Year when photo was taken:1941Country name at time of photo:Protectorate of Bohemia/Moravia 1939-45Country name today:Czech Republic
This is my mother at the beginning of the war, sometime in the year 1940 or 1941.
My mother was named Hedvika, nee Sternova. She was born on 25th February 1909 in Kamberk in Southern Bohemia. She died in November 1987 in Prague. She fell and broke her hip, but because she was a serious diabetic, she didn't make it. She actually died of diabetic shock. She attended elementary school in Kamberk and then for three years traveled to Tabor for family school.
Very early on, in 1928, she then married my father. They were married at the Old Town Hall in Prague. They met through my mother's sister Marie. Her future husband, Frantisek Faktor, who was my father's classmate from university, used to go to Kamberk to see her. And one time Frantisek says to my father: 'They've got this nice looking younger girl, come there with me.' And that's all it took. They went out for about three years, my mother was 19 when she was married. So it wouldn't even have been possible sooner than that. My father was nine years older. By the way, my son-in-law is ten years older than my younger daughter, Jana, and it's doesn't matter at all. The same as my father, my mother wasn't at all religiously inclined, they didn't practice anything at all. She had a generous nature, absolutely unselfish.
Before the war and also after the war my mother worked in my father's office. And afterwards, when they took it away from them, she worked as an accountant for Remos - where among other things they manufactured Remoskas [a type of electric cooker] - up until she retired, which was around 1965. She helped me, because in 1953, when I was pregnant with my older daughter Lenka, I was found to have a serious heart defect and then soon after I had a second daughter, Jana. For a long time we lived with my parents, and then when the children were already grown, we found a bachelor apartment for my mother, and we kept the apartment on Letna, the large one. Back then there weren't apartments, if we would have waited for that to have children, we would have had that around the age of fifty. But we understood one another perfectly, we got along excellently. They loved my husband and he loved them. Later, when my mother was already in quite poor health, she again lived with us.