Greta Klingsberg

Greta Klingsberg, née Hofmeister, was born on September 11th, 1929 in Vienna. A few months after the "Anschluss", her parents escaped in an illegal transport to Palestine. She and her sister Trude should follow, but things turned out differently. The girls were deported to the concentration camp Theresienstadt in 1942 where they lost each other because they were assigned to different dormitories, according to their respective age.

Suddenly all alone, music helped the thirteen year old Greta to flee the terrible reality of Theresienstadt. She got the main part in the children's opera "Brundibar". "I was always afraid of the unknown, but when one was standing on stage, one could forget about this and enter a totally different world. I loved to sing it and I still do. Music helps me. Until today. It was a strange world. Suddenly there was milk, ice cream, cats, dogs... Just about everything that didn't exist normally." They rehearsed in the caves, often without music. Members of the choir changed regularly, many children were deported to other camps or simply died. Greta Klingsberg sang the Aninka fifty three times - twice she had to cancel, because of pneumonia. "I was known all over Theresienstadt. They whistled when they saw me on the street. But they didn't call me Greta anymore, it was always Aninka."

In 1944, she was deported to Auschwitz, too, and that's the place where she lost her sister forever. Greta, however, was allowed to work in a military factory. After the liberation, she went to an English school in Prague and emigrated first to London, then to Jerusalem, where she studied voice at the Jerusalem Conservatoire and where she still lives as a singer and translator. Greta doesn't only belong to the few surviving children from Theresienstadt but to those lucky enough to be reunited with their parents. She is responsible for the translation of the "Brundibár" libretto into Hebrew.