CHOTĚBOŘ - The Bondy family

At the beginning of the project, the authors only had three old pictures with Jewish inhabitants of Chotěboř. The group of students from the Chotěboř Business Academy eventually assembled the names of all the Jews that lived in the town before the war. Thanks to Mája Dohnalová, a Jewish girl, now an old lady, who was forcibly taken to ŁódŸ, Poland, and was one of the few who survived, and thanks to Alena Dvořáková, they managed to match many of the names with photographs and stories. Some of the spaces above names, however, remained blank.

Project authors:
Soňa Dvořáčková
Jana Schwarzová
Jakub Kovář
Vojtěch Remeň
Jaroslav Uchytil

Supervising teacher:
Mgr. Petr Adam


The Bondy family settled in Chotěboř at the end of the 19th century. Bedřich Bondy developed and manufactured hairnets, which were very popular around the turn of the 19th and 20th century. In the 20's, he employed more than 200 women who knitted the hairnets for him at home. He used to export them worldwide. The production dropped significantly due to the global economic crisis, the decrease in the popularity of headnets and cheap Japanese competition and at the end of 1938, Bedřich produced only for the Czech market.

Bedřich's first wife Ludmila came from Telč and was the mother of all his children. His second wife, Luisa, came from Vienna. His sons worked in the family business and managed branches in Vienna and Berlin; the daughters married into the Löwidt and Randa families. When numbers of anti-Jewish regulations came into force first in Germany and then in Austria, the family members all moved back to Chotěboř, where the occupation and all that followed caught up with them.

From the entire family, only Bedřich Bondy's youngest daughter Matylda and her daughter Mája survived.

Sitting, left to right: Mája, Karel Tommy, Hana.
Standing, left to right: Ludmila Randa, Jindřich, Ludmila Löwidt.
Mája was the only one pictured who lived through the Holocaust.

- Where did the Bondy family members live before 1938? What was their occupation?
- Why did they move back to Chotěboř?
- What were the fates of the individual members during the war? Which camps were they taken to?
- Where did the transports of Czech Jews take them? Find them on the map.

Bedřich Bondy (1864 - 1943)
Bedřich Bondy was forced out of his house. All his belongings were eventually confiscated. His temporary retreat became the home of his son Karel, 365 Na Skřivánku. On December 2, 1942, he was deported to Terezín via Pardubice with the rest of the Jews from Chotěboř. A year later, on December 15, 1943, he is assigned to transport Dr to Auschwitz II - Birkenau. He didn't reach the gas chambers, however - according to witnesses, he died of old age and exhaustion on Christmas Day, 1943.

Luisa Bondy (1890 - 1944)
Luisa, born Bechyňská, was the second wife of Bedřich Bondy. She was deported the same way her husband was, and was gassed in Auschwitz - Birkenau.

Karel Bondy (1894 - 1944)
He spent most of his life working with his father in the company. He married the much younger Valerie Weisz, who bore two daughters. On December 2, 1942, he is taken to Pardubice and then on transport Cf to Terezín. From Terezín, he is taken on transport El on September 29, 1944 to Auschwitz - Birkenau. Here, he shares the fate of much of his family, and is gassed upon arrival.

Valerie Bondy (1912 - 1944)
Valerie was originally from Třebechovice and met Karel in Prague. She shared his fate. She was taken to Auschwitz - Birkenau from Terezín a few days later than him, along with both her daughters. It was in transport Eo, on October 6, 1944. They were all gassed.

Eva Bondy (1938 - 1944)
Shared her mother's fate.

Irena Ludmila Bondy (1942 - 1944)
She was the youngest person aboard the transport from Chotěboř to Terezín. She was born July 28 - 127 days before the transport - and she shared the fate of her mother.

Otakar Bondy (1897 - 1944)
He lived in Prague during the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. He was deported from here with 5000 other Jews to the ghetto in ŁódŸ in 1941. He was on the fourth transport, which departed from the Holešovice train station on October 31, 1941. 63 people survived the war from this transport of one thousand. Ota died of tuberculosis on March 13, 1944.

Hana Bondy (1908 - 1942)
Hana, born Diamantová, was originally from Prague and bore two sons for Ota. She was also on the fourth transport from Prague to ŁódŸ. The date of her death is unknown - we only know that she and her son Jan were taken to the Chelmno extermination camp.

Karel Tommy Bondy (1932 - 1942)
He shared the same fate. He survived the Chotěboř "špera"*. He then spent some time in an orphanage. He was gassed in Chelmno shortly after the "špera".

Jan Bondy (1941 - 1942)
He boarded the transport at six months of age. He was the youngest person on board the fourth transport from Prague to ŁódŸ. He died with his mother in the "špera".

Kamil Löwidt (1890 - 1943)
Before his deportation, he lived with his family in his own house, No. 36 Rieger Street. He was held prisoner by the Getsapo from January 28, 1941 to May 4, 1942 during the investigation of people suspected in aiding the local resistance. On December 2, 1942, he was taken to Pardubice, where everyone from Chotěboř was lodged at the local business academy. He was then, on December 5, 1942, taken to Terezín aboard transport Cf. He was then taken on transport Cu on February 1, 1943 to the Auschwitz II - Birkenau extermination camp, where he and his entire family were gassed the same day.

