Spots of Light - Women in the Holocaust


Valy Kohn

“The day I returned to Prague, I searched for Ewald among all my acquaintances. I inquired about him and received evasive answers until someone finally told me the truth. Everything inside me collapsed. This wound did not heal. I returned, but without Ewald I didn’t have a home.”

Valy was born in 1918 in Czechoslovakia. She lived with her husband Ewald in Prague. Upon the occupation, the Jewish community assigned her to work as a clerk in the German Office for Jewish Migration Affairs. In July 1943, Valy, her husband, and her mother were deported to Terezin. In October 1944, she and her mother were sent on to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Valy survived the selection but her mother was murdered. Several weeks later, she was transferred to Lenzing, where she wrote recipe booklets on the back of Nazi forms that she found in the street, some of which carried a photograph of Hitler. Subsequently, she was deported to Mauthausen. After the liberation, she discovered that her husband had been murdered. Valy immigrated to the Land of Israel in 1946, remarried, and had a daughter.

After a day of work we returned to the barracks. We were very tired and I wrote about food, what somebody said was best; we ate with our thoughts; I recorded what others said about food—recipes. We wrote about food all night; I wrote on whatever I could find, on photographs of Hitler (that I found in the street).

Valy Kohn

Rolls (crescents)
50 (units?) flour, 5 tbsp butter, sugar, 5 yolks, 5 egg whites, 5 (units?) yeasts leavened in lukewarm milk, 2 knife tips baking powder, splash of vanilla, knead dough till smooth (knead well).

Wrap dough in napkin and soak in cold water for 2 hours. Remove, knead rolls, coat them in sugar, cut to rolls (crescents). Bake in hot oven, while hot, sprinkle with vanilla sugar