Class portrait from Industrial Art School

Class portrait from Industrial Art School

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This picture was taken in Brno in 1949 when I passed my school-leaving examination. In 1949 I completed Industrial Art School in Brno and did various jobs. First, I was at the Institute of Regional Planning where I helped with the graphic design of maps. I wrote articles about art exhibits and thanks to that I got work at the Brno House of Art where I had opportunities to meet artists and organize exhibits. I married for the first time in 1951. My first wife had gone to the same secondary school. She wasn't Jewish and it didn't matter. At the beginning of the 1950s two sons were born, Jirka and Dan. When I moved to Prague, we divorced but I stayed in close contact with my family. I became a member of the Communist Party right after returning from the concentration camp. Gradually, I began to lose trust in the regime and in the end I even thought of emigration, but I already had a family and it wasn't so easy. The trial of the 1950s, the Slansky trial, and the open anti-Semitism were shocking and sobering for me. One had to remain cautious because to openly distance oneself from the regime could cause a serious threat to one's existence. After the war, anti-Semitism was evident even in official politics.
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Interviewee

Kotouč