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.
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.
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.
This photograph is probably from 1941, when we had already been forced to move from our original apartment to the outskirts of Pardubice.
This photograph was taken in the year 1942 and shows our improvised, secret one-room class of Jewish children in Pardubice, established after the Germans banned us from attending normal schools.
This is a photograph of my father, Karel Chaim Werner, taken at the Kolinsky studio in Nachod.
My father was born on 9th February 1890 in Poland, in Kopyczynce. His cousins lived in Czechoslovakia, they invited him in the middle of the twenties, to come join them. He found work here, later in the 1930s when he met my mother, he settled here in Pardubice.
This photograph shows my parents' wedding. I don't know anything about how my parents met; in this case I can only imagine how things happened. I think that they likely met at some spa at the end of the 1920s. I've seen photographs of my father in various spa towns from that period, so it's possible that he and my mother met someplace while on vacation. During my childhood I never discussed it with my parents, after the war I no longer had the possibility of asking anyone. That's why I don't even know when and where they had their wedding.
This is my mother Ella Wernerova (nee Weissensteinova). The photo was taken in the Langhans studio in Nachod in the 1920s.
I'd estimate that this picture is from the 1920s, judging by the period clothing worn by my mother Ella Wernerova (nee Weissensteinova), who on the photograph is standing on the far left. Her mother, my grandmother Pavla Weissensteinova (nee Pollakova) - after whom I'm named, by the way - is sitting in the middle in the wicker chair. My mother’s brother Otto Weissenstein is on the right. The photo was taken at some spa, where the Weissenstein family used to go on vacation during the time of the First (Czechoslovak) Republic (1918-1938).