Ruzena R.

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  • Year when photo was taken:
    1937
    Country name at time of photo:
    Czechoslovakia, 1918-1938
    Country name today:
    Slovakia

This photo was taken in 1937 during a Purim performance. It shows me as a ballet dancer. While the picture was being taken, I wasn't able to hold my feet like that, so they propped them up.

For Purim a carnival was held in Topolcany, and what a carnival! Always only indoors, usually in some large gym. They put on masquerade balls for the young people, which we usually attended. But during the war it all stopped, and in Topolcany forever.

We observed all the holidays at home. For Rosh Hashanah we'd go to synagogue. At that time my mother would also go, as well as for Yom Kippur. I'd go visit them during the day. For Yom Kippur they'd sit in the synagogue all day. On that day everyone would fast except for me and my brother Andrej. Back then the two of us kept a common front in this. Then, when Yom Kippur was over, there'd be a festive supper at home. Grandma Johana would also come for it. I don't remember exactly what sort of food was served, but for supper before Yom Kippur, we definitely had soup with noodles and meat.

During Passover we had seder. As the youngest member of the family, I'd say the mah nishtanah. The two of us, my father and I, would sing together. I liked that very much. I can do it to this day. For Passover our parents would usually buy us new spring clothing. We'd get a new jacket and so on. For Sukkot we for example didn't have a sukkah. Our neighbors had a sukkah built in their courtyard, and I envied them that. They had all sorts of cutouts hanging in it, and I liked that. Their courtyard began where ours ended. Between them was a low fence with a gate. They lived in a one-story house and were friends with our parents. They were named the Felsenburgs. During the summer my parents would sit up on the courtyard gallery, the Felsenburgs would sit in the courtyard, and they'd talk over the fence. Our parents got along very well with them. They had a little garden, and in it they had that sukkah set up.

My mother would bake excellent pastries for each holiday. That's something she kept up until she died. After the war she'd bake them for Christian holidays, too. Because she liked pastries, liked baking them, and even Christian holidays were a good opportunity for that.

Interview details

Interviewee: Ruzena Radova
Interviewer:
Martin Flekenstein
Month of interview:
August
Year of interview:
2006

KEY PERSON

Ruzena Radova
Year of birth:
1929
City of birth:
Topolcany
Country name at time of birth:
Czechoslovakia 1918-1938
Occupation
after WW II:
Chemical engineer

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