Anka Bergman

Last updated

Anka Bergman
Anka Nathanova cropped.webp
Bergman in 1940
Anna Kaudrová

(1917-04-20)20 April 1917
Třebechovice, Czechoslovakia
Died17 July 2013(2013-07-17) (aged 96)
Other namesAnka Nathanová
Bernd Nathan
(m. 1940;death 1945)

Karel Bergman
Children2; including Eva Clarke

Anka Bergman (née Kaudrová; 20 April 1917 – 17 July 2013) was a Czech Holocaust survivor noted for giving birth to Eva Clarke whilst at Mauthausen concentration camp. [1] [2] [3]


Early life

Bergman and Bernd Nathan's wedding picture in May 1940. Eva Clarke's parents.webp
Bergman and Bernd Nathan's wedding picture in May 1940.

Anna Kaudrová [4] was born in 1917 in the town of Třebechovice, in the present-day Czech Republic. She grew up with her parents and two brothers and sisters. They were raised as Jewish but not religious. After attending a boarding grammar school, she studied law at Prague University. As the Nazis took control in 1939, they closed universities and Bergman got a job as a hatmaker. On 15 May 1940 [5] she married Bernd Nathan, an architect who earned an Iron Cross during the first world war. He previously moved to Prague from Germany in an attempt to escape Nazi control. As restrictions grew they were forced to wear a yellow badge. [3] [6]


Bergman and her daughter, Eva Clarke, at Mauthausen on 11 May 1945 Anka Nathanova and Eva Clarke (cropped).jpg
Bergman and her daughter, Eva Clarke, at Mauthausen on 11 May 1945

In November 1941 they were ordered to a warehouse near Holešovice station in Prague. Anka and Bernd were separated, and Anka was sent to Theresienstadt, which at the time was an old barracks transformed into a Nazi ghetto. She got a job there at a provisions store so she could help feed the fifteen members of her extended family transported to the same ghetto. After some time Anka was able to find her husband, and have a baby. The Gestapo forced her to sign a document that if her son was born it would be killed, but he died at two months old of pneumonia. [1] [3] [6] [7]

In September 1944 Bernd was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Anka was pregnant again, and, not knowing the camp, volunteered to join him. Upon arriving in October, she was again separated from Bernd, who would later be shot in a death march by the Nazis on 18 January 1945. [5] [1] [8] Anka, malnourished and keeping her pregnancy secret, was selected for slave labour in an armaments factory near Dresden, Germany. She was so malnourished upon being evacuated to the countryside for the Mauthausen concentration camp, she credits a farmer who offered her a glass of milk for her survival. She would have been sent to the gas chambers if they were not blown up the day before. Here she gave birth to her daughter Eva Clarke. Three days later the camp was liberated by American forces. [1] [3] [6] [7] [8]

During her time in these ghettos and camps, music from performers who were also captured helped motivate people to go on. Anka's favourite was the opera The Bartered Bride by the Czech composer Smetana. [3]

Later life

She returned to Prague to stay with her remaining family members. Her husband, parents, and two sisters were murdered at Auschwitz. In 1948, she started a new life with Karel Bergman, a Czech translator in the RAF, in Cardiff, Wales, and would often give talks on her experiences. [2] [3] [6]

Anka Bergman died on 17 July 2013. Her daughter, Eva Clarke, regularly speaks for the Holocaust Educational Trust. [1] [6]

Related Research Articles

Terezín Town in Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic

Terezín is a former military fortress composed of the citadel and adjacent walled garrison town of Litoměřice District in the Ústí nad Labem Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 2,900 inhabitants.

There is a wide range of ways in which people have represented the Holocaust in popular culture.

Rafael Schächter Czech musician

Rafael Schächter, was a Czechoslovak composer, pianist and conductor of Jewish origin, organizer of cultural life in Terezín concentration camp.

George Brady (Holocaust survivor) Czech Canadian Holocaust survivor

George Jiri Brady was a Holocaust survivor of both Theresienstadt (Terezín) and Auschwitz, who became a businessman in Canada and was awarded the Order of Ontario in 2008.

Richard Glazar

Richard Glazar was a Czech-Jewish inmate of the Treblinka extermination camp in German-occupied Poland during the Holocaust. One of a small group of survivors of the camp's prisoner revolt in August 1943, Glazar described his experiences in an autobiographical book, Trap with a Green Fence: Survival in Treblinka (1992).

Identification of inmates in German concentration camps Prisoners camp identification numbers, cloth emblems, and armbands

Identification of inmates in German concentration camps was performed mostly with identification numbers marked on clothing, or later, tattooed on the skin. More specialized identification was done with German concentration camp badges on the clothing and also with armbands.

Eva Mozes Kor was a Romanian-born survivor of the Holocaust. Along with her twin sister Miriam, Kor was subjected to human experimentation under the direction of SS Doctor Josef Mengele at the Auschwitz concentration camp in German-occupied Poland during World War II. Her parents and two older sisters were killed in the gas chambers at Birkenau; only she and Miriam survived.

<i>I Never Saw Another Butterfly</i>

I Never Saw Another Butterfly: Children's Drawings and Poems from Terezin Concentration Camp, 1942–1944 is a collection of works of art and poetry by Jewish children who lived in the concentration camp Theresienstadt. They were created at the camp in secret art classes taught by Austrian artist and educator Friedl Dicker-Brandeis. The book takes its title from a poem by Pavel Friedmann, a young man born in 1921 who was incarcerated at Theresienstadt and was later killed at Auschwitz. The works were compiled after World War II by Czech art historian Hana Volavková, the only curator of the Jewish Museum in Prague to survive the Holocaust. Where known, the fate of each young author is listed. Most died prior to the camp being liberated.

Elfriede Geiringer

Elfriede Geiringer was a Jewish survivor of World War II. She was the second wife of Otto Frank, who was the father of Anne and Margot Frank.

Yehuda Bacon

Yehuda Bacon is an Israeli artist who survived the Holocaust.

Helga Hošková-Weissová, also Helga Weiss, is a Czech artist, and a Holocaust survivor. She is known for her drawings that depict life at Terezín and her diary, which was published in 2013.

Erich Kulka

Erich Kulka was a Czech-Israeli writer, historian and journalist who survived the Holocaust. After World War II, he made it his life's mission to research the Holocaust and publicize facts about it.

Pavel Bergmann

Pavel Bergmann was a Czech historian, philosopher, a signatory of the Charter 77 manifesto, and a founding member of the Civic Forum.

Eva Schloss Austrian Holocaust survivor, memoirist

Eva Geiringer Schloss, MBE is an Austrian-English Holocaust survivor, memoirist and stepdaughter of Otto Frank, the father of Margot and diarist Anne Frank. Schloss speaks widely of her family's experiences during the Holocaust and is a participant in the USC Shoah Foundation's Visual History Archive project to record video answers to be used in educational tools.

Jona Laks is an Israeli Holocaust survivor who was subject to human experimentation by Josef Mengele at the Auschwitz concentration camp. After the war she founded and served as chairwoman of the Organization of the Mengele Twins. In January 2015 she addressed the United Nations General Assembly at its International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust Memorial Ceremony. She has been featured in several documentary films.

Bat-Sheva Dagan

Bat-Sheva Dagan is a Polish-Israeli Holocaust survivor, educator, author, and speaker. Born in Łódź, Poland, she was incarcerated in a ghetto in Radom with her parents and two sisters in 1940. After her parents and a sister were deported and murdered in Treblinka in August 1942, she escaped to Germany, but was discovered, imprisoned, and deported to Auschwitz in May 1943. After spending 20 months in Auschwitz, she survived two death marches and was liberated by British troops in May 1945. She was the only survivor of her family. She and her husband settled in Israel, where she taught kindergarten and later obtained degrees in educational counseling and psychology. She went on to author books, poems, and songs for children and young adults on Holocaust themes, and developed psychological and pedagogical methods for teaching the Holocaust to children. She is considered a pioneer in children's Holocaust education.

Edith BirkinnéeHofmann was a Jewish artist and writer born in Prague, who spent her later years in Britain. She was a survivor of the Holocaust.

Siegfried Lederers escape from Auschwitz 1944 prisoner escape from Auschwitz concentration camp

On the night of 5 April 1944, Siegfried Lederer, a Czech Jew, escaped from the Auschwitz concentration camp wearing an SS uniform provided by SS-Rottenführer Viktor Pestek. Because of his Catholic faith and infatuation with Renée Neumann, a Jewish prisoner, Pestek opposed the Holocaust. He accompanied Lederer out of the camp, and the two men traveled together to the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia to obtain false documents for Neumann and her mother.

Edith Eva (Edie) Eger born to Hungarian Jewish parents, is a psychologist practicing in the United States. She is a Holocaust survivor and a specialist in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. Her memoirs entitled The Choice - Embrace the Possible, published in 2017, became an international bestseller. Her second book, titled The Gift - 12 Lessons to Save Your Life was published in September 2020.

Eva Olga Clarke is a British-Czech Holocaust survivor and former college administrator known for her birth at Mauthausen concentration camp. She is a speaker for the Holocaust Educational Trust. Clarke combats modern day instances of racism and prejudice through sharing her family's experiences in the Holocaust.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Holocaust survivor born in death camp". 12 February 2017. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  2. 1 2 "A Week in Auschwitz: 'Anka's Story' - A Tribute to Anka Bergman". A Week in Auschwitz. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Vulliamy, Ed (5 April 2013). "Terezín: the Nazi camp where music played amid the horror". The Observer. ISSN   0029-7712 . Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  4. "Narrating Mauthausen: Anna Bergman (born Kaudrová)". Mauthausen Memorial. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  5. 1 2 "Holocaust survivor shares her mother's story". Retrieved 28 February 2021.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 "Holocaust Educational Trust - Holocaust Educational Trust". Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  7. 1 2 Hedgepeth, Sonja M. Saidel, Rochelle G. (2010). Sexual Violence against Jewish Women during the Holocaust. University Press of New England. OCLC   731331954.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. 1 2 Guardian Staff (9 January 2005). "Auschwitz 60 years on: The mother and daughter". The Guardian. ISSN   0261-3077 . Retrieved 28 November 2019.