Dagmar Lieblova "From Bohemia To Belsen ... And Back Again"

Dagmar Lieblova, although in her 80s, is a tireless lecturer at the Terezin (Theresienstadt) Memorial. She meets and conducts classes with Czech, Austrian and German, as well as British and Americans students. Equally at home in three languages, Dr. Lieblova, a sprightly grandmother with a ready smile, shares with these teenagers stories of her own teenage years--when she and her family were uprooted from their comfortable home in a small town near Prague, and sent to Terezin. When Dr. Lieblova tells them, "Things were not so bad in Terezin-- compared to what I went through next," they can only imagine what she's about to tell them.

Working closely with Centropa on this film about her life, Dr. Lieblova shared with us scores of old family pictures. One of her primary motives for making this film was to pay tribute to Fanyka, the family cook, who not only raised Dr. Lieblova, but nursed her back to health after the war, and then went on to raise her children, too.

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Dagmar was born in Kutna Hora, a city in what is today the Czech Republic. Through most of the twentieth century, the Czech Republic was part of a nation called Czechoslovakia- this state was created in 1918 when, after the First World War, the historic regions of Bohemia, Moravia, and Slovakia combined to create the Republic of Czechoslovakia.


Dagmar recalls that the Jewish community in Kutna Hora was very small, however Jews have had a presence in Bohemia for centuries. Read more about the history of Jewish Bohemia here.


The Second World War began for Czechoslovakia when the German army invaded the provinces of Bohemia and Moravia, violating the 1938 Munich Agreement.


Dagmar returned to Czechoslovakia after the war, as did the president-in-exile Edvard Beneš. Upon his return, Beneš decreed that all Sudeten Germans (ethnic Germans from the Sudetenland, the old name for the western regions of Czechoslovakia, specifically the border areas of Bohemia, Moravia, and those parts of Silesia associated with Bohemia) were to be expelled from the country.

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