This is a picture of my parents, Wilhelm and Johanna Schischa [nee Friedmann] taken in Wiener Neustadt in 1911, three years after their marriage.
My father, Wilhelm Schischa, was the oldest son. He was born in Gloggnitz on 11th October 1883. My father was a master tailor. He opened a menswear shop in Wiener Neustadt, and his master craftsman's certificate was hanging on the wall there. He regularly drove to Vienna to buy clothes from wholesalers, which he then sold in his shop.
My father suffered terribly from varicose veins and therefore wasn't recruited to the K&K army during World War I. [Editor's note: 'k und k' is an abbreviation for the German 'kaiserlich und königlich' which means 'imperial and royal'. K&K army was the general term for the Austrian-Hungarian army.] But he must have been doing something that was connected with the war because he told us about a camp for Russian prisoners of war near Wiener Neustadt. My father had to deliver bread with a cart somewhere and passed by that camp. The prisoners were very hungry, and he always threw a few loaves of bread over the fence for them.
My mother, Johanna Schischa [nee Friedmann], was born in Prein on 19th May 1885. She was affectionately called Handschi. My mother went to primary school in Prein but had no further education.
There was a ball at Purim in Neunkirchen, my mother went to, and she met my father there. I don't know when that happened. In any case, my father traveled by cart to my grandmother and asked for my mother's hand. That was rather unusual because people mostly got married through shadkhanim back then. It seems that my grandmother gave them her consent because my parents got married in 1908. So my parent's marriage was one of love, which, apparently, was an exception to the rule back then.
My father's family was very religious, but my father wasn't really that religious himself. He kept the shop open on Saturdays and even smoked on Saturdays. My mother, on the other hand, was very religious. She kept a strict kosher household, we had separate dishes for dairy and meat products and special dishes for Pesach. Apart from that we celebrated all holidays such as Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah and held seder. The shop was closed on high holidays, and we went to the temple.