The Gate to Heaven a true story of Milada Grammer and Julius Löwenrosen, published 2020, the first book written in the memory of her mother
According to the memories of her mother, a resistance fighter and a war veteran, Eva Neuschlová from Brno wrote a remarkable text. That is both a documentary and a novel based on the true story of her mother which is called Gateway to Heaven.
The story of the young girl begins in the late 1930s. Accurately describes the life in Brno from the point of view of Milada, a poor daughter of loving parents. A girl falls in love at the beginning of her maturity – quite extraordinarily. Even at this early age, she encounters racism in many of its vile forms. But she does not abandon his Jewish friend, even when he is imprisoned. After a while, Julius and his friends are transferred from Terezín to work at the Kukla mine in Oslavany, which will allow them to reunite and fight illegally together. The thrilling drama is full of romantic relationship and difficult situations with a courage to the point of insolence towards the German occupiers.
The Governor of the South Moravian Region and the Mayor of the City of Brno provided support and the Foundation Fund for Holocaust Victims (subsidized by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic), the Brno-center city district, the city of Brno and the SOLITON-team association provided sponsorship for the publication of the book in 2020
It is the first, fervent and pure emotion between the adolescent Milada and the Jewish boy Julius Löwenrosen that pervades the plot bounded by the years 1938 to 45 in the backdrop of the Protectorate like a red thread. Although Julius is interned with others in Terezín due to his background in 1942, Milada does not break contact with him or his friends. She is increasingly involved in resistance activities.
The most powerful parts of the story are the moments when the heroine self-deprecatingly describes her youthful reasoning, exuberance, whims and fits of unreliability, understandable in a young lady of her age, but which quickly change into self-discipline, awareness, and courage to act, owing to the horrors of war.
The book also contains an album of photographs from 1942 and 1943, a number of letters with drawings as well as blueprints of the Kukla mine written by Julius to his girlfriend, postcards from concentration camps and other period documents kept in the domestic archive for 77 years and now are available to the public for the first time. According to the promise the girl made to Julius and his comrades in the war, she describes in her story their fates, their indomitable defiance against occupation, sabotage, hope, desire, fear and courage.
Eva Neuschlová wrote more than a riveting story of friendship and love from a raw and rough period. A perceptive reader gets a transfusion of burning emotion and youthful courage to live. That is, and hopefully always will be, the eternal constant of human lives, regardless of the dates.
Sample from the book: Julek is standing in the street on the opposite sidewalk, waiting for me. I have new red clogs on my heel and I feel tall and mature. I want him to understand it, too! So I stand and wait for him to come over. Not like before, when I ran to him without any embarrassment. He understands and follows me slowly. The mirror on Ceylo reflects our silhouette. He’s almost a head taller than me. Jula comes in, and my smile freezes. It’s caused by the strange look on his face. Stiff, but boundless agitated… under the wide-open lapels of his coat shines a sliver of yellow star! I stare at him in horror.
Next sample: He says to me in a letter: “One unexcused shift, a jogger takes a public ride to Brno to the employment office to listen to the admonition and pay the penalty (at what level the bad guys want it – bigger than our monthly earnings). Two unexcused shifts, in which case I’ll go and rest in the prison, and if I don’t want to get cold, I’ll bring coal with me from Oslavan. When wood is added to it, it burns excellently (but only the wood). Here it comes up against the poor quality of coal. Not much Oslavanian coal will add to their victory. Three unexcused shifts -trip back to Terezín for free. And there I would try to see how much heavier the butt is than the front (or hanging from a crooked and carved tree). And they’d have to take me down from there. And then I would have to respect the grass – it would be the only one that would accept me and whisper softly over my grave… No one would remember more, not even you? It is often the case that in misfortune it is easy to despise life. But I still live in the hope that we will survive. If I were hopeless, I’d be illogical. Maybe next year the war will be over.”
Let me introduce to you my new book, describing life of young people in Czech Republic in the times of second World war. This book, the only book I’ve written, comes from authentic memories of my beloved mother.
The book Gateway to Heaven : Real life story of Milada Grammer-ová and Julius Löwenrosen, published in year 2020, ISBN 978-80-87621-11-0, first release, 296 pages. Live Jewish drama. Author Eva Neuschlova, Czech republic, Brno. First time release of many extraordinary letters of young jewish boy and photographs of jewish youth from the times of holocaust.
Teenage girl Milada Grammer-ová along with her partner Julius Löwenrosen are relocated to concentration lager Terezín along with other young jews to go through their fate from 1938 through the war to spring 1945. She is able to visit them due to the fact that this jewish group is transfered from the concetrantion camp Terezin to work in mine Kukla in Oslavany. Here the conditions are more at ease and therefore they can secretly meet and fight against the nazi regime. In this documented story you’ll see fate of young jews, their way of thinking, fight, sabotage as well as their hopes, desires and fears…
It is also a story of deep friendships and love in historically hard times. This community of moravian jewish youths (Julius Löwenrosen, paratrooper lieutenant Robert Reich, Gerhard Mühlstein, Paul Beer, Leo Lederer, Morgenstern, Fried, Klepetař, Max Weinstein, Paul Wilheim, Bock, Fritzek, Hela Langer-ová and others) were later relocated from concentration lager Osvětim Birkenau to Sachsenhausen which saved some of them their lives.
The story of young girl Milada begins in late 1930’s, realistically describing life in and around the Southern moravian city of Brno at the time. Throughout the whole story you’ll be able to see the strong feelings between her and Julius. She is exposed to rasism and discrimination in it’s many forms, but against the odds she stays alongside her beloved Julius even when he’s being imprisoned in Terezin. After some time, Julius is being transfered to work in Kukla mine in Oslavany which makes easier for the couple to meet and fight together against the regime. This exciting drama is full of romance, difficult situations, courage and provocations against the german occupation.
This real life story is yet another piece of evidence of life of jews in Moravian region in Czech Republic, containing a lot of signed photographs in between years 1942 and 1943 along wiht large amount of letters with drawings and plans of the Kukla mine, post cards from concentration camps Osvetim, Birkenau, Sachsenhausen and other evidence stored for decades in home archive.
As Milada promised to Julius and their friends in the times of war, you’ll find their fates against ocupation, sabotages, hopes, desires and fears in this book. You’ll be able to see specific enviroment of the Brno city where people from very different backgrounds (Czech, German and Jewish) living through web of events and situations uniting them in common fate.
From readers : The author Eva Neuschl-ová has briliantly captured the plot in different story lines which creates excellent picture of the events of the time. She has captured and wrote the raw authentic memories of her mother Milada, war veretan and guerrilla fighter.
Part of the story is happening in Valašsko region, near Velké and Malé Karlovice alongside guerilla helpers Oldřich Kyslinger, Vlasta and Milada Grammer-ová and Bohumil Jakeš.
This book has been released thanks to great support of Southmoravian region hetman and Mayor of Brno with financial help of The Victims of Holocaust foundation, Brno centre.
Přeložil: Kamil Franz