Photo taken in:BrnoYear when photo was taken:1939Country name at time of photo:Protectorate of Bohemia/Moravia 1939-45Country name today:Czech RepublicName of the photographer / studio:Dr. Bruno Wolf, Brno
This is a photo of me and my classmates in out final year at the Jewish grammar school in Brno. The photo was taken in 1939. I am the first from the left on the picture and next to me is my friend Helga.
After 1938, when the Germans occupied Sudetenland, we left Mikulov and went to Brno. My parents weren't allowed to work in Brno [because of the anti-Jewish laws in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia], but we had brought some money from Mikulov. At first we rented an apartment there.
I finished grammar school in Brno. It was a Jewish grammar school with Czech as teaching language. There were Jewish teachers who couldn't teach anywhere else. They were great. Our teacher of history and philosophy was the only Jewish associate professor at Brno University. We also had an excellent teacher of biology, who made me interested in the subject very much.
I know about some of my classmates who survived the war. One of them was a boy, who came from Presov. After the school was closed by the Germans, he returned to Presov, somehow got Aryan documents and survived. Another one of my classmates, my good friend originally came from Poland. Then, in October 1939 he did not come to school. We realized that he, just like all Polish people [Polish Jews] were sent to concentration camps in Poland. But then I met him in 1940 on the boat to Palestine. It was such a surprise. He had a younger brother who had come to Palestine before him. They had some relatives there, so they helped him. They also sent visa for my friend to the concentration camp. You know, it was just at the beginning of it all, it was not so strict then, and if someone got a visa, they let him go. So we met on the boat. He studied archeology in Palestine and became a professor of archeology at Hebrew University.
My friend Helga was deported to Terezin with her mother. They stayed there throughout the war. Her mother worked there as a nurse and got typhoid and finally died of it. Helga was also ill, but she survived. After the war she went to Libya to her sister and brother-in-law. Then she went to London and finally to America, where she became a painter. She died in 2003.