Olga Munkova

In this photo from the 1920s is my mother, Olga Munkova (nee Nachodova), on the beach in Northern Germany, on Rujan, where my parents used to go on vacation with their friends and Aunt Elsa Edererova (nee Nachodova), in the time before I was born.

My mother, though she's standing at the seashore and is wearing a swimsuit, actually didn't swim at all. Neither my mother nor my father knew how to swim, so they couldn't teach us. Only our mother occasionally took us to the swimming pool in Brandys, but she herself never went into the water. The swimming pool in Brandys was owned by the Semians, it was actually this unusual wooden pool, which was built directly in the Labe River, around it were cabins. Once Aunt Else, my mother's sister, was also there with me. I learned to swim there. At first I only swam with a live preserver. I remember that one day, when I already knew how to swim a little, Mr. Semian tied me to a long rope fastened to a sling, and reeled it out as I swam. Back then I was so terribly afraid that I almost demolished the swimming pool, and when Mr. Semian pulled me out, I clung to him like a leech! Besides the pool the Semians also had skittles, there was this large ball fastened to a rope, and with that you had to knock down as many skittles as possible. I remember that once I got that ball in the teeth.

Besides the swimming pool in Brandys, when I was small I also got to know the swimming pool in Spindleruv Mlyn, which at that time was brand new. There the water was really cold. We used to go to Spindleruv Mlyn when we were small with our parents for vacations.