Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Hugo Marom - February 8, 2008

Father's Occupation

I beg your pardon?

What did your father do?

My father, my father and his brother inherited a chain of stores which were kind of boutiques. My...they were divided into two kinds. One was a toy...the largest toy store in Brno with electric trains and all that sort of thing and plus a small section of children's and baby clothing. And my father ran a...in another part of town...the store which was a boutique for mainly for men, special men's ware, sort of exclusive type of store...not a very large store. And he spent a lot of time on the reserve duty whenver he could and at the time my mother would replace him in the store and she always annoyed about it when she has to do it because she had to give up her tennis lessons. My father was a...my mother was a strong, was a strong character in the family. She also...I started telling you about the two differences that my father believed that because they'd been in Czechoslovakia for a thousand year he says, "If the Germans do anything to the Czech Jews, they'll have to get rid of 12 million Czech's too because we're part of this." My mother said, "Don't be ridiculous. He's going to do...he's going to pick us out as he says and he's going to get rid of us." Nobody spoke of murder...of that type of thing, of getting rid of the people, of getting rid of the Jews out of Europe...cleaning Europe of Judaism. The uh, there was no indication at that time that there would be anything like the Holocaust, okay? So just like in Germany people believed they were more German then they were Jews, we were...in the census of 1930 under Masaryk, which was most probably the most democratic and the most advanced nation in the world as far as freedoms were concenred...I know the French spoke about libertè, fraternitè and all this...but the real, the real democracy was Czechoslovakia in the center of Europe under Masaryk. He allowed...I mean in my town, universities were German and Czech. In Prague the same thing. Slovenians, Bulgarians, Ukranians they all could teach and go to school and pratice whatever, whatever minority they belonged to, including Germans and so forth. Maybe they were not popular if they were speaking German in towns of Brno and Prague and other towns in Czechoslovakia which were even more Czech because Bohemia and Moravia...other than Brno and Prague the towns were very much...if there were Jews there they were the Jews who were, who were Czech majority rather than German except for the Sudentanland where they had no choice because German was the accepted language. So, finally when my father realized that my mother was right, it was too late. There was no way they could get out so that's why...that's the reason why they opted for, for trying to send us abroad.

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