History KS3 / GCSE: How did a pregnant woman survive the Holocaust?

Pregnant women were normally sent straight to the gas chambers, but Anka survived the selection process and was transported in October 1944, whilst 3 months pregnant, on a cramped train to an armament’s factory in Germany.

Her job was to help with the construction of a V1 ‘Doodlebug.’

The Nazis started to evacuate camps to cover up evidence of what had happened during the Holocaust.

When 7 months pregnant, Anka was sent on a 3 week train journey to Mauthausen death camp. Anka gave birth at the camp in April 1945.

Nazis dismantled the gas chambers at Mauthausen to try and hide what had happened there.

Shortly after Anka gave birth to Eva, the US army arrived and liberated the camp.

Anka found it difficult to return to her home in Prague with her baby as many of her family members had been killed in the Holocaust.

She relied on the help of her cousin and extended family for support.

This short film is from the BBC series, World War Two with Dan Snow.

This short film contains scenes which viewers may find upsetting. The films are intended for classroom use but teacher review is recommended prior to watching with your pupils. You know best the limit of your pupils, and BBC Teach does not accept any responsibility for pupil distress.

Teacher Notes

Students could look at this short film to consider the legacy of the Holocaust.

How might survivors feel after camps were liberated and the war came to an end?

What challenges faced survivors when they returned home? This is an important aspect of the Holocaust - what help and support would survivors need, and where could they get help from?

This could include a discussion about the roles of other countries and organisations.

Curriculum Notes

This short film will be relevant for teaching KS3 and KS4/GCSE history in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and National 4/5 history in Scotland.

More from World War Two with Dan Snow:

What does Rudolph Höss' evidence tell us about Auschwitz?
video
What were conditions like at Auschwitz?
video
How did Auschwitz expand?
video
How did the use of gas chambers develop in the Holocaust?
video
What happened in the gas chambers at Auschwitz?
video