The story of Anka Bergman, who gave birth to her baby daughter Eva in a Nazi concentration camp, and endured six months of forced labour during her pregnancy.
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This programme contains scenes which some viewers may find upsetting
Eva Clarke was born into a world that did not want her to exist.
Under the Third Reich, all Jewish babies were to be killed.
We had to sign a paper that the babies will be taken away -
that's first time I heard the word "euthanasia".
By the time of Eva's birth, her mother Anka weighed just five stone
and was on the brink of starvation.
I was getting thinner and thinner
but my stomach was getting bigger and bigger.
Eva was born at Mauthausen, a Nazi death camp, where hundreds of thousands lost their lives.
But remarkably both Eva and Anka survived.
Now for the first time on television they tell their full story.
Anka Bergman was born 94 years ago in Czechoslovakia.
Her birthday, the 20th of April - the same as Hitler's.
In 1936, she was a carefree 18 year old, studying law at the Prague Charles University.
I found out that you don't have to go to the lectures if you do law, that you can do it at home.
So that suited me to the ground.
I wanted company and boyfriends and to enjoy myself, which I did.
I didn't know that Hitler was coming but somehow I filled it
with only cinema and theatres and concerts and parties.
My father was German, German but Jewish.
When Hitler came to power he came to Prague in 1933.
He thought that was far enough to be safe. It wasn't,
but if he hadn't, he wouldn't have met my mother.
She met him in a night club where she was with a group of friends.
I was in the company of, well, let's say, ten mixed girls and boys and he joined us.
That was it, you know.
I think it was love at first sight.
When I saw him I thought, "I don't see right",
because he was the best-looking man I have ever seen in my life
and until today I haven't changed my mind, I must say.
I've heard it from people other than my mother that my father really was something of a stunner
and people would literally walk down the road and turn around, you know.
But I think they both look equally good.
We started dating but it was all very, very hectic and we got married
and everything looked sort of as well as it could,
because we still didn't realise what the Germans were doing.
Anka and Bernd were to enjoy a just a few months of happiness
before their blissful days of freedom would come to an end.
In 1939, the Nazis occupied Czechoslovakia.
On March 15th, the tanks rolled into Prague.
It was snowing and it was like the height of winter.
It was a catastrophe to see.
COMMENTATOR SPEAKS GERMAN
They marching through the main square, Wenceslas Square, in Prague
and we were all deadly desperate because we knew, well, this is it, what's going to happen?
COMMENTATOR SPEAKS GERMAN
The Nazis began to impose new rules and regulations on all Jews,
removing freedoms previously taken for granted.
The rules against the Jews started slowly, gradually.
You weren't allowed to go to the theatres and cinemas
and there was a curfew after eight.
You had to do it, but it was bearable.
She would also test these restrictions, or people did
and she did certainly,
and she did go to the cinema once when it was forbidden.
And I thought, "Blow it all, I must see this film", and I went to the cinema.
And she was sitting in the cinema watching the film when the Gestapo came in
and they started to go through the audience row by row,
looking at their ID papers and my mother was terrified
because she had no idea how they would react when they got to her
and when they saw the large "J" for Jew on her papers.
I was in the middle of the cinema in the middle row.
If I had stood up it would have been worse than waiting there, what's going to happen?
And they go through every row
and they stop the row in front of me.
I don't know why.
And they went.
And I sat there till the end because I didn't want to draw attention to me.
Then I came home and told my husband where I had been.
I thought he would kill me because he didn't know.
I didn't... They could have shot me, they could...
I don't know.
At this time most people had no idea about the lengths that Hitler and the Nazis would go to.
HE SPEAKS GERMAN
Faced with increasing discrimination, some Jews did choose
to leave Czechoslovakia, but the majority stayed.
We knew they were going to do something but...
as long as you don't experience it, you just think everybody is panicking.
I don't know. I really can't explain it to you.
But most of the Jews...
In 1941, the Nazis implemented the next stage in Hitler's plan
and started transporting all Jewish people out of Prague.
In the November, Anka's husband received a card
instructing him to report to a warehouse near the railway station.
And a fortnight after him, I got a sort of postcard that I should come,
on that day, with 50 kilos of luggage.
And when she left, not only was she carrying her handbag
and her suitcase, she was also carrying a large box, a very large box.
