Jiří Stein
(16th January 1923 Plzeň - ? 1st September 1942 Raasiku)

Jiří was born on January 16th, 1923. His father Otto was from Horní Sekyřany (born on July 24th, 1890) and his mother Hedvika from Louny (born on August 13th, 1893, neé Hellerová). They got married in February 1922 in Teplice. Jiří had a sister called Hana (born on November 7th, 1926). The family lived at 20 Husova Street and owned a clothes shop.
Jiří started to attend grammar school in September 1934 but he is remembered by students from lower grades:
"When I was at the first grade, Jiří attended the 2nd C grade, where the class-teacher was Julius Lenk. Stein had to repeat the third grade and got to my class. Our class-teacher was Antonín Hecht. It was the school year 1938/1939," Mr Zdeněk Thoř says.
Repeating the third grade Jiří got to the class where Emil Ehrlich was.
They are both remembered by Mr Říšský and Mr Červenka in their letter where they write the following about Jiří:
"He was medium build and a real merchant. He used to bring a supply of quarto paper to art lessons and sell it with a small profit. Our relationship was friendly but I do not remember him having any close friends. Stein was a member of a boy scout group called 'Stopa' (means ' a footprint' or 'a trace')."
He left school at the beginning of the school year 1938/1939 and became a labourer (as Emil did). His father had a similar job before being transported to Terezín, the mother and sister Hana were maids.

On January 22nd, 1942 Jiří, Hana and their parents were transported to Terezín. On September 1st, 1942 they were deported to Estonian Raasiku with the "Be" transport. About 200 young people from this transport were selected for work - whether Jiří or his sister Hana were among them is still unknown.

The "Be" Transport to Estonia
(Lukáš Přibyl)

On Tuesday morning on September 1st, 1942, one thousand Jews were led from Terezín to Bohušovice train station where a train had already been prepared for them. They had their luggage of maximum weight of 50 kilograms on small carts and their numbers hanging on their necks. Old and sick people were transported to the station on vans. The next morning the train was far behind Dresden and the next route led through Posen, Bromberg, Marienburg and Tilsit. The deportees did not suffer from hunger - they had some bread and cans from Terezín and they also got some water when the train stopped several times. But it was too hot in the wagons, there was too little room and the people's legs got swollen. The train arrived in Riga on the fourth day after its departure, but several hours later it moved again. A rumour spread quickly: Riga ghetto was full and the involuntary passengers of the train were rejected by the local authorities. The following route led through thick northern forests and small railroad stations with unpronounceable names. In the morning of the 5th September the train arrived in the Raasiku station, the wagon doors opened and people began to get off the train. They were awaited by Estonian SD members and a few German SD and SS men.
When the Czech Jews were stretching their legs after the long journey, none of them could have had any idea that in a few hours four fifths of them would be murdered.
The Czech deportees were sorted immediately by a group of officers. The strong and young ones were sent to one side, children and old people to buses on the other side. The Jews calmed down a little when they saw such modern blue buses with shining chromium-plating and some of them also suggested that the situation was not so desperate. Soon there was a crowd because everyone wanted to sit down. The young were told to get the luggage off the train and load it onto trucks. People unwilling to be separated from each other were assured that they would meet again in the camp. The young ones were told to leave the seats to old people and children, to help load the luggage and then to depart on the trucks. When a truck was loaded the guards chose several girls to get on and to leave with the luggage. Young men stayed in Raasiku until all girls and women had left. All the time the old people and children were boarding the busses. The vehicles always left and after a while they returned for other groups of Jews. No one had a slightest idea that the blue buses meant death and that the people leaving would never be seen again.
One of those who were in command of the massacre testified: "Everything was prepared for shooting in Kalevi Liiva. The pit had already been dug and the firing squad with submachine-guns was waiting in there. Three Estonians and three Germans stayed by the bus and ordered the prisoners to get off and undress. Most of the shooters had batons in their hands and beat the prisoners who were undressing too slowly or unwillingly. As they were passing by me on their way to the ditch I was taking their earrings, rings and watches off. Some gunfire sounded from the pit and was followed by a heartbreaking scream and moaning. The prisoners who were getting undressed at the bus began to worry and those who already passed around me refused to go into the ditch. So they were beaten up with the batons. Then the screaming stopped and everything proceeded normally. Only a shout to rush the prisoners could be heard: schneller, schneller, schneller!
It turned up later that the horrible scream was caused by two members of the execution squad because they started to pull out prisoners' teeth with pliers before killing them. The shooting took the whole day with short pauses between the arrivals of prisoners. During these breaks vodka was being drunk and pastry was being eaten."
Later this incident with teeth was investigated officially because such behaviour could have affected the "peaceful " process of murdering.
The possible wave of the wardens' compassion was prevented by litres of vodka and the victims' gold. During the execution of the first transport there was no attempt to escape. While the passengers of the blue busses were dying in Kalevi Liiva two hundred young people with their luggage were going on trucks through beautiful northern countryside on their way to a camp in Jägal several kilometres far. Fewer than fifty people from the Be transport survived the war.