Wedding photo of Helena Polakova and Emil Polak

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This a wedding photo of my parents, Helena Pollakova and Emil Polak, taken in Luze in 1921. My father and mother were cousins. Because my father's mother [Helena Alterova, née Polakova] and my mother's father [Max Alter] were siblings. As if that wasn't enough, my mother had the same name as her future mother-in-law ? Helena Polakova, and both had the maiden name Alterova. So if I'm a little meshuga, it's my family's fault! My parents ran a prosperous business, a general store with fabrics as well as some groceries like coffee, but they didn't sell bread for example, because there were three bakers in the area. The store was right in our building, made a decent amount of money and was fairly prosperous; my mother and father worked in it. But when Hitler came, my father had to close the store, and the only work they allowed him to do as a Jew was shoveling snow and similar menial activities. Our neighbor, who had a bakery next door to us, told my father at the time: ?Mr. Polak, if what happened to you happened to me, if they took my store away, I'd probably hang myself!? and back then my father said to him: ?As long as I'm with my family, nothing else can affect me.?

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Interviewee

Anna Mrazkova