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Marianne Singer with her mother Valerie Neumannova and friends

The photo shows the vicinity of the town of Jihlava, concretely the swimming pool at the Czech mill, as we used to call the place. On the first pool lounge chair on the right  is my mother Valerie Neumannova, nee Tausig and I am beside her. On the grass beside us are my mother's friends the Doktors. The picture was taken in the 1930s.

 

Valerie Neumannova and her sisters Doris Pollack and Edith Frenkel

Mother had two sisters. One of them, Doris or Dora behaved extremely badly towards me. She married a doctor from Vienna, a throat specialist. They escaped to America before the war. When I returned from the concentration camp, I wanted to return to Czechoslovakia, because I was engaged to someone there. She said, 'no, no, no, you have to come to New York.' So I went to New York, being the only one from our immediate family who didn't die in a concentration camp. I had no one except for Aunt Dora.

Valerie Neumannova

This photo shows my mother Valerie Neumannova, nee Tausig. It was taken in the Policka photo studio, most probably in Hlinsko.

My mother was born in Hlinsko in 1901. Her mother tongue was German. She went to high school in Jihlava. She was a modern woman who dressed very well; she had her dresses custom-tailored. She never wore make-up. She didn't need it, as she was very pretty. She had black hair and hazel eyes.

 

Pavel Werner

 

This photograph shows me, Pavel Werner, and is from the 1980s.

 

After university I was in the army from 1959 to 1960, I went through basic training, where in the north, in Bor u Tachova, I crawled through mud with younger guys, which was tough, but then they transferred me to the position of translator, so I had a relatively tranquil army service. During socialist times a person couldn't choose where he wanted to work, I simply got a placement in Motokov, I accepted the job, and that's how my professional life began.

 

Pavel Werner

This is what I looked like after the war, when I had finished my apprenticeship as a shoemaker and had started attending the commerce academy.

 

Studies were arranged so that one week we would work from 6am to 12pm, and then we had school from 2pm to 6pm. The next week it switched around, we would attend classes in the morning and from 2pm to 10pm we would work. We had a huge load, it was tough to manage all your studies and on top of that regularly work in the factory. 

 

Pavel Werner with Ludek Klacer

In this photograph, I'm with my friend Ludek Klacer (the dark-haired boy on the right), who was two years older than I, in the park in Pardubice. The inscription behind us says: Truth shall prevail.

 

I'd say that I'm about four years old. I knew Ludek from childhood, we used to attend secret Jewish classes at the synagogue after the Germans forbade us, as Jewish children, to attend normal schools. 

 

Children of Jewish orphanage at 25 Belgicka Street, Prague

This photograph was taken in Prague in 1947, at the Jewish orphanage at 25 Belgicka St., where after the war they set up the Home for Jewish Orphans. So I lived for a year in a Jewish residence. I worked as a librarian there, I was in charge of the library, and attended a so-called one-year course, which was extended schooling. None of the people that lived there at the time live in Czech any more, they emigrated and live on all possible continents. Some of them weren't even from Czech, they were from various countries, from Slovakia, Hungary, Ruthenia. 

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