Daniel Vidlak celebrating Chanukkah

  • Photo taken in:
    Year when photo was taken:
    Country name at time of photo:
    Czechoslovakia, 1945-1989
    Country name today:
    Czech Republic

This photograph is from 1967, and is of my son, Daniel Vidlak, during Chanukkah celebrations.

We lived with my husband’s parents in a house on Na Vetrniku Street in Prague. Milos may not have been a Jew, but in the beginning he gave the impression of a big Semitophile. But after the wedding that began to gradually change, until he began to behave practically like an anti-Semite. My husband was very much an anti-Communist, and would for example throw in my face that it was actually the Jews that began with Communism. In the end the Jews were even responsible for scorched soup.

I don't know whence it came in him and why. Before we were married, he’d even attend synagogue with me. But I think that it wasn’t so much an expression of anti-Semitism as of compensation for certain complexes. Back then he wasn’t a university graduate yet, and I was already working at a research institute. I think that he simply didn’t feel good, and compensated for that by attacking me in an area that he knew was the most sensitive for me. Thanks to that we became estranged, of course. We didn’t get divorced, because in the meantime, in 1963 our son Daniel was born. Back then I had practically no place to go, I wouldn’t have been granted an apartment anyways.

While I was still living with my parents, we’d observe Jewish holidays, like before the war. After my wedding we’d go to my parents’ for holidays, in which my husband participated at first. But later he stopped associating with my parents, and so I’d take our son to my parents’ for holidays, as we’d all go to the Jewish community. After the February putsch, Chanukkah and Purim were celebrated at the Jewish community. When my father began working at the embassy, we began to celebrate holidays there. We had limited contacts with the community, so that our family wouldn’t harm the community, that they associated with Zionists. By then the times were very anti-Zionist. At Christmas we’d go to the mountains as well as at Easter.

Interview details

Interviewee: Michaela Vidlakova
Pavla Neuner
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Prague, Czech Republic


Daniel Vidlak
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after WW II:
Works in technology

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