Berta Schulzova and one of her children

This is a picture of my maternal grandmother Berta Schulzova, nee Kohnova and one of her children.

I don’t know who of my mom’s siblings it is. The photo was taken in Plana in the 1900s.

My grandmother was born in 1875, probably in Konstantinovy Lazne, where her family lived. I can't remember my granddad. His name was Arnold Schulz; he was born in 1865 and died in 1928 in Palupin.

They lived on an estate in Palupin, which is a village at the end of the Czech-Moravian highlands, about 20 kilometers from Jindrichuv Hradec. The estate was bought in 1884 by my granddad's father, Vilem Schulz.

My grandmother was religious and she often prayed. On Fridays there was always Sabbath dinner with barkhes and they observed the other important holidays, too.

Palupin probably didn't offer the best conditions for religious observance, because the Schulzes were the only Jews there. It was a small village with about forty houses, including a small two-class school and a little church.

In the land registry books, all the property owners in the estate were referred to as 'church wardens'. This was the case even when there was a Jewish family living on the estate. My great-granddad, granddad and uncle always supported the church and the adjacent cemetery.

Although my grandmother lived in Palupin after she got married where no-one probably spoke anything else but Czech, she never really learnt the language.

When we were children she spoke to us in bad Czech, which we found very funny. Despite this, she enjoyed a great deal of respect from the other villagers. I don't know how educated she was, but she was certainly a wise woman.

She kept a large household and had servants; a large amount of bread was baked and butter was churned every week and there were always lots of chickens in the yard.

It was a potato-growing region and, besides the estate, which included land under crop, woods and ponds, there was also a distillery where potatoes were processed.

And there was also a small place for making spirits, wine and fruit juices. There was a small ornamental garden by the house and a large garden a bit further on, where they grew mainly black and red berries for wine-making and so forth.