Michal Maud and Oskar Shimon Beer

This is a photograph of me, Michal Maud Beer, and my husband, Oskar Shimon Beer, taken in Tel Aviv in 1981.

Our wedding was in January 1951; we were married in Haifa by Rabbi Mr. Glaser, who used to be a rabbi in Brno and had done Shimon's bar mitzvah. The wedding was very modest, in the rabbi's apartment; there were a couple of relatives and friends, I didn't even buy a new dress. Today no one would believe it, but I wore a dress that had once belonged to my deceased grandmother, and someone from amongst our Prostejov acquaintances returned it to Mother.

After I left Ginegar, I found work taking care of children in a village where children who'd recently come to Israel lived - in Ramat Hadassah. Shimon still lived in the little room in Haifa, and would visit me over Saturday. Then we began looking for someplace to live together; my mother gave us money, as after all she'd sold the house in Prostejov. We rented one room in a two-room apartment in Gav-Yam; our neighbors were a young married couple from Yugoslavia, Mirek and Bori. Shimon commuted to Haifa for work, and was preparing himself for his high school leaving exam. Our little room was close to the sea. I liked it very much.

Shimon worked hard, but we never made much money, and like most families we also had debts that were hard to live with. We lived very modestly, but even that didn't help. Shimon began working off the farm, at an experimental agricultural station, around 1960, when our son Hanan was about six.

Shimon did his B.A. at the University of Haifa, at the same time he supported our family of five. Shimon answered an ad where the US government was looking for a translator from Hebrew to English. They asked him to come in, they tested him, apparently a very tough exam, and they chose him to work for the FBIS, the foreign radio service, whose center for the Middle East was in Cyprus.

Photos from this interviewee