Alena Munkova with her father Emil Synek and brother Frantisek Listopad at a swimming pool

Alena Munkova with her father Emil Synek and brother Frantisek Listopad at a swimming pool
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  • Year when photo was taken:
    1931
    Country name at time of photo:
    Czechoslovakia, 1918-1938
    Country name today:
    Czech Republic

This picture is from around 1931. Here you can see my father, Emil Synek, and my brother Jirka, who's five years older than me. I'm sitting between them. I might have been around five or six, and my brother ten or eleven years old. I don't know who took it, nor where exactly it was. But it seems to be outside of Prague. Because of the wooden fence. Swimming pools in Prague looked different back then.

My father was born in Vienna, as I've mentioned, on 1st June 1894. He apprenticed as a dental technician, and then took some exams, so he was a dentist.  Which means that he could pull teeth and in general do everything on the level of a dental surgeon. He had his own large dental practice on Letna. He was also very active on the dental panel, and lectured and I don't know what all else. He was very active in his profession, and was always educating himself and studying dozens of professional magazines. I think that he was one of the first ones here to have an X-ray machine. I remember that it was from Siemens, that company supplied it to us from Germany. But he wasn't a physician, he was a dentist.

By the way, he was very popular, because he used to fix teeth for the Sparta soccer team for free. It was in general characteristic of him that he fixed a lot of people's teeth for free, when they didn't have money. He used to say that he'd make it up on the rich ones. These days he wouldn't be able to exist, he'd go out of business within a year. He had a strong sense of social responsibility, which was common in rich Jewish families.

My name is Alena Munkova, and I was born on 24th September 1926. I was born in Prague, and besides Terezin, I've never lived anywhere else. I've got one brother, who was born in 1921. He was born on 26th November. His real name is Jiri Synek, but he's known by his artistic name of Frantisek Listopad. I'm giving his artistic name, because he's quite popular under his pseudonym abroad as well as here. He's had several books published, and also does theater.

Interview details

Interviewee: Alena Munková
Interviewer:
Terezie Holmerová
Month of interview:
January
Year of interview:
2006
Prague, Czech Republic

KEY PERSON

Frantisek Listopad
Year of birth:
1921
City of birth:
Prague
Occupation
after WW II:
Poet, prose writer, essayist, theater and television director
Family names
  • Previous family name: 
    Synek

Other Person

Alena Munková
Year of birth:
1926
City of birth:
Prague
Occupation
after WW II:
Dramaturgist, scriptwriter
  • Previous family name: 
    Synková
    Year of changing: 
    1963
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage

Additional Information

Also interviewed by:
Jewish Museum Prague
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