Photo taken in:MukachevoYear when photo was taken:1933Country name at time of photo:Czechoslovakia, 1918-1938Country name today:Ukraine
This is a picture of me, on the left, my younger brother Samuel Akerman and our housemaid, a Ukrainian village girl that lived with us like a member of our family. She is wearing a Ukrainian folk costume. The photo was taken in Mukachevo in 1933. I was born in 1923. My Jewish name is Toby. I was the seventh child in the family. My youngest brother, Samuel, followed in 1925. His Jewish name was Shmil. Of course, our parents were religious and observed all Jewish rituals. On the eight day after they were born the boys had their brit milah. We celebrated Sabbath and all Jewish holidays at home. My sisters and brothers and me got Jewish education. Boys went to cheder at the age of five. When I turned six my mother sent me to a cheder for girls. She wanted me to learn to pray and read in Hebrew. The cheder where I studied was called Beyt Yakov. I studied there for three months until the Hungarians came to power and closed it. At the age of six I went to a Czech public elementary school. There was a Jewish school in Mukachevo, but our parents sent us to a Czech school since it prepared for entrance to commercial academy. The next stage was lower secondary school where I studied four years and then I took a one-year training course preparing students to enter commercial academy. In general, we studied nine years. My brothers and sisters also went to this school. This was at the time of the Czechoslovak Republic [First Czechoslovak Republic]. There were many Jews in Mukachevo. There was no segregation and other children or teachers made no difference in their attitudes. There were Zionist organizations for young people in Mukachevo. In the People's House there was a Zionist club for children and teenagers. There were various clubs there. I sang in the choir and went in for gymnastics. I took an active part in public activities.