Tilda Galpert with siblings and friends

This my older brother Fulop Akerman, on the right, photographed with his friend, a Czech soldier visiting home. My sister Margarita Weiss (nee Akerman) is standing beside Fulop. The young girl in the second row on the left is me. On the right is my younger brother Shmil Akerman. The photo was taken in Mukachevo in 1933. At the age of six I went to a Czech public elementary school. There was a Jewish school in Mukachevo, but our parents sent us to a Czech school since it prepared for entrance to commercial academy. The next stage was lower secondary school where I studied four years and then I took a one-year training course preparing students to enter commercial academy. In general, we studied nine years. My brothers and sisters also went to this school. This was at the time of the Czechoslovak Republic [First Czechoslovak Republic]. The commercial academy was a prestigious educational institution. It provided a good education and its graduates had no problems finding a job. There were quite a few lecturers from Ukraine working there. They escaped from Ukraine after the Revolution of 1917. Besides special subjects we studied foreign languages, shorthand and typing. My sisters Margarita and Szerena and my brother Fulop finished commercial academy during the time of the Czechoslovak Republic. My oldest sister Margarita was the first to get married. After finishing commercial academy she worked as a lawyer in an insurance company. Her husband whose last name was Weiss was her cousin. His father was my father's cousin. They were fond of revolutionary ideas and rejected any religion. They got married in 1932. Regardless of their convictions they had a religious wedding with a chuppah. My brother Fulop served in the Czechoslovak army. He had many friends in the army. They were Jewish and non-Jewish men. He often came home on leave with his Czech friend. This was in 1933. When the Hungarians came to power and began to persecute Jews, Fulop joined a group of Jews that crossed the Polish border moving to the Polish town of Katowice [300 km from Mukachevo] in 1939. Many emigrants from Subcarpathia moved to Katowice. From there they were sent to England. In England David joined the Czech Corps. Two of my cousins on my mother's side served there, too. During World War II Fulop was at the Western front.