Photo taken in:JihlavaYear when photo was taken:1964Country name at time of photo:Czechoslovakia, 1945-1989Country name today:Czech Republic
My mother grew up in Jihlava, and from time to time she?d go to have a look at where she?d spent her childhood. She would then return, sad, saying that she didn't recognize any one there, not even one old granny. It's no wonder, Jihlava used to have many Germans, who were deported after the war, and Jews that didn't return. To this day the grave of my grandfather, Carl Fisher, is at the local Jewish cemetery. After the war we were no longer members of the Jewish community. My mother did consider converting back to Judaism, but the ceremony that she would have had to undergo, for them to take her back, discouraged her from it. While when I was becoming a member of the community, they weren't interested in whether I'd been christened or not. The wanted to know my mother's origin. The reason my mother wanted to return was that she wanted to be together with Father. But I used to tell her that she'd meet up with him one way or the other. I think that what a person has in his heart is more important than what religion he formally belongs to. In 1960 they caught Eichmann in Argentina. A colleague of mine at the time, also a Jew, the foreign editor Vladimír Tosek, lent me a book about Eichmann's kidnapping. I read it, and because I myself didn't remember Eichmann much, I wanted to see if my mother knew the name. There was a lot written about Eichmann in the papers, but my mother didn't read papers, didn't have a TV, and on the radio listened only to music broadcasts from Vienna, so she didn't know anything about what was going on with him. I came over to her and asked: ?Mom, does the name Eichmann mean anything to you?? She turned deathly pale, and just whispered, almost inaudibly: ?That's transports, that's transports.? I realized that whenever Eichmann appeared in Terezin, that meant that there'd be more transports. That was his responsibility. His office was grandly named the Office for Jewish Emigration. When they were gassing Jews, that was supposed to be that emigration. I then felt terribly sorry that I had tried my mother like that, even so many years after the war, it was still an absolutely living memory for her.