Anna Löwidt (1893 - 1943)
She lived with her family in their house till December 2, 1942. She tried to obtain everything her children needed for them, despite all the limitations imposed on Jewish citizens, beginning with curfews and ending with rationed food. On Wednesday, December 2, 1942, early in the morning, she, her husband and their children boarded the Terezín transport. She was met with the same fate as her husband.

Ludmila Löwidt (1923 - 1943)
After the establishment of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and the enforcement of the anti-Jewish laws and instructions, she was forced to start studying for a seamstress. She follows her parents on December 2, 1942.

*the "špera" - from German "Sperre" (lockdown). In the language of the ghetto, the "špera" was when the ghetto was closed, everyone had to stay in their apartment and await the selection. The old, the sick and the otherwise unable to work were deported to Chelmno and immediately gassed.

Jindřich Löwidt (1925 - 1944)
At first, he was placed in a labour camp in Lípa near Havlíčkův Brod, but was later deported to Terezín with his parents. He was held there till May 15, 1944, when he was moved on transport Dz to Auschwitz - Birkenau. He shared the same fate as his parents and siblings.

Hana Löwidt (1929 - 1943)
She shared both transports with her parents and suffered the same fate.

Matylda Randová (1900 - 1980)
The youngest of the siblings. She got married and moved to Prague. Her husband Josef Randa was a sort of guardian of the family till his death in May, 1940. He was a very respected journalist and as such, managed to arrange many reliefs. After his death, however, all of them faded. Matylda is taken on the fourth transport to ŁódŸ. She was in the first wave of those deported from Prague - she owned a house in Dejvice which the Germans fancied). She stayed in ŁódŸ until the ghetto there was abolished in the summer of 1944. During the deportation of the ghetto, she boarded one of the last transports to Auschwitz - Birkenau. She was deported from there to the west - originally, she was supposed to be taken to Hannover, but the transport changed its destination and she ended up in Bergen-Belsen. On St. Nicholas day, 1944 - shortly before a stricter regime is installed in the camp - she was taken on a transport headed for an auxiliary camp in Mehltheuer near Plauen (it was auxiliary to the Flossenburg concentration camp). There, she was finally freed.

Ludmila Randová (1923 - 1944)
Before the Jews were gradually ousted from public life, she attended a secondary school in Prague. She followed her mother to ŁódŸ, despite the fact that her father wasn't a Jew (neither were his parents), so she was in fact a second-class Jew for the Nazis. She is moved to Auschwitz - Birkenau with her mother and sister, and then moved on to an unknown location. She didn't survive.

Mája Randová (born 1928)
She met the same fate as her mother. She survived all the perils of the ŁódŸ ghetto and the other three "destinations". She married Dr. Bedřich Dohnal, also from Chotěboř, after the war. She lives in Prague to this day.

From the total of 18 members of Bedřich Bondy's family, only Matylda Randová and her daughter Mája survived World War Two. Most of the remaining family members perished in the gas chambers of Auschwitz II - Birkenau.

A similar fate was suffered by the other Jewish inhabitants of Chotěboř:

Beck, Josef (1910-1944) - Auschwitz
Beck, Ludvík (1875-1939) - Chotěboř
Becková, Hermína (1885-1943) - Auschwitz
Bergmann, Miroslav (1923-1944) - Auschwitz
Bergmannová, Hana (1929-1944) - Auschwitz
Bergmannová, Marta (1907-1944) - Auschwitz
Bergmannová, Zdenka (1910-1943) - Auschwitz
Freund, Emil (1887-1943) - Auschwitz
Freund, Jan (1913-1941) - Chotěboř
Freundová, Marie (1890-1943) - Auschwitz
Gabányiová, Marie (1901-1943) - Auschwitz
Grosslicht, Bohdan (1887-1944) - Auschwitz
Grosslichtová, Žofie (1893-1944) - Auschwitz
Katz, Ota (1877-1942) - Baranovichi
Pollak, Julius (1878-1943) - Auschwitz
Pollaková, Karolina (1917-1943) - Auschwitz
Pollaková, Klára (1878-1943) - Auschwitz
Procházková Anna (1909-1943) - Auschwitz
Reinerová, Berta (1874-1944) - Auschwitz
Seiner, Julius (1893-1944) - Auschwitz
Schenkel, Max (1882-1944) - Auschwitz
Schenkel, Zděnek (1919-1944) - Auschwitz
Schenkelová, Irma (1891-1944) - Auschwitz
Stein, Leo (1911-1943) - Terezín
Švestková, Růžena (1887-1942) - Auschwitz
Tichá, Malva (1884-1943) - Auschwitz
Weinbergerová, Alžběta (1886-1943) - Auschwitz
Weinbergerová, Marta (1893-1943) - Auschwitz
Weiser, Martin (1886-1943) - Auschwitz