Memory of Nation


Magdalena Swinkelsová, roz. Hackerová (1926)

  Magdalena Swinkelsová, roz. Hackerová (1926)
I have survived Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen and at the end I was nearly shot by a warden immediately before the liberation

Injured by a bullet in Bergen-Belsen

“The Englishmen were already there (in Bergen-Belsen – ed.’s note). My sister had typhus, and she could not walk any more and she told me: ‘Go and look outside, something is happening there.’ I just walked out of the barrack and there were about twenty girls from our block. We were telling each other that we were liberated. But not far away from us there were a German and a Hungarian warden and they told us to go inside. We thus went inside, but they did not wait and they started shooting at us. I got hit in my neck and hand. The bullet which grazed me on my neck killed the girl who was standing behind me. She was tall and she got hit in her heart. The bullet which only scratched me killed her. I got hit into my hand and there were no bandages there, but later the Englishmen helped me. They placed me into barracks where the SS men had stayed before.”

  • 1926 – born in Uzhhorod
  • 1939 – occupation by Hungary, first persecution
  • 1944 - transport to Auschwitz-Birkenau
  • forced labour in a factory in Weißwasser
  • death march to Bergen-Belsen
  • April 1945 – liberation of Bergen-Belsen, injured by a bullet
  • 1946 – relocation to Karlovy Vary
  • moved to Belgium in the 1970s
  • returned to the Czech Republic in 2000
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