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Ruth Frischmannova * 1928
Falkenbergsweg 62 (Harburg, Neugraben-Fischbek)
Ruth Frischmannova, born on 1 Jan. 1928 in Hradec Kralove, deported further several times from Theresienstadt, perished on 3 May 1945 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp
Hamburg District of Neugraben, Falkenbergsweg 62
Ruth Frischmann (in Czech: Frischmannova) was the first daughter of her Jewish parents Rudolf and Anna Frischmann. Her sister Kamila was three years older. The girls’ Bohemian native city on the upper reaches of the Elbe River belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the end of the First World War and it was officially called Königgrätz in those days.
The sisters spent happy childhood years in their parental home on the foothills of the Giant Mountains (Riesengebirge), years which Kamila Sieglova, née Frischmann, looks back on with enormous gratitude. Indelible, too, are her memories of her "delicate and widely talented” sister Ruth with whom she got along splendidly. Her sister was sick a lot. The two girls grew up in a time when the new Czechoslovakian Republic was not only faced with severe economic challenges but was also immensely burdened with strained relations between the four major ethnic groups – Czechs, Slovaks, Germans, and Hungarians.
The happy years ended for the family of four when in Sept. 1938 the German Wehrmacht first occupied the so-called "Sudeten German” regions and then, in Mar. 1939, the Czech "rump state.” This marked the beginning of systematic oppression of the Czech – and particularly the Jewish – population of the newly established "Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.” Only a few days later, the Jewish inhabitants were ordered to have themselves registered immediately. What followed were dozens of decrees that increasingly isolated the Jewish population from society and eventually ruined them economically. From Sept. 1941 onward, Czech Jewish men and women were also subject to compulsory identification with the "yellow star.”
The strains became more unbearable all the time. The emotional hardship of the persecuted persons was not without effect. This also applied to Rudolf Frischmann, who died in Jan. 1942.
Eleven months later, his wife and his two daughters were deported from Hradec Kralove to the Theresienstadt Ghetto, where their names were replaced with numbers.
Theresienstadt was only a transit station for Anna, Kamila, and Ruth Frischmann on the way to the Auschwitz concentration camp. In Auschwitz, they were among those detached to perform forced labor duties in the German Reich after a "selection” in the summer of 1944, whereas more than 7,000 other Czech Jews had to go to their deaths in the gas chambers.
The journey of the three women ended in Hamburg where in the months following they passed through the concentration camp subcamps of "Dessauer Ufer,” Neugraben, and Tiefstack. In Mar. 1945, Ruth Frischmann was seriously injured in an air raid. Shortly afterward, she, along with her mother and sister, was transferred to Bergen-Belsen, where she died of her injuries on 3 May 1945.
Grief about her death overshadowed the fortunate return of Anna and Kamila Frischmann to their home in July 1945.
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
© Klaus Möller
Quellen: 7; 8; Liste der Bewohner des Lagers Theresienstadt; Mitteilung des Instituts Theresienstädter Initiative vom 27.7.2011; Schriftliche Mitteilungen Kamila Sieglovás, geb. Frischmann, vom 27.6.2011, 19.7.2011, 1.8.2011; Czech, Kalendarium, 2. Auflage; Oprach, Judenpolitik.
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