Jozef W.

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  • Photo taken in:
    Presov
    Year when photo was taken:
    1919
    Country name at time of photo:
    Czechoslovakia, 1918-1938
    Country name today:
    Slovakia

This is me when I was three or four years old. I was in Presov with my mother and the picture was taken in a studio. The photographer gave me a racket, a bird was singing and I had to smile.

From the age of 3 I used to go to a religion teacher in Chmelov, where we learned the Torah. He had a classroom in the basement of one richer Jewish citizen, and that's where he taught us, Jewish children starting from 3 years of age, the Bible [Hummash: The five books of Moses - Editor's note] and Hebrew. Apparently he also taught us to write in the Latin alphabet, because when I entered 1st grade of people's school, I didn't like it. I was constantly bored, because I already knew it. That happens very often to Jewish children in normal schools.

Then I attended elementary school, for four or five years, I think. I don't know if it was a state school or a church school. I know that the principal was named Jarmay, a Hungarian name, but of course spoke Slovak and also taught in Slovak. Then my mother decided that besides Slovak I have to also learn German. Back then it was this trend, as it was the international language of Central Europe. No only Jews, but also many of those who wanted to succeed in that geographic region, needed to know German.

Interview details

Interviewee: Jozef W.
Interviewer:
Slobodnikova & Korcok
Month of interview:
January
Year of interview:
2006
Bratislava, Slovakia

KEY PERSON

Jozef W.
Year of birth:
1916
City of birth:
Pusovce
Country name at time of birth:
Austria-Hungary pre 1918
Occupation
before WW II:
Teacher
after WW II:
Journalist, university professor

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