Helga's Diary

Helga with her parents and grandmother
Queueing in front of the Kitchen at Terezin

a funeral cart loaded with bread

Helga Weiss's birthday wish 1943: a birthday cake brought from Prague

The Washroom at Terezin

Helga Weiss is a survivor of Terezín, Auschwitz, Freiberg and Mauthausen concentration camps;  an artist, a widow and a great-grandmother and at 84 years old she just published a journal describing her years as a young prisoner of the Nazis.

"October 5 1941: In the morning I go off to school and return at noon. Meanwhile, Dad is at home, cooking. It might sound a bit strange, but almost all the Jews do that. What else should they do all day? After all, it’s three years since they lost their jobs. It’s wonderful what progress you can make in three years. Before, Dad couldn’t even make tea, and now he bakes desserts and cooks entire lunches all by himself."

"It was December 4 1941. We were sitting here and heard the knocking on the door. A German officer promised that we were going to a safe place where we would not be persecuted. It was snowing. We were transported by train to the concentration camp Terezín, three hours away. Men were separated from women, parents from children. I was put in a room with girls my age (12). I tried to see my parents each day and made a pact with my father to think of each other every evening at 7pm. Sometimes it was not possible. Soon after, I sent him a drawing of a snowman. His reaction was: 'Draw what you see.' So I did."