Zuzana Minacova as a student

In this photo I'm of school age. It was taken in Bratislava in the 1940s. After the war I began attending school, but I didn't enjoy it much. I was almost 14 years old when I returned from the concentration camps. Everything in school and the cares and worries of my contemporaries seemed to me to be terribly trivial in comparison with what I had experienced during those months during the war. I said to myself that I wanted to do something worthwhile in life, to really work, and I didn't much care what it was, as long as it wasn't school. I was making up my mind between becoming a dental technician or a photographer. The life of an apprentice seemed to be very interesting to me, so I decided to become a photographer. A little ways away from where we lived in Bratislava, at Na Palisadach, they opened an applied arts high school, which seemed to me to be very close to what I wanted to do. So I decided to study applied arts. The school was very well led. They accepted everyone, and then after three years the less capable ones got a vocational certificate, and the more capable ones could continue on and graduate. I identified more with the 'incapable' ones, and wanted to leave, while they were trying to convince me to stay, that school is the best time of your life, but I wanted to already go and work. I remember saying to myself that it's possible that your school years are the most beautiful time of your life, but how is it then possible for life to be so boring? Is life really so uninteresting, that this horrific school is the best that will meet me in life? I couldn't reconcile myself with this idea, so I left school. I began to truly work, I started working at the film studios in Bratislava, and suddenly I realized that life isn't that boring! I enjoyed my work, and I'm a photographer to this day. I do what I really enjoy.