From the testimony of Eva Novotna

Eva Novotna, the survivor
Eva Novotna, the survivor

I was born on 23 December 1938 into a mixed marriage family. My father, Kurt Beer, born 15 October 1908, was a Jews, and my mother Vlasta Beerova, nee Pechinikova, born 23 February 1911, was non-Jewish. Because the marriage took place in 1938, I was considered to be a Jew under the Nuremberg Laws, and I was registered along with my father in the register of Jews - I enclose an extract, i.e. the list of names of the Prague religious community.

After the occupation of what remained of Czechoslovakia both my father and mother were active in the resistance. They were arrested for this activity in March 1941. My mother was released after 10 days and my father was transferred to Zwickau and from there, in September 1941, to Dresden. There he committed suicide on 25 September 1941, after being subjected to harsh interrogation in connection with the arrest of his comrade Jan Krejci. My mother was arrested again in June 1942 and I was taken care of first by Jarmila Prokopova and then by Mr. and Mrs. Losan in Nova Paka.

Before Christmas 1942, Mrs. Herbenova took me to live with her. I spent the next two and a half years until liberation the subsequent return of my mother from a concentration camp with her. Mrs. Herbenova knew that I was a Jew and that my parents were imprisoned for resistance activities. I only have very vague memories of the time before I came to live with Mrs. Herbenova, but my life with her remains deeply engraved in my memory. I lived with the family and was treated like their younger daughter; I was taken care of and educated in all respects. Even though the situation under occupation was difficult, I had the life of a happy child. Because I was not able to start school on account of my concealment, I had a teacher at home from September 1944, and in June 1945 I was able to complete the first class of primary school.

I know that Mrs. Herbenova was very distressed upon my departure, and she used to visit me after the war when I was living with my mother, right up to the time she left the country.

I am aware of the fact that I survived the Nazi occupation only thanks to Mrs. Milena Herbenova.