Heda Ambrova in the Jewish school in Piestany

This is a photo of Jewish school pupils in Piestany from 1929. Our class teacher was Mr. Weiss.

The row sitting at bottom, from the left: Hasenfeld, Ladislav Weinberger (survived the Holocaust), Michal Moor, I don’t know the next four, and Emil Orovan (survived the Holocaust).

Middle row from left: Marcel Polak (survived the Holocaust), Trude Furstova, Holzer, Kalis, our teacher Mr. Weiss, our teacher’s grandson - he just had his picture taken with us, Rudo Gluck (survived the Holocaust), I, Heda Ambrova, Greinerova.

Top row from left: Katka Kornhauserova, I don’t know the next person, Grunwaldova, I don’t know the next person, Ilse Sohnenschein, Vilma Adler, and I don’t know the person on the very right.

My sister and I attended Jewish school together, my sister for two or three years and I for only a year. The teacher at the Jewish school was an 80-year-old man named Weiss. It was a one-room schoolhouse. Several grades in one classroom. The principal of the state school told my father that Mr. Weiss is a very good teacher, but that he was 80, after all. It was a big thing for us to leave to attend a state school. I don’t even think any more Jewish children transferred.

After elementary school we wanted to keep studying. There was no high school in Piestany, so our parents were trying to find out where my sister could start attending school. She was in Grade 5 of elementary school. In Nove Mesto nad Vahom they said that if she was a good pupil and wrote a differential exam between fifth year of elementary school and first year of high school, she could go straight into second year of high school. There was this one talented student in Piestany, and he was preparing her for the exam. She got into the school. I then went normally after Grade 4 of elementary school for an entrance interview, and started attending first year of high school. We had to travel to Nove Mesto nad Vahom every day.

It was an excellent high school, as it’s registered on the UNESCO list of selected schools. Later I found out that our high school had been founded by the Moravian Rabbi Weisselle. He also brought in high school teachers. After the creation of the Czechoslovak Republic the high school was taken over by the state. My sister and I both graduated there. My sister was two grades ahead of me.

Photos from this interviewee