Year when photo was taken:1929Country name at time of photo:Czechoslovakia, 1918-1938Country name today:Czech Republic
Here we are with our mother and father on vacation; at this time our mother must still have been healthy, so I would have been around three or four or five, and my brother around eight or nine. You can see a little bit of Miss Saskova, who was my nanny. There's no way of finding out where we were anymore. My mother was named Marie, née Steinerova. She was born on 9th August 1898 in Kolin - she was four years younger than my father - and died before the war, in 1933, of cancer. As I then found out, her father also died of cancer, a year before her. I don't even know what her religious inclinations were like, I was six when she died - it was at the end of Grade One - she'd already been ill for the last two years. My father, Emil Synek, was born in Vienna on 1st June 1894. He apprenticed as a dental technician, and then took some exams, so he was a dentist. He studied to be a dental technician and lab technician, and then wrote some exams, so he was a dentist. Which means that he could pull teeth and in general do everything on the level of a dental surgeon. He had his own large dental practice on Letna. He was also very active on the dental panel, and lectured and I don't know what all else. He was very active in his profession, and was always educating himself and studying dozens of professional magazines. I think that he was one of the first ones here to have an X-ray machine. I remember that it was from Siemens, that company supplied it to us from Germany. But he wasn't a physician, he was a dentist. By the way, he was very popular, because he used to fix teeth for the Sparta soccer team for free. It was in general characteristic of him that he fixed a lot of people's teeth for free, when they didn't have money. He used to say that he'd make it up on the rich ones. These days he wouldn't be able to exist, he'd go out of business within a year. He had a strong sense of social responsibility, which was common in rich Jewish families. I was born on 24th September 1926. I was born in Prague, and besides Terezin, I've never lived anywhere else. I've got one brother, who was born in 1921. He was born on 26th November. His real name is Jiri Synek, but he's known by his artistic name of Frantisek Listopad. I'm giving his artistic name, because he's quite popular under his pseudonym abroad as well as here. He's had several books published, and also does theater.