Oral History Interview with Eva Burns

Eva Burns (née Gerstl), born in 1924 in Prague, Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic), describes her father, who was a pediatrician, and her mother, who was a concert pianist; living a mostly secular life with some intermarriages in her mother's family; how the German takeover of Czechoslovakia in 1939 drastically affected their lives; her brother being sent to Kladno and the rest of the family to Theresienstadt; receiving help from non-Jews; being deported to Theresienstadt on November 17, 1942; how Theresienstadt was a "show" camp with books, a coffee house, and concerts; being part of a chorus preparing Verdi's Requiem and observing religious activities and humor; being transported to Auschwitz in May 1944 and six weeks later to Christianstadt, a women's labor camp; helping to sabotage grenades in the ammunition factory; the cruelty of the women SS guards; escaping from a death march in February 1945; assuming a German identification and working in the Sudetenland; how in the spring of 1945 she went to Prague, where she worked for the family of an SS officer serving at the front; revealing her Czech identity in May 1945; getting married in November 1947 in Prague; and immigrating to the United States in June 1948.

Date: 02/10/1980
Interviewer: Josey G. Fisher
Interviewee: Eva Burns
Language: English
Subject: Choruses--Czech Republic--Terezín (Ústecký kraj)
Concentration camp guards.
Death march survivors.
Death marches.
Forced labor.
Holocaust survivors.
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Personal narratives.
Interfaith marriage.
Jewish families--Czech Republic--Prague.
Jewish women in the Holocaust.
Jews--Czech Republic--Prague.
Passing (Identity)
Prisoners--Abuse of.
Weapons industry--Germany.
Women concentration camp inmates.
World War, 1939-1945--Conscript labor.
World War, 1939-1945--Deportations from Czechoslovakia.
World War, 1939-1945--Jewish resistance--Poland.
Women--Personal narratives.
Kladno (Středočeský kraj, Czech Republic)
Prague (Czech Republic)
Sudetenland (Czech Republic)
Terezín (Ústecký kraj, Czech Republic)
Burns, Eva, 1924-
Auschwitz (Concentration camp)
Christianstadt (Concentration camp)
Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter-Partei. Schutzstaffel.
Theresienstadt (Concentration camp)
Location: Prague, Czechia
Theresienstadt concentration camp
Auschwitz concentration camp
Christianstadt concentration camp
Permalink: https://hoha.digitalcollections.gratzcollege.edu/item/oral-history-interview-with-eva-burns/