Marta Synkova with her husband Emil Synek in the High Tatras

This is my father, Emil Synek, when he was married for the second time, on vacation with his wife in the High Tatras. On the left is Marta, then Synkova, before that her maiden name was Polakova, then Erbenova. They both had their practices on Letna. I'd say that this picture was taken around 1936, or 1934, in short during the 1930s.

Alas, she also died of cancer five years later. That must have been something insane for my father, an absolute train wreck. I was twelve, so it was most likely in 1937 or 1938. That wife was named Marta, née Polakova, then Erbenova, and Synkova after my father. So she was once divorced. She was also a dentist, so they obviously probably met through work. She was a Protestant, from a Protestant family, but that didn't play a role at all. I never had any conflicts with her, she was great. Then when she became seriously ill, I used to sit with her a lot, because by then I was already eleven or twelve.

I remember that my brother refused to call her Mommy, and called her Marta. He rebelled. Well, he was in the full bloom of puberty at the time. There were frightful conflicts because of it, but our father didn't break him. I myself called her Mom. Not Mommy, but Mom. I didn't have any inhibitions in my relationship with her, but I was a little bit afraid of her. She was large and dark, and was relatively, as people from a Protestant environment are, or were, strict and high-minded. Something like that was present in her.

What's more, she was no longer all that young, and it was hard for her to relate to children. With me it still somewhat worked, but she probably never found a way to have a relationship with my brother. She herself had no children, and was an independent, emancipated woman - back then there weren't many women studying medicine either - so I'm convinced, that is, it's my deduction, but for sure a correct one, that it was a problem for her to marry a man with two children. And what's more with a son in puberty and rebellious. For sure our father was also troubled by that situation.

As I've said, my second mother was also a dentist. Our original apartment became her clinic; we created a large waiting room and laboratory there, where she worked on teeth. We had several employees in the laboratory. We moved to what was at the time Belskeho Avenue, now I think it's called Ulice Dukelskych Hrdinu, into a modern four-room apartment with all conveniences. There my brother and I already had a children's room, there was also a large dining room, a den, my parents' bedroom and of course a kitchen and a room for the maid, which we had at the time.