Arnost Brod and his wife Olga

This is my parents’ wedding photo. I don't know how they met, but in July of 1912 they were married by a rabbi in Bucice, in the town my father came from, and where they lived for a time after their wedding.

My grandfather had a mixed-goods store here, and both my father and mother helped in it. When my grandfather died in the 1920s, my father sold the store and moved with his wife to Prague, and became a grain wholesaler.

My parents waited a long time for children. They had already been together 15 years when my brother Hanus was born in 1927.

At that time they had already given up hope that they could have a family. My father also already wanted to retire, but when children came, he had to once again restart his business, to support the household.

My father was a somewhat conservative type, who was of course glad that he had sons, because at his age he had no longer hoped that he would have any offspring, so he was very proud, took care of us, gave us precise orders as to what we could do and what we couldn't.

He checked what time we were going to sleep, checked how we were bathing ourselves. He was a person that, as long as he had the time, took very good care of his family. Unfortunately he had very little time, he was basically already an old person.

When he died at the age of 60, everyone said that he had already been an old man, that his time had come.

Today that's nonsense, 60-year-old people are fundamentally very active, but as I say, already when he was 50 he wanted to retire, and didn't do so only because we were born.

Well, so I have him in my memory as a person who of course tried to somehow play with us, but I think that at his age he didn't understand children much any more.

My mother was a woman with a completely calm disposition, who was flustered by absolutely nothing.

The children could romp about and yell and she would sit after dinner at the table and crack nuts. And the children could demolish the house, or more precisely the hallway, furniture, and it didn't faze her. But, of course, our father was somewhat more nervous, hot-tempered.

When our parents argued, it was mainly in German, so that we couldn't understand them. But eventually we understood them anyways. Our mother was very gentle, kind-hearted, I remember her being a very gentle and kind-hearted woman.

As a teenager I didn't always act very nicely towards her, that's of course also true, but later she showed herself to be, that's already another story, as a very courageous woman.

Even though she never worked, in those horrible conditions in Terezin that she had to experience, she showed herself to be a very adaptable woman, she worked as a nurse for mentally and physically handicapped children.