Initially they were ordered to march in the freezing rain with the others.When it became clear they couldn't keep up, the guards told the rest of the prisoners to move on.'The others were convinced they were going to execute us,' Priska said.They worked seven days a week using heavy machinery on little more than subsistence rations.Several of their fellow inmates died of starvation or disease, others had been returned to Auschwitz and certain deaths. ' a female SS guard asked Priska, who weighed just five stone.On the morning of April 12, Priska went into labour and was helped on to a wooden plank laid across a table in the factory, watched by SS guards betting on whether the baby would be a boy or a girl. ' The tiny, malnourished child came into the world with her little blood-smeared hands screwed up into fists held around her ears.'They said that if it was a girl the war would be over, and if it was a boy then it would go on for even longer,' she recalled. Priska was overjoyed, but also broken-hearted that her husband Tibor wasn't there.The other two women's pregnancies were exposed in the coming weeks. Anka, not knowing that Auschwitz had been liberated by the Russian army three months earlier, expected to be sent back there to meet her death.All three were saved by the fact that the Nazi regime was collapsing.
Wearing their Auschwitz clothes, without underwear, plus horrid wooden clogs, these once-cultured women endured freezing conditions in Europe's worst winter for 15 years.She had no idea if telling the truth might save her or condemn them both.It was an act of huge bravery, or maybe desperation.Then, 36 hours after she'd given birth, Priska was shaken awake just after midnight and told the camp was being evacuated to escape the advancing Soviet army.They were to be loaded on to a train a sent south or west, possibly to Buchenwald, unless the Allies got to it first.Thousands of inmates were murdered, but others were allotted a different fate as the Nazi high command clung to the belief that they would still need slave labour to rebuild the Reich.Those given a chance to survive, like the women of KZ Freiberg, were transported by train.Her fellow prisoners pooled their precious supply of their one occasional treat – marmalade – and mixed it with a little water to make syrup for the baby.They also found some soft white cotton stamped with the name of the camp – KZ Freiberg – and stitched Hana a smock and a bonnet complete with blue edging and tiny red flowers.A Czech prisoner spotted her tiny swollen belly and became hysterical. Days passed before a guard quietly asked her: 'What do you need?' By that stage Priska's feet, swollen and oozing pus from the cold and the rough clogs, had become her worst torment.