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Stella, the daughter of Gustav and Marie Klinger, was an eleven year-old schoolgirl when the Germans occupied Prague, Czechoslovakia, in March 1939. Her father was a businessman, and had three older children from a previous marriage. Stella's mother stayed home and cared for her.
Prague was a large, cosmopolitan city, and was home to one of the oldest and most revered Jewish communities in Europe. Jews contributed greatly to the economic progress of the city and played a key role in its rich cultural life.
After the German occupation, various antisemitic measures were passed, prohibiting Jews from practicing their professions or taking part in normal civic life. Property was confiscated, and Jews were prevented from participating in religious, cultural or any other form of public activity. They could not, for example, attend public schools or use public transportation.
From October 1941 to March 1945, the Jews of Prague were deported by the Germans to concentration camps.
In early 1942, Stella and her parents were deported to the Theresienstadt ghetto in Czechoslovakia. Conditions in the ghetto were horrible. There was terrible overcrowding, poor nutrition, and antiquated, limited sanitary facilities. Typhus-carrying vermin infested the ghetto. There were daily "selections," and those on the list were deported to the Auschwitz or Treblinka death camps.
Stella and her parents were "selected" in April 1942. They were deported to the Auschwitz death camp in Poland. Upon their arrival they were taken to the gas chambers and murdered. Stella was fourteen years old.