 'Djusek, would you like a cigarette?' And I took out that cigarette case. He began to cry even more, since my dad was gone already and the whole history was just recalled.”
“The correspondence was quite complicated from the beginning. The letters always arrived being opened. All of them were either unsealed or cut on the side and then resealed. It was evident that somebody had opened them before. We had never written each other any political secrets, but the letters were being opened anyway.”
I strongly believe that we need to learn from what happened and only thanks to that we shall await better tomorrow
Jana Marcus, née Natanová, was born on February 2, 1948 in Prague. Her father František Natan belonged to respected Prague Jews and her mother Leopoldine came from a Jewish religious family. Her parents met in concentration camp in Theresienstadt, got married after the war and lived in Prague since 1947. In 1950 Jana‘s sister Eva was born. After completing elementary school, Jana studied at the Business Academy in Prague - Vinohrady. After successful graduation she got employed at the Czechoslovak Radio, however, shortly after events of August 1968, she emigrated through Vienna to Great Britain. In London she became a student of Hebrew studies at the University College and after four years of studying she obtained degree of Bachelor of Art. Two years after arriving to a new homeland, Jana met a future rabbi Marcel Marcus and in 1972 they got married. She continued studying pedagogy and later she was a teacher of religion and German language at a secondary school. For several years Jana along with her husband and their three sons lived in Switzerland. This was a departure point in summer of 1996 from where the whole family headed to live in Israel, where they live until present. Jana has visited her family in Prague for the first time yet in December 1989.