Photo taken in:VelichovkyYear when photo was taken:1938Country name at time of photo:Czechoslovakia, 1918-1938Country name today:Czech Republic
This is picture of my sister Rita, our cousin Tomas Reitman and me in Velichovky Spa, where the locomotive organs were treated, as they still are.
We went there for vacation in summer 1938. The spa is in the border regions and I can remember walking on the ramparts. Aunt Helena was a furtive smoker and I can recall her handing cigarettes to soldiers from her car.
My younger sister was born in Kutna Hora in 1932. We were together a lot of the time and had a normal sibling relationship. I was an irate child and she would sometimes tease me a bit, so I would be shaking with rage.
Our parents always told me that I should be more sensible, as I was the oldest. It annoyed me whenever they said that. In the summer and winter, when the school term was over and we had no homework to do, we used to play in the garden in front of the house.
Our parents saw to it that they didn't leave us outside. We had friends who would come round to see us, but when I was older and wanted to go out, I had to bring Rita everywhere with me, which I wasn't too keen on. But then again, Rita wasn't too pleased about having to wear my castoffs.
We would always go somewhere in summer, and if it was warm, we would head for Vidlak Pond, which is about 15 km away from Kutna Hora where we lived. We even went there on workdays, after dad finished work.
On the weekends we would go swimming, often in the River Sazava. We also went to places on vacation, twice in the Tatry mountains in Slovakia. When I was very small, we spent a few holidays in Stare Splavy near Machovo Lake, where we stayed in a hotel.
Each year we would spend from two to three weeks in some place or other. I can remember going to the swimming pool in Luhacovice when I was five or six. Steps led up to the big pool from a children's paddling pool where we were supposed to stay.
One day I tried the first one, then the second one, which was already under water, and then the third step, by which time I was under water and had started to drown.
A young lady pulled me out and I got a smack on the bottom from my parents, but then they put me in for swimming lessons.