Photo taken in:ZilinaCountry name at time of photo:Czechoslovakia, 1918-1938Country name today:Slovakia
The older couple in the photo that’s my maternal grandparents - Moric Pick and Jozefina Pickova. Originally they had six children. Only three of them survived. One boy died at the age of six, one girl at the age of three, and one was stillborn. My mother, Melania Donathova, nee Pickova, in the middle of the photo, had two brothers, Oskar - first on the right, and Gejza - first on the left. My mother was the youngest one.
The Picks originally lived in Horni Hricov near Zilina. My grandfather owned a distillery there, which was burnt down during a pogrom during World War I. He had to leave there, because they had no way of making a living. I don't know anything more about the pogrom, only what was talked about at home. In Zilina they had to start over. My grandfather opened a pub and soda shop in Zilina. When he got it together a bit, he took out a mortgage and bought a house on the main street. I know that my mother, her brothers, my uncles, used to reminisce that my grandfather worried horribly, because he didn't think that he'd be able to pay the mortgage. He was afraid that he'd put his family in the poorhouse, but in the end everything turned out fine and he paid that mortgage off. That house belongs to us to this day, I inherited it. My grandmother was at home, as was the custom. The house stood on the main square in Zilina. There was a bathroom with running water, electricity, everything. We heated with a stove, as was the custom in those days. My grandparents had only a cleaning-woman. I don't remember there being a cook.
My grandparents on my mother's side dressed in a modern way. In the photographs I have, they're dressed normally. I don't remember at all how my grandparents observed holidays. I don't know what political opinions they had or what political party the Picks preferred. I don't remember it, because they died when I was very small. My mom didn't talk much about her parents with me.
Uncle Gejza picked an interesting wife. So many nationalities have mixed in our family...her mother came from Berlin, while her father was a Turkish Jew, a goldsmith. They were married in Berlin. I don't know how exactly they ended up in Zilina. My uncle's wife, Herta Pickova, worked as a clerk in a textile factory, and that's where they met. They had one son, Albert Yisrael Pick. Albert is named after the great-grandfather whose grave I found. Uncle Gejza moved to Israel in 1948. His son lives there to this day, he's got three children. Albert has three children: Ariela, Daphne and Merav. These days he's already got several grandchildren, but I don't know their names.
Oskar, married a non-Jewish woman, who you could say saved our lives during the war. They lived in Zilina. They had no children, because his wife was ill and had to undergo three gynecological operations. Oskar died in 1983, the year after my son's graduation.