This is my uncle Petr Kovanic with my sister Gertruda Kowanitzova, nee Kovanicova (in the front) and two of my cousins, Milan Flusser and Pavel Stransky.
The picture was taken in 1922 at some summer meeting of our family. Petr was my dad’s twin.
Petr had a little workshop in Liberec for calculating machines, something like calculators; it was called Mira.
Anyway, some trustee who wanted it denounced him as a spy. Peter was executed in the concentration camp Flossenburg in Germany. He had two sons, Heinzi and Harry, but they also perished.
My sister was born in 1921 in Prague. She was seven years older than me. I think she went to a Czech high school and then to a private school of advertising. She then got a job in an office somewhere and drew for fashion magazines, from which she earned a living on the side.
She was very clever and good with her hands. She could speak French and German and was really smart and beautiful. She could also play the piano, even though we didn't have one.
Mum was really skilful - she made clothes for us and she always sewed something for me with whatever material was left from a dress she had just made for my sister.
Needless to say, my sister wasn't happy about this - she said she went around in the same clothes as I did and that everyone would see the brat was my sister - because when she went on a date, I used to loiter behind her with a friend. In fact, we liked each other a lot, but we only realized this during the war, when it was too late for everything.