Samuel Kelerman, the president of the Jewish religious community in Prievidza, with his wife

This is a photograph of Samuel Kelerman, long-time president of the Prievidza religious community, and his wife Malvina. The photo was taken in 1938. There were two religious communities in the town. The Neolog one was larger, and the Orthodox one was smaller. My father played a part in trying to have the Orthodox community dissolved. In the end he didn't succeed. He was always somewhat of a rebel. He was very anti-Orthodox. He didn't like them, I don't know what it was. The Orthodox community didn't have more than 30 members. The Neolog community was much larger and stronger. My father even held a position in it for some time. We had one synagogue, whose cantor was Hellmann. He had a very nice tenor. There was a building beside the synagogue where the cantor lived with Frieder the trustee, who took care of religious matters. You could say he was at the same time the religious community's secretary. He had a son who became a rabbi and later became very famous. He was named Armin Frieder. During the war he worked on having the deportations stopped. He for example had very good relations with the educations minister, Jozef Sivak, because Sivak was also from Prievidza. Samuel Kelerman owned a textile store. Later he was the president of the Prievidza Jewish religious community. He had two children. Edita was very pretty, and had an athletic figure. People condemned her, because her boyfriend was Jarda Machala, the son of the commander of the local police station. He was a Catholic, and in those days that was a big, big sin. But despite that they went out together for years, until as part of the 'Czechs walk to Prague' campaign in 1938, Machala had to leave. In the end she married a textile merchant. The Kelermans' son, Lacko [Ladislav] was my best friend. Lacko was also into sports, and by coincidence also apprenticed at a competing book printer's, so we were not only friends, but also colleagues. But he didn't survive the war.