Robert Bradfeld

1925 (Dobrichovice, Czechoslovakia)


"I had the feeling that, after what I went through in the camp, I was not going to live for long."

Robert Bardfeld was born in Dobřichovice, Czechoslovakia, on 10 May 1925. He attended secondary school in Roudnice nad Labem near Terezín (Theresienstadt). There he had a conflict with a German teacher who had ties to the NSDAP. Following the assassination attempt on Reinhard Heydrich (27 May 1942), the teacher, afraid of his students, reported the entire class to the Gestapo.

Following this, on 20 June 1942, all boys of the sixth and seventh forms were arrested and brought to the Small Fortress, the Gestapo prison in Terezín. From there, Bardfeld was brought as a "political inmate" to Buchenwald Concentration Camp in early October. He was put in the "delinquent company", and worked on construction sites in Weimar, occasionally in quarries and, after an episode of tuberculosis, in the infirmary. Following the bomb attack on Weimar on 9 February 1945, he illegally went to the city with a medical detachment because he wanted to see the destruction that had been done to the buildings he had helped to build. In the evening he returned to the camp.

After the liberation of the camp, Bardfeld helped with the medical treatment of his comrades. In May 1945, he returned to Czechoslovakia and studied medicine at Charles University in Prague. In 1950 he earned his Doctor of Medicine and was hired at the Bisek hospital. In 1955, he became a medical professor at the Institute of Rheumatology run by Prague’s Ministry of Health.