My husband, Oskar Shimon Beer, and I, Michal Maud Beer, née Stecklmacherova, in front of the first place we rented together - one room in a two-room apartment - in Gav Yam by Haifa. The photograph was taken in 1951.
My mother, sister and I immigrated to Israel in 1949. I settled in Ginegar, alone. In the spring of 1950, young men began appearing in Ginegar, who'd come from Czechoslovakia and were at the Dorot kibbutz in Negev. They wanted to meet Czech girls.
So that's how I met my husband. Shimon became my husband. He'd already been in Palestine for ten years; he'd left the kibbutz long ago, and lived in Haifa. During World War II he was in the Palestinian brigade that battled against the Germans on the side of the English. When we met in 1950, Shimon lived in Haifa in a tiny little room with one young man. He worked in customs at the harbor, and in his spare time was translating "The Sad Eyes of Hana Karadzicova" by Ivan Olbracht. He was getting ready to write his high school leaving exam, externally.
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.