By Hannelore Brenner
From 1942 to 1944, twelve thousand kids undergone the Theresienstadt internment camp, close to Prague, on their option to Auschwitz. just a couple of hundred of them survived the conflict. In The women of Room 28, ten of those children—mothers and grandmothers this present day of their seventies—tell us how they did it.
The Jews deported to Theresienstadt from nations everywhere Europe have been conscious of the destiny that awaited them, and so they made up our minds that it used to be the teenagers who had the simplest probability to outlive. protecting those youngsters alive, retaining them complete in physique, brain, and spirit, turned the concern. They have been housed individually, in dormitory-like barracks, the place they'd a better probability of staying fit and higher entry to nutrition, and the place counselors (young women and men who were lecturers and formative years employees) created a disciplined setting regardless of the encompassing horrors. the advisors additionally made on hand to the youngsters the skills of an awesome array of world-class artists, musicians, and playwrights–European Jews who have been additionally on their approach to Auschwitz. less than their guide, the kids produced artwork, poetry, and tune, and so they played in theatrical productions, such a lot significantly Brundibar, the mythical “children’s opera” that celebrates the triumph of excellent over evil.
In the mid-1990s, German journalist Hannelore Brenner met ten of those baby survivors—women of their late-seventies at the present time, who reunite each year at a lodge within the Czech Republic. Weaving her interviews with the ladies including excerpts from diaries that have been saved secretly through the struggle and samples of the artwork, tune, and poetry created at Theresienstadt, Brenner offers us an extraordinary photo of everyday life there, and of the intense energy, sacrifice, and indomitable will that combined—in the women and of their caretakers—to make survival attainable.