I said to her, "What did you have in the box, didn't you have enough to worry about?"
I had a box with 50 doughnuts,
ordinary, plain doughnuts with jam in the middle.
I said, "Why doughnuts?" She said, "Because your father liked doughnuts."
My husband was very keen on them and I thought I would bring it for them, bring it to him.
There was one young German soldier, he could see that she was having difficulty carrying all her luggage,
well, mainly carrying the doughnuts,
and he said to her, "Es ist scheissegal, ob die Schachtel mitkommt",
which means, "I couldn't give a shit if that box goes with you or not."
He said it terribly, really.
He would have been no older than 20 years, but anyway.
But I managed to get it on the train.
I brought it to Terezin and my husband enjoyed them.
Anka had arrived at Terezin concentration camp.
The rest of Anka's family were also sent to Terezin,
as were thousands of Jews from all over Europe.
Anka and her husband Bernd had remained together,
but they were about to experience first-hand the brutality of the Nazi regime.
The primary function of Terezin was
as a transit camp for the notorious Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp,
a grim truth successfully disguised in a Nazi propaganda film.
The reality of the camp was far more severe than the pictures suggest.
Food was scarce and living conditions tough
and those who were weak and not able to work were quickly transported on to Auschwitz.
Because my parents were young, strong and well capable of work,
so they remained in Terezin for three years.
And at the beginning we all thought it isn't too bad, we can take it,
and the Germans thought, we will show you how you can take it
and suddenly they took about 15 young men and hanged them
because they tried to smuggle a letter to their parents
and they caught one of them and 15 were hanged.
Sleeping arrangements at Terezin were strictly controlled.
Men and women were forced to live in separate barracks
but Anka found a way to meet regularly with her husband.
I managed to get pregnant. That was the biggest sin
we could have committed because there were segregation of sexes.
And I mean, one finds, one finds ways and means how one does the various things.
My mother stayed in the same barracks as I did.
She look at me, how and where?! ANKA LAUGHS
She laughed actually because in all that misery there,
she had a sense of humour.
And when I was a young teenager about, I don't know, 12, 13,
no doubt when it would have been at its most embarrassing,
I asked her how, how come she got pregnant?
She replied in a very clever way.
She said, "Under such circumstances you find comfort where you can
"and to hell with the consequences", end of story.
But to be Jewish and become pregnant under the Nazi regime
was a serious crime and there was a devastating consequence.
There were five couples in the same position as we, that they found out that we were pregnant
and we had to sign a paper that the babies, when they are born, will be
taken away and that's the first time I heard the word "euthanasia".
But we did sign it that the children will be taken away.
The children were born...
..but nothing happened and nobody knows why we had to sign it
and nobody knows why nothing happened.
My little boy was born in February 1944
and he died of a natural death two months later of pneumonia.
But he wasn't killed, but on the other hand,
his death saved my life and Eva, of course, because I wouldn't be here to tell you the story.
Anka and Bernd's time at Terezin was running out.
At the end of September 1944, Anka discovered she was pregnant
for a second time but before she was able to tell her husband about the pregnancy, he was taken away.
Bernd was being sent to Auschwitz.
The next day, Anka volunteered to follow him.
They told us if you want to see your husbands so you can come of your own free will
and you will see them in a different ghetto.
I was one of the first ones to go voluntarily.
But I never saw him again.
She heard from an eyewitness, quite soon after the end of the war
that my father had actually been shot dead in Auschwitz on the 18th January 1945.
-He never knew about you?
-No, he never knew that she was pregnant.
Although Anka had endured five years of Nazi brutality,
she was completely unaware of what was taking place behind the electric fences of Auschwitz.
I knew you were sent east, Auschwitz probably but I didn't, I didn't know any more. It didn't mean anything.
It meant it's in Poland and it can't be all that marvellous as Terezin was but we didn't know...
And so we arrived on the famous ramp,
we saw the chimneys spouting the smoke
and fire and the smell and it looked like hell.
We didn't know what was happening there.
Just the picture of those chimneys and those fire, I can't describe it.
It is unbelievable and indescribable and we all got frightened
and didn't know what of.
Our heads were shaved and they took all our clothes and we were naked there.
