Arnošt Epstein
(1st March 1923 Plzeň - 23rd March 1999 Plzeň)

Arnošt was born on March 1st, 1923 to Arnošt Epstein (born on December 15th, 1892) and Aloisie Epsteinová (born on April 22nd, 1901, neé Šperlová). Their first residence was in Nýřany and later they moved to Plzeň where their address changed several times again. The last one before the occupation was 17 Palackého Street. The father worked as a business representative. He was Jewish, but after his marriage he converted to Roman Catholicism. Their children Arnošt and Charlotte nicknamed Lotka (born on November 4th, 1925) were also baptized.
Arnošt started attending grammar school in September 1934. He graduated in 1941 and continued at an engineering school. The restrictions that affected so called "Semi-Jews" weren't as tough as those that changed the lives of the people labelled as "Jews" according to Nuremberg Laws. That's why Arnošt and Charlotte could study longer - till 1943. After the war Arnošt worked for a building firm, he never got married and died in 1999. Charlotte still lives in Plzeň.

This is her family story:
"My father was one of nine siblings and only two of them survived. One moved to France as he married a Frenchwoman in Strasburg. The other one was my father. He lived in a mixed marriage. His siblings had to go to transports in 1942, to Terezín, Auschwitz and other destinations, but my father didn't. At the beginning of the year 1945 when the war was almost over my father was transported to Terezín, not into the prison but into the ghetto. He spent about four months there. Before that he was in the detention of the Plzeň Gestapo for a few days. My mother went there and because she could speak perfect German - she was from Nýřany in Sudetenland - she tried to settle it somehow but it was no use.
As a Semi-Jewish man, Arnošt was sent to the Postoloprty work camp in September 1944. The conditions were bearable there; he could receive packages with food. But he never unpacked them; he rewrote the address and sent them to our father to Terezín. He was there till May 1945 and then he escaped - three weeks before the end of the war. He was approved as a participant in the national fight for liberation.
We, women, could stay here until 1945 when we had to come in for a registration to Dejvice in Prague. It was probably the beginning of our deportation that didn't continue because the war was over.
The Jews also had to wear a yellow star on their coats but we didn't. That was another relief. Our flat was taken by Germans and we moved to Prokopova Street - we were three families living in one four-roomed flat. There were ration books during the war and my father got only some of them - for example there were rations for meat and he couldn't get any. He worked as a street sweeper and my mother went to help the bricklayers to be able to buy me a watch. I got a job of a messenger. After the war I returned to school, but my class didn't graduate - we only got a certificate that we could study at the university. The first thing my father said when he came home from the concentration camp was: 'Lotka will study!' That's because my brother wasn't really a keen student."