Olga Brodova

This is a picture of my mother Olga Brodova, nee Pickova. It was taken in Vienna in the Nachim Chefez studio, but I don’t know when.

My mother was born on 29th January 1890 in Ledec nad Sazavou. Her mother tongue was German I think, but she spoke Czech perfectly, her handwriting was also clear.

When she spoke, the same as when she wrote letters, she crossed over fluently from one language to the other. Both languages were completely normal back then.

Unfortunately, I don't know much about my parents' youth. I was born very late, and when I was a child, these things didn't interest me.

My mother was a woman with a completely calm disposition, who was flustered by absolutely nothing.

The children could romp about and yell and she would sit after dinner at the table and crack nuts. And the children could demolish the house, or more precisely the hallway, furniture, and it didn't faze her.

But, of course, our father was somewhat more nervous, hot-tempered. When our parents argued, it was mainly in German, so that we couldn't understand them. But eventually we understood them anyways.

Our mother was very gentle, kind-hearted, I remember her as being a very gentle and kind-hearted woman.

As a teenager, I didn't always act very nicely towards her, that's of course also true, but later she showed herself to be, that's already another story, as a very courageous woman.

Even though she never worked, in those horrible conditions in Terezin that she had to experience, she showed herself to be a very adaptable woman; she worked as a nurse for mentally and physically handicapped children.

My mother was a very passionate card player. She had lots of lady friends, who just like her played bridge. It was this social circle that came to visit her, or she would go with them to coffee houses, because they mainly played in coffee houses.

This society of women met at our place for various tea parties, afternoons, various women's matters were discussed. Some of these ladies spoke Czech, some German and they would fluidly switch from one language to the other.

With some of these lady friends of hers, who had children, we used to go to our summerhouse, as summer holidays were then called.

It's interesting that they were all assimilated Jewish families. Really, our family friends were again only Jews.