Daniel Vidlak with his grandparents

This is a photo of my parents, Jiri Lauscher and Irma Lauscherova, with my son Daniel Vidlak. It was taken in the Vinohrady district of Prague at my parents’ apartment. We were celebrating my son’s sixth birthday - the photo is from 1969.

In jail I developed an infection of the sciatic nerve, which went untreated for a half year back then, and gave me a lot of trouble later. So the doctor gave me a voucher for a spa, where I met Milos Vidlak, my future husband. I was 17, he was 15 years older, and very educated and cultured, which was something I missed in guys my age. Milos was from Prague, and we went out for the entire time of my university studies, and after school in 1960 we got married. I didn’t know any Jewish guy that suited me.

My husband was a graduate of the Faculty of Philosophy at Charles University. For a long time he worked for the Invalids’ Association, in the area of work, wages and care for invalids in general. Due to the Communists he didn’t finish his PhD until 1968, and then worked for the Ministry of Social Affairs.

We lived with my husband’s parents in a house on Na Vetrniku Street in Prague. Milos may not have been a Jew, but in the beginning he gave the impression of a big Semitophile. But after the wedding that began to gradually change, until he began to behave practically like an anti-Semite. My husband was very much an anti-Communist, and would for example throw in my face that it was actually the Jews that began with Communism. In the end the Jews were even responsible for scorched soup.

I don't know whence it came in him and why. Before we were married, he’d even attend synagogue with me. But I think that it wasn’t so much an expression of anti-Semitism as of compensation for certain complexes. Back then he wasn’t a university graduate yet, and I was already working at a research institute. I think that he simply didn’t feel good, and compensated for that by attacking me in an area that he knew was the most sensitive for me. Thanks to that we became estranged, of course. We didn’t get divorced, because in the meantime, in 1963 our son Daniel was born. Back then I had practically no place to go, I wouldn’t have been granted an apartment anyways.

From December to April I spent all Saturdays and Sundays with my son in the mountains. On weekends my son and I would go to my parents’ cottage. Until my son was born, my parents and I would often go on trips, as we were ardent hikers. Sometimes my husband would come along as well. After Daniel was born, it was clear that we wouldn’t be able to go hiking for some time, so we decided to buy a cottage somewhere near Prague. We basically bought the cheapest thing available at the time; we said to ourselves that it would be for about five or six years, and then we’d sell it and start hiking again.