This document is very unique. It is a summon for transport to Auschwitz which I received in Terezin.
The summon was usually handed over when people were getting on the transport. But this time I was reclaimed and I put this summon aside because I was collecting Holocaust documents. The pink stripe is the summon and the white part of the document are the instructions.
In September 1942 my parents and I were summoned to board a deportation train to Terezin, but for some reason the train departed and we were left standing at the assembly point.
Several dozen people stayed behind and, to this day, I still don't really know why. Anyway, along came another train and we were given new numbers. In the end we spent six weeks at that assembly point at the Trade Fair Palace in Prague.
The Jewish community gave us supplies and we spent the time just lolling around. Today, a hotel is located there, but there's also a memorial plaque. In those days there were low, wooden pavilions from some trade fair there.
We went on transport Ca to Terezin; that was in October 1942. Two or three days later, the train went straight to the gas chambers at Auschwitz.
But because my sister and brother-in-law had already been in Terezin for some time and knew the ropes, they hid us, so we managed to escape it.
I later said to myself that if we had gone on that first transport to Auschwitz, my parents would have perished two years earlier than they did; they wouldn't have known they were going to the gas chamber, so this would have spared them all kinds of suffering.
But because we survived it and were reclaimed from another two transports, once because I was ill, the other time because dad had a job at the disinfesting station.
It wasn't until May 1944 that we went to the family camp at Auschwitz, where, for a number of weeks, we lived next to the gas chambers and the crematory chimneys, with all the stench.