Anna Lorencova and her brother Hanus Hron

Bild

This is a picture of me and my brother Hanus Hron, nee Weinstein. The photo was taken in Prague in the 1930s.

My brother was born in Teplice in 1925. As a boy he was always inventing and making things, connected with perpetual motion and so forth.

He actually made a radio set, known as a crystal receiver - a tiny thing with earphones. There was a lot of sound interference, but it worked and it gave him a lot of pleasure.

In Terezin my brother lived in the Sudeten Barracks with the men. He was very skilled with his hands, so from the outset he was employed in the locksmiths' workshop.

In 1944 he volunteered to join a group of artisans who were sent to do work in Wulkow, which was about 30 kilometers from Berlin.

They were to build timber buildings for the 'Reichsicherheitshauptamt' or RSHA - the Reich Security Head Office - which were intended for the RSHA archives and also for the Germans who were supposed to work there.

The deportation list to the extermination camps was drawn up by the Jewish self-government. Because it was routine policy at Terezin not to split up families, my brother actually saved us from deportation throughout the time he was away.

The group returned to Terezin in the spring of 1945. We had been put on the deportation list at the beginning of 1942, which was when I was still living with mom in the Hamburg Barracks.

Anyway, my mom put me to bed - actually we still slept on the floor back then - and somehow she arranged for a doctor she knew to say that I had scarlet fever, so we were crossed off the list.

None of the people on those transports ever returned. Later on, I was put on another deportation list, but I think that was when my brother was in Wulkow, so I was crossed off the list again.

After the war he finished his schooling and became an external student at the School of Mining and Smelting in Ostrava. He worked for a long time in the Ostrava area, mainly at the Trinec Iron Works.

He now lives in Nejdek; he's retired and has three adult children. He's still as inventive as he has always been. I'm glad to have him as a brother.

Photo details

Interviewee

Anna Lorencova