Year when photo was taken:1923Country name at time of photo:Czechoslovakia, 1918-1938Country name today:Czech Republic
This is a gorgeous photograph, from the 1920s. My brother Jiri was born in 1921, in this photo he's probably about two years old, so it was probably taken around 1923 or 1924. That's our father's car; he's the one behind the steering wheel. My mother is the one wearing the fur coat, and I don't know who the others are. It's likely that it's on an outing outside Prague, and that that's some woman dressed more in country fashion. Maybe they were on some visit. I don't know who it is, though the face is a bit familiar to me. Perhaps they were some relatives from Kolin, I don't know. My mother was named Marie, née Steinerova. She was born on 9th August 1898 in Kolin - she was four years younger than my father - and died before the war, in 1933, of cancer. As I then found out, her father also died of cancer, a year before her. I don't even know what her religious inclinations were like, I was six when she died - it was at the end of Grade One - she'd already been ill for the last two years. My father, Emil Synek, was born in Vienna on 1st June 1894. He apprenticed as a dental technician, and then took some exams, so he was a dentist. He studied to be a dental technician and lab technician, and then wrote 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.