Mautner was born September 8, 1925, in Prague, the son of Zigmund
Mautner and Hedvika Mautnerova.
After the Nazi takeover of Czechoslovakia and the establishment of the
Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia in March 1939, the family was trapped
During World War 2 Jiri Mautner perished in Theresienstadt or Auschwitz with his
parents and siblings.
An SS officer with conscience, Kurt
Gerstein, witnessed the mass gassing and the entire destruction
process of the Jews. He was determined to expose what he knew to the world
to stop the atrocities. He later recalled:
following morning, a little before seven there was an announcement: 'The
first train will arrive in ten minutes!' A few minutes later a train
arrived from Lemberg: 45 cars with more than 6,000 people, Two hundred
Ukrainians assigned to this work flung open the doors and drove the Jews
out of the cars with leather whips.
A loud speaker gave instructions: 'Strip, even artificial limbs and
glasses. Hand all money and valuables in at the 'valuables window.' Women
and young girls are to have their hair cut in the 'barber's hut.'' (An SS
Unterfuehrer told me: 'From that they make something special for submarine
Then the march began. Barbed wire on both sides, in the rear two dozen
Ukrainians with rifles. They drew near. Wirth and I found ourselves in
front of the death chambers. Stark naked men, women, children, and
cripples passed by ...
Twenty-five minutes passed. You could see through the window that many
were already dead, for an electric light illuminated the interior of the
room. All were dead after thirty-two minutes!"