Michaela Vidlakova

Michaela Vidlakova

This photograph was taken in our Prague apartment in 1937. In the photograph with me is Liza, our friends’ daughter.

We belonged to the middle class. My mother taught at a school and my father worked in a small furriery. It was managed by its Jewish owner, and my father was in charge of sales and production. There was an accountant, then just a master tradesman and some workers. My father used to take the train out of Prague to go to the factory. We didn’t have a car.

We lived in Prague in the neighborhood of Letna in a modern apartment on Hermanova Street. The apartment had central heating and hot water. We probably had parquet floors, but in one room there was this soft rubber with blue stripes. I liked it a lot back then, and loved playing there, because it was soft and wasn’t slippery. It wasn’t my room; I didn’t have a room of my own, but I played there the most, and I remember the rubber on that floor to this day. The apartment had this smaller kitchen and then a bedroom, a living room, and some sort of den of my father’s with bookcases.

We didn’t have any pets at home. All I remember is that when I was completely little, I got a baby chick. There used to be a delicatessen on Jungmann Square in Prague, and before Easter they had little yellow chicks in the store window. I really liked them, so my parents bought me one little chick like that. That probably wasn’t the best thing to have in our apartment, so I most likely didn’t have it for too long. But I remember one photo where I’m playing with the chick. Later Jews weren’t even allowed to have animals.

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