We slowly were sent into a barrack where they were showers
but we didn't know anything about any other showers,
so it didn't worry us and they were real showers
and we washed in the cold water and no towel and nothing
and we ran around there like naked and the men looking at us.
No, it was awful, that beginning.
We were frightened but we still didn't know of what.
And then we were sent to some other barracks where there were already other people,
it was cold and windy and horrible
and a friend of mine who was standing next to me
asked one of the girls who were there, "When will I see my parents?"
And they all started laughing like mad.
"You stupid cow", or who knows what not, "they are in the chimney by now",
and in that moment you knew what was happening there,
not how and what, but you knew they were burning the people in the chimneys.
My mother was in Auschwitz for ten days which was, you know,
although a short space of time, she said it really was hell on earth.
She said it was like Dante's Inferno.
People there, everybody...
stopped looking human somehow.
Anka's parents, her sisters, her brother-in-law and her nephew
had all been sent to Auschwitz
a long time before Anka and her husband.
And when they arrived there they were able to keep their luggage, they kept their clothes,
they weren't shaved, they weren't tattooed and they were sent to what was called a familienlage.
One or two of the wooden huts in Auschwitz-Birkenau
had families together and there was just one very cynical reason why.
And that was so that they could be forced to write postcards home.
And my aunt, my mother's oldest sister Denna,
she wrote a postcard to her cousin who still happened to be in Prague.
Shall I translate?
"My dear ones, I am here with my husband and sister and her son
"and we are all fine.
"I hope that you are all well and happy. Best wishes to...
"Yours, Denna" and so on.
The postcards had to be written in German so the Germans could censor them.
And my aunt was desperate to get a message out in code.
And the code word is in the address, in the first line of the address
where the lady to whom it was sent, her first name was Olga.
Well, the word "Olga" doesn't feature in the postcard
and where the word "Olga" should be is the word "Lechem".
The word "Lechem" is not German, it's Hebrew and it means "bread"
and my aunt was telling her cousin that they were starving.
Olga did receive the postcard, understood the message and sent a parcel.
But by the time the card had been posted, Anka's parents, sisters,
brother-in-law and nephew had all been killed.
Anka had arrived at Auschwitz pregnant with Eva and her life was in grave danger.
The Nazis assessed all inmates and decided who would live and who would die.
We went through these so-called selections where they picked people
who were most capable of eventually doing some war work.
Pregnant women were routinely sent straight to the gas chambers.
But, for now, Anka's pregnancy would go undetected.
She was selected to live.
We were given some food and some better clothes
and we were put on a train and sent away from Auschwitz.
And that was just marvellous.
The feeling that we were leaving Auschwitz alive, you just can't imagine.
It was heaven.
In October 1944, Anka was just three months into her pregnancy.
If discovered, she would be sent straight back to Auschwitz to a certain death.
But for now, the greatest threat to Anka and her unborn child was the lack of food and warmth.
We were like sardines again in that train and there was only one bucket
and it all started overflowing pretty quickly and no food and no water.
Anka was on her way to an armaments factory.
We went up a hill to a huge factory
and it opened the door and it was warm there.
And we saw and smelt the bed bugs.
I don't know if you have ever seen one, but they are little beetles
which wouldn't matter so much but they have that certain smell,
sort of sweet. Never mind!
I never saw it since and I hope, I hope not to smell it again,
but there were thousands of them and that meant warmth.
Anka was to spend the next six months riveting the tail fin
of the V1, the unmanned flying bomb, the notorious doodlebug.
Compared to Auschwitz the factory was a haven,
but Anka's life was still at risk.
I was getting thinner and thinner
but my stomach was getting bigger and bigger.
Discovery of her condition would have meant her immediate return to the gas chambers.
I perhaps am the only person, idiotic as I am,
who thought that I would get through it and I will come home,
never doubted it.
And seeing all these people going in the gas every day and every day and so on and so on
and being pregnant and the baby, I knew I was coming home
which is totally stupid.
But I lived with this idea.
By the February of 1945, Anka was seven months' pregnant
and was now in great danger of being discovered by the Nazis.
Miraculously, she would be spared the fate of the gas chambers.
At the end of the January, Auschwitz had been liberated by the Russians.
But there was now a new threat to Anka's life.
The Nazis had started to evacuate the camps and factories
to annihilate all living witnesses to the holocaust.
