Sergej Panov and Olga Bondy

Sergej Panov and Olga Bondy

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This is a picture of my foster-father, Doctor Sergej Panov (first from left) and my mother, Olga Neuwirthova, nee Bondyova, in Luhacovice. I don’t know the other person in the picture.

My mother's first marriage didn't last long. Her husband caught typhus and later he became mentally ill; he was treated in a psychiatric clinic. My mother stayed alone with me, later she got divorced and married to a Russian immigrant. He wasn't a Jew. His name was Doctor Sergej Panov and he was a doctor, too. My grandparents didn't like him, but when the political situation got worse, my grandfather asked him to protect the family.

Doctor Panov adopted me and brought me up. He saved my life because with the help of his colleague doctors he proved at court that I was his daughter and that I was the child of a Jewish mother and a Christian father. He bought the house of my real father in Holic and we lived there. It was a traditional house of a doctor. He had a car and we used to go on trips. We also went to Bohemia.

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Interviewee

Ema Panovova