(Q) Where were you born?
I was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, on August 31, 1919.
(Q): During the war you were taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau. What were the working conditions like there, Jan?
Jan: They were terrible! At noon it was vegetable soup or potato soup. We worked from six in the morning until six in the afternoon. In the afternoon we got a piece of bread. At the beginning it was a two-kilo loaf of bread for seven people; at the end of the war it was a small piece of bread for each one and… we died…we couldn’t stand the work and the hunger…
(Q): At the end of the war, you took part in the death march, how was it?
Jan: We were walking through a small village … the Germans were already preparing to flee to the west. Then I saw a bicycle and on the bicycle was a loaf of bread…a whole loaf of bread! So what was the worst that could happen to me? I went and got the bread. A woman started screaming. An SS came, and he took the bread from me, gave me a push, but nothing happened to me. Because he was as hungry as we were too! We stayed from April 18 until May 9 without eating, just walking.
Interview given to Débora Barmak. Gaby Becker Oral History Center of the Jewish Museum of São Paulo. December 20, 2021