Anka was put on yet another torturous train journey,
heading south away from the advancing allies.
There was no food and no water and no nothing and we were in open coal wagons.
The train journey lasted three weeks and during this time many people lost their lives to hunger.
Anka was on the brink of starvation
and by now was nine months' pregnant.
Finally the train arrived at its destination...
..Mauthausen Death Camp.
At this very moment, Anka went into labour.
When my mother saw the name "Mauthausen" at the station
she was very shocked because as opposed to when she'd arrived in Auschwitz
not knowing what that was, this time she knew
because she had heard about this appalling place from very early on in the war.
And she says the shock was so great that she thinks it provoked the onset of her labour
and she started to give birth to me on that coal truck.
We went up the hill and I was sort of starting to give birth to the child
and there I stopped just before the opening of the main doors of Mauthausen
and then I had to climb down from that wagon and nobody helped me.
There was this Russian doctor who was with us and who you knew slightly, the prisoner.
And she was just passing.
I begged her to help me and she turned round and went.
I mean, a doctor.
The baby came out and we were still going for ten minutes, I think,
and then they called a doctor from the camp, the prisoner,
and he was a gynaecologist by pure fluke and he cut the baby off
and smacked its bottom and it was a healthy baby and I was in heaven.
Her arms were like my little finger.
I mean, she was tiny.
You didn't dare to touch her.
They think I weighed about three pounds.
I was wrapped in paper.
My mother just held me all the time.
Despite all odds Anka's baby had made it into the world
but at the worst possible moment.
The Nazis were desperately getting rid of all witnesses to their crimes.
In the dying days of the war, thousands were shot, gassed and starved to death.
Anka and her new-born baby were on their way to the gas chambers of Mauthausen.
But then, another miracle.
The Germans disappeared.
Nobody threw them out, no-one, suddenly they were gone.
There are two reasons why we survived and the first
is that on the 28th April, 1945,
the Nazis had dismantled the gas chamber in Mauthausen.
Well, my birthday is the 29th.
So presumably had my mother arrived on the 26th or 27th,
again, I wouldn't be sitting here today.
The second reason we survived was because a few days after my birth
the American Army liberated the camp.
My mother reckons she wouldn't have lasted much longer.
Anka's four years of Nazi imprisonment were finally over.
When she was strong enough she and baby Eva returned home to Prague.
Anka was free at last, but she and Eva were now alone in the world.
CELEBRATORY MUSIC PLAYS
That was the worst moment of the whole war for me, to arrive in Prague
which I wished all through the time, "When will I be home?"
and there was no home.
I come from a big family and there was nobody, nothing.
I didn't know where my next meal will come from because
I had no money, no clothes and a little baby.
But nevertheless she still had a vestige of optimism in the back of her mind and she asked somebody
to give her some money to go on the tram.
She thought that if anybody had survived, there was a chance it would be her cousin.
I ring the bell and the door opens and the whole family waits for me there
and say, "Where have you been? We heard you are coming to us."
And they were just marvellous.
Now I'm going to start to cry.
Well, I asked them if I could stay a few days and they said, "Of course."
And a few days ran to three-and-a-half years
and it was just, I found a new family.
Other survivors returned home to discover they had lost everything and everyone.
Many committed suicide.
All my other friends, whom I met in the road, sort of street,
they walked about like flotsam because there was nobody nowhere for many of them.
And I had this fantastic, growing thing.
It's unbelievable how much it gives you and how much you can take
for somebody else.
She was the greatest help of all, without knowing it.
A mother's love and all that.
It's the most potent thing in life, I find.
You get over everything.
In 1948, Anka remarried and the family moved to Britain.
Today the woman who gave birth in a concentration camp
has two grandsons...
That is lovely.
..and three great-grandchildren.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Anka Bergman gave birth to her baby daughter Eva in a Nazi concentration camp.
During her pregnancy, Anka witnessed the horrors of Auschwitz and endured six months of forced labour. If the Nazis found a woman was pregnant, she could be sent straight to the gas chambers. Amazingly, Anka's pregnancy went unnoticed for months.
Anka eventually gave birth - on the day she arrived at an extermination camp. Anka weighed just five stone and was on the brink of starvation; baby Eva weighed just three pounds.
Remarkably, both mother and daughter survived, and are living in Cambridge. Now they tell their story.