Photo taken in:TaborCountry name at time of photo:Czechoslovakia, 1918-1938Country name today:Czech Republic
This is a picture of my husband, Jiri Meisl, and his parents. The photo was taken in the 1930s in Tabor in front of the confectionary shop, which belonged to my husband's parents. My husband was born in Cerveny Ujezd, near Benesov, in 1921. In 1930 his parents bought a house with a shop in Tabor and moved there. Jiri celebrated his bar mitzvah with his relatives, and I remember that he got his first watch. That was in July 1934. He lived with his parents and his brother Richard. We started dating when I was 15. Jiri was also very good friends with my brother Rudolf. They were in the hakhsharah together, as well as in forced labor and in the concentration camps. Our parents were also friends. He also came from a Czech family. He finished his studies in a two-year trade academy before World War II and worked for a while in the office of the Velim confectionary factory. Then he stayed at home because he wasn't allowed to work anymore. World War II separated us for a while. We were transported to Terezin concentration camp together and then deported to Auschwitz. From Auschwitz Jiri was deported with his brother to Schwarzheide concentration camp. Jiri and Richard were liberated in Terezin after a death march from Schwarzheide. When I arrived back to Tabor from Bergen-Belzen with my mother, I didn't know that Jiri was alive. There was a bakery in Tabor, owned by a family called Lapacka, and Jiri went there to buy bread. Mrs. Macakova was in the shop at the same time, and she told Mrs. Lapackova that she had received a letter from my mum. That's how Jiri found out that I was alive. In April 1946 we had a double wedding, me and Jiri, and Richard and Marta, who was Jewish and had lost her husband during the Holocaust. The wedding was on the same day a year after I had been liberated. I didn't realize until I received a telegram with congratulations from my former co-prisoners. We shared a house with Richard, his wife and their two daughters, Marcela and Zuzana. Jiri and Richard rebuilt the confectionary warehouse of their parents after the war. We didn't have very much money but the Orion confectionary factory gave them a credit in the name of their father, and so we got started. I worked with them, and my mum was at home cooking for us and doing the housework. We sold goods to small businessmen. We had a Tatra and an assistant driver. We were successful, but we worked really hard for it. I was in the shop or in the office every single day. When communists nationalized the warehouse in 1948, I was actually glad that I got rid of it.