Katerina Hahnova with her children Hannerle Blochova and Marietta Smolkova

This is a beautiful photo, in which from the left are my sister Hannerle Blochova, my mother, Katherina Hahnova, and I. It was taken in 1923 in Teplice, and my mother looks very good in it. My mother was named Katerina, born Brumlova in the year 1894 in Duchcov. After elementary school her parents sent her to a girls' boarding school in Dresden. She probably didn't have any other education. As opposed to my father, my mother spoke Czech very fluently and well, although her mother tongue was also German. This is because there was a relatively strong Czech minority in Duchcov and Most. My mother was a merry, beautiful and emancipated woman. My parents met in Teplice. They were married in 1915, and I think that they had a Jewish wedding. A year later my sister was born, and in 1921 I came into the world. My father was a pleasant and intelligent person, and definitely didn't only make an impression on my mother because he was 15 years older. My mother's parents and my father together bought a villa in Dubi, which today is a relatively disreputable place, nevertheless back then it was a beautiful small spa town. My mother admired my father very much, and always spoke of him as a very honorable and decent person. Later, when I was old enough to understand, she explained to me why it couldn't work between them. Their personalities were too different, my father was a loner and my mother was on the contrary a social being. My father educated himself a lot his whole life, but no one ever knew how much he actually knew. He was very much an introvert, the same as my sister. The Blochs and Brumls were actually very different families in terms of character. The Blochs were in general more reserved, a person had to know them well to understand them. The Brumls were smiling, open and always cracking jokes, and even though they were sometimes badly off, no one ever realized it. My sister was born in 1916 in Teplice. We called her Hanne, but her real name was Hannerle. My mother's brother Jan picked this name from the book 'Die Geschichte von der Hannerl und ihren Liebhabern' ['The Story of Hannerl and Her Lovers']. My uncle knew that my mother was pregnant, but he never saw my sister, because he fought and fell at the Italian Front. In a letter to my mother he wrote that he'd read that book and that Hannerle was a nice name, for them to give it to her.