Vera Laska

Vera (Oravec) Laska, who was not Jewish, joined the Czech Underground in 1938, at the age of 15. Vera and her friends hiked and skied the trails in southern Slovakia, so they knew the area well. They escorted POWs and Jews across the border. Vera worked out of Czech Underground Headquarters in Budapest until her cover was blown. She was interrogated and put on a train to be brought to the police for ”supervised residency.” When changing trains, her guard allowed her to go to the ladies’ room, where she shed her coat, made an apron out of a scarf, grabbed a broom, and exited through a window.

Vera Laska was on the Nazis’ most wanted list until they took her mother to Auschwitz, whereupon Vera surrendered. She arrived at Auschwitz on the day they gassed her mother. She earned master’s degrees from Charles University, Prague and authored ”Women in the Resistance and in the Holocaust.” Vera Laska died December 11, 2005 in Weston, Massachusetts at the age of 82.

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Edited by Stephanie Surach