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Kamila Ornstein (Lederer)

Also Known As: "Kamilla"
Birthplace: Hostouň, Czechia (Czech Republic)
Death: 1942 (49-50) (HOLOCAUST)
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Rabbi Ignatz Hynek Lederer and Johanna Hana Lederer
Wife of Dr. Desider Ornstein
Mother of Eva Ornstein and Peter Ornstein
Sister of Otto Lederer

Managed by: Rina Talmore
Last Updated:

About Kamila Ornstein

The Story of Desider Ornstein

Immediately after the occupation of the Czech lands by German troops on March 15, 1939, a fierce persecution fell upon the Jews. The first disabled were Jewish doctors who were not allowed to practice their profession. Among them was the Zlin dentist Desider Ornstein, who failed to escape abroad and suddenly found himself with his family in the existence trap. The fear of the Germans and the horror of the future brought Dr. Ornstein to a desperate and bloody act.

Zlín was shocked by the appalling event on March 22, 1939. Dr. Ornstein stabbed his children in his house on Lipova Street with his sharp street razor – twelve-year-old Eva and five-year-old Peter, and then fell on his wife Kamila, who returned from shopping. She defended against her husband's attack and began to call for help. Desider Ornstein escaped from the house to the hotel, the Social House, and out of the window on the last tenth floor he fell on the pavement ...

This terrible tragedy (practically unknown in Zlín today) is evidence of the marginal situations in which the Jews found themselves. It was ominous of the misery and death of six million European Jews who were in Nazi clashes in the Second World War. They died as unnecessarily and unreasonably as Dr. Ornstein and his children because of a single absurd "offense" - belonging to Jewish faith or nationality.

And what was the fate of poor mother and widow Kamila Ornstein? She could no longer live alone and without means in a house that reminded her of a terrible event. She soon moved to Prague to live with her brother Otto Lederer, and there she also found a fate that would most likely be expected by her husband and children.

In June 1942, she was included in the AAh transport, which sent a group of 1000 Jews from Prague to the east. That's where the fate of Kamila Ornstein was fulfilled. In Majdanek, men from 16 to 50 years of age were separated from the transport, and in Sobibor, all sick patients were shot dead in a special wagon. The final station of the transport was Ujazdów. Some of the prisoners worked there in inhuman conditions when the swamps were drained; some were promptly shot, forced to dig a grave before execution. Two people survived the entire transport ...

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Kamila Ornstein's Timeline

February 12, 1892
Hostouň, Czechia (Czech Republic)
Zlin, Zlín District, Zlin Region, Czechia (Czech Republic)
Zlin, Zlín District, Zlin Region, Czechia (Czech Republic)
Age 49