Gerta Bennett

* 1913

  • „We weren't told where we go. So... Anyway, we couldn't care less as long as we are out of this Stutthof. And... Well I don't know how long it took till we came to a train, and we were again put in a cattle... How long did it take? - Now you just put it was in the same year, forty-four – Yes it must have been – It was in the last months, winter, cold, snow? - It must have been October, perhaps – October – Yes, I am not quite sure – Possibly a bit later – Perhaps bit later – We... Well I don't know. Anyway we were transported in those coal wagons to a train somewhere and into those wagons for... Animal wagons or... And we traveled and there were I don't know how many women I have no idea, we were like herrings. And from time to time... You were sort of front to front and back to back sort of – Yeah, to change – and all of a sudden there will be a hole in front of you – Oh I see – so you would... It was dark, you would grope, and that person wasn't here anymore, but you didn't ask any questions.“

  • „I got in one stage, I don't know where from, I got a carrot, a carrot... And I thought to myself, over there is Gerdschen, I will try... because we were near the electric wire or whatever wire, there was a wire, it wasn't electric, and I will see that... I will see Gerdschen, if I recognize him because we looked all funny, and I will throw him the carrot and it will help him, so with that carrot I went to that wire there and I asked whether they knew Gerd Kahan. 'I am looking for Gerd Kahan.' And all of a sudden I heard somebody say 'That's me!'. And I said, in German naturally, 'I didn't recognize you'. And he said 'I look different don't I? But you do too.'”

  • “To make it short, papa Kahan died of starvation. We all lost a lot of weight, mama Kahan, who was plump like that, became about like that... Papa Kahan died of starvation, he was like a skeleton. People died left and right, there were thousands dying of starvation and sicknesses and God knows what. When papa Kahan died I didn't... well, Gerdschen looked after mama Kahan, quickly. Took her out when papa Kahan really died. And I stayed with him until he died. And after he died I took some water and a rug and I washed him. I washed him. I went... After I washed him, I went outside and I told mama Kahan and Gerdschen: 'Papa Kahan has died. I washed him. Go and see him, please don't touch him. I'm going downstairs and I will see...' There were people with wagons, with two wheels, and that was full of corpses, they went from one street to the other, and I said: 'I will wait until one of the wagons come and ask them to come here and take papa Kahan'. I don't know how long it took. I don't know. Anyway, I got two people taking that cart with dead people and take him up with me. And they took papa Kahan and I walked all the way, by myself, behind that wagon, up to the cemetery.”

Why do flowers grow, who makes them grow except God?

Bennett Gerta
Bennett Gerta
zdroj: video

Gerta Münzer-Bennett was born in 1913 in Pilsen. She spent her childhood in Karlovy Vary, where her father owned a textile factory. After graduating from grammar school, she began to study at the faculty of medicine in Prague, where her family moved. In Prague, she married a man who had to flee Germany after the Nazis took power. She then helped his parents and brothers to emigrate to Czechoslovakia. She was persecuted because of her Jewish origin, her family lost their property and her mother hanged herself. Together with her husband and his parents, she was taken to the Łódź ghetto, where she worked as a typist in the office of Aron Jakubowicz, a member of the Jewish Council in charge of organising forced labour. After the death of her father-in-law, she was transported with her husband and mother-in-law via Auschwitz to the Stutthof concentration camp as part of the liquidation of the ghetto. She was the only member of her family to survive the appalling conditions in the camp and its evacuation, and was deployed to forced labour in Dresden, where she also experienced Allied bombing. After returning to Prague, she assumed a false identity and collaborated with the resistance. In the second half of the 1940s she emigrated to Australia, remarried and gave birth to a son. RECORDING SOURCE: