Category Archives: Mom

Memories of War, Part V (guest post by Mom)

Many of you have been moved by my Mom’s five-part guest-blogging on Holocaust Children (part I, part II, part III, part IV and part V), so I asked her to let me reproduce here her wartime story, as it appeared in the first volume in the series We Survived published by the Jewish Historical Museum in Belgrade.
It appeared here in five installments starting Monday and going throughout the week at the same time of day. This is the last part. Please ask her questions in the comments. Proceed under the fold:

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Memories of War, Part IV (guest post by Mom)

Many of you have been moved by my Mom’s five-part guest-blogging on Holocaust Children (part I, part II, part III, part IV and part V), so I asked her to let me reproduce here her wartime story, as it appeared in the first volume in the series We Survived published by the Jewish Historical Museum in Belgrade.
It will appear here in five installments starting Monday and going throughout the week at the same time of day so please come back and you can ask her questions in the comments. Proceed under the fold:

Continue reading

Memories of War, Part III (guest post by Mom)

Many of you have been moved by my Mom’s five-part guest-blogging on Holocaust Children (part I, part II, part III, part IV and part V), so I asked her to let me reproduce here her wartime story, as it appeared in the first volume in the series We Survived published by the Jewish Historical Museum in Belgrade.
It will appear here in five installments starting Monday and going throughout the week at the same time of day so please come back and you can ask her questions in the comments. Proceed under the fold:

Continue reading

Memories of War, Part II (guest post by Mom)

Many of you have been moved by my Mom’s five-part guest-blogging on Holocaust Children (part I, part II, part III, part IV and part V), so I asked her to let me reproduce here her wartime story, as it appeared in the first volume in the series We Survived published by the Jewish Historical Museum in Belgrade.
It will appear here in five installments starting yesterday and going throughout the week at the same time of day so please come back and you can ask her questions in the comments. Proceed under the fold:

Continue reading

Memories of War, Part I (guest post by Mom)

Many of you have been moved by my Mom’s five-part guest-blogging on Holocaust Children (part I, part II, part III, part IV and part V), so I asked her to let me reproduce here her wartime story, as it appeared in the first volume in the series We Survived published by the Jewish Historical Museum in Belgrade.
It will appear here in five installments starting today and going throughout the week at the same time of day, so please come back every day and ask her questions in the comments. Proceed under the fold:

Continue reading

Holocaust Children, part V (guest post by Mom)

Here is the fifth and final installment of my Mother’s travelogue. Feel free to ask questions. I will try to copy and post her published chapter from the book “We Survived” in about a month from now.
Family
Tuesday, November 13th

A beautiful, sunny day. I am trying to make myself look nice for the re-union with eight members of my family. They are coming from different parts of the country . We are meeting in the restaurant “London” at 10.30. A couple is coming from the North – a far-away kibutz – but that has not prevented them to be the first to arrive. I invited Isabelle to meet them all as well as my friend, Ana Somlo, the writer, translator and the author of the Hebrew-Serbo-Croat dictionary, that has just been printed in Belgrade. This was a good oportunity for her to meet my family, who are slowly but surely starting to forget their native tongue. Ana’s dictionary is just what they need now.
It was a wonderful time we spent together. We talked, asked hundred of questