Volume 3  –  document 316

On 14 September 1941 Jiří Münzer writes about the impending introduction of the yellow star for Jews and the ban on them leaving their places of residence1JMP, DP 79. Published in Münzer, Dospívání nad propastí, pp. 87 f. This document has been translated from Czech.

Handwritten diary of Jiří Münzer, entry for 14 September 1941

This was one of the saddest weeks I’ve ever lived through. It was announced that we’ll have to wear stars and we won’t be allowed to leave our place of residence.2The compulsory visible identification of Jews was also introduced in the Protectorate with a regulation issued on 1 Sept. 1941: see Doc. 212. On 15 Sept. 1941, the Reich Ministry of the Interior supplemented the regulation with an express letter forbidding Jews from leaving their places of residence: see Doc. 222. I’d welcome the badges – why shouldn’t I show everyone that I’m a Jew and proud of it – if we could only stay in Hradec. However, this means that I’m not allowed to leave Třebechovice, and no one can come to Třebechovice from there, so we’re completely cut off. I keep thinking about it all the time. This is the first ban that has really got to me; it’s really struck at my heart, right at my innermost being.

Now I see how little material things matter to me if I can simply be with the people I love. I feel a sense of helpless anger that I can’t change anything and there is no end to any of this.

I’m not a jealous person, but on this occasion I am: though I’m truly delighted that the Mahlers3Probably: Maximilian Mahler (1886–1944), engineer; deported from Hradec Králové to Theresienstadt on 21 Dec. 1942. Otylie Mahlerová, née Nohel (1889–1944), housewife; deported from Hradec Králové to Theresienstadt on 21 Dec. 1942, then on 16 Oct. 1944 to Auschwitz, where she was murdered. have found an apartment, I’m awfully jealous of them. They are going to live with Dr Neu4Probably: Dr Julius Neu (1887–1943), lawyer; deported on 21 Dec. 1942 from Hradec Králové to Theresienstadt, where he perished two and a half months later. about a hundred steps from the house where Ilsa5Ilsa Polláková. lives, while I’m thirteen kilometres from Hradec and am not allowed to go there.

That was already [bad] enough, and once I had more or less come to terms with it and told myself that the week always flew by and I’d be in Hradec on Saturday and Sunday, then this came along.

Grandma is still unwell, and she’s not getting any help at all.

During the week I was at home every day, and I was at Ilsa’s on four of the evenings. Yesterday we had sichos6Hebrew for ‘talks’. at the Frischmanns’ – Jirka7Probably Jiří (Jirka) Fränkl or Jiří (Jirka) Brod. spoke about the period before Christ. I am also sad not to be able to go to sichos any more, but I won’t stop working. We didn’t have our Hebrew lesson today because the teacher has already moved – I went to the hospital to see Grandma this morning. Uncle Otta8Ota Klepetář (b. 1900), dentist; deported on 9 Dec. 1942 from Pardubice to Theresienstadt and from there on 23 Jan. 1943 to Auschwitz, where he perished. came too; he and I went to meet Granddad.

In the afternoon I popped in to see the Müllers and Bertík, and then I was at Ilsa’s till evening. We weren’t in a particularly jolly mood.

This week Jews were also ordered to hand in their bicycles and typewriters – I gave notification of my typewriter and bicycle.9Towards the end of 1941, Jews in the Protectorate were required to hand in their bicycles and typewriters to the Jewish Community: H. G. Adler, Theresienstadt, 1941–1945: The Face of a Coerced Community, trans. Belinda Cooper (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017 [German edn, 1955]), p. 11. Nothing new in the war.

This document is part of:
German Reich and Protectorate September 1939–September 1941 (Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2020)