Růžena Plíšková

* 1927  

  • "After we came to Auschwitz, Dr. Mengele made a selection. He sent my mother and brother to the gas chamber and us to work. My sister was to work around the camp and I, I was in a group of teenagers. I was also a teenager then. I was in a group clearing away the corpses. It was very hard work because food was not available and neither was water. To do this work we got one boiled potato a day and a small ladle of something like ersatz coffee. That was all. Well, the corpses.. we didn´t have the strength. We moved them away by their legs like a wheelbarrow."

  • "They brought our students to a makeshift hall. We saw them. Simply, they herded a lot of them there and injected fenol into their hearts. Then, we had to move their bodies away and pile them into a heap. This was followed by something else. They herded young girls there, tied them up, to this hall. They tied them up with ropes to the chairs and injected them. They simply pricked their veins with a needle and a tube and took their blood. Today we know, and I am a nurse, that the loss of two litres of blood causes death because an adult´s body contains about six litres of blood. The blood kept pouring until the girls dropped dead. We had to carry away these too. It was really exhausting. I´ll never in my life go mad now if I didn´t go mad then."

  • It was a very hard life. One could never imagine how we could survive, also the harsh winter after the liberation in 1945 and 46. We didn´t have clothing, or shoes. After the war there was nothing. So, I and my sister, we survived in the small shoes, low shoes. The sole was made of wood. To make it flexible there was a kind of small metal strip, you know, to connect it, and the upper part was canvas. How could we survive? The small military jacket was a gift from American soldiers, the skirt was sewn by hand from a blanket. That was made for me and my sister by a fellow sufferer. She was originally a dressmaker. The poor soul, she died of TB. But already after the liberation, in Sweden. For certain ill people there came a train, I can´t imagine now how near, probably quite near, I´d have to have a map, the train came, and they got on. Well, they sent the very ill peple there, to Sweden to recover. MČ: Could you tell us anything about your sister, how she lived then? RP: My sister then, she worked, I´ve told you this already. She worked in the factory. She got married, had a husband, who when he was 17 was put into a concentration camp because of sabotage. No idea in which factory he worked. His German foreman warned him several times that if he practised sabotage again, he would report him. Well, he wouldn´t listen, so they arrested him. I know that he talked about Gross-Rosen, and then Dachau, but now he is dead. My sister died when she was 62.

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    V Domově seniorů, Mimoň, 31.03.2017

    (audio)
    délka: 43:46
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of 20th Century
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That which does not kill you, makes you stronger

The witness, portrait, 1957
The witness, portrait, 1957
zdroj: archiv pamětnice

Růžena Plíšková was born on 20th April 1927 as a daughter of Markus and Serena Roth who owned a farm at Ruský Hrabovec at the border with today´s Ukraine. In spring 1944, the whole family was arrested and deported to Auschwitz, due to the father helping the partisans. Her mother and Pavel, her small brother, were killed immediately after the arrival, her father died a year later during the death march. Only the sisters Růžena and Jolana survide the inhuman conditions. After the war, they did not return to their house then looted and devastated, but started a new life in Děčín. Růžena completed her studies at the Secondary Medical School and worked as a nurse at the Babies Ward in the Teplice Hospital. Later she worked at the Old People´s Home in Mimoň where she is currently living and thanks to her positive attitude is helping the others. She got married and has a son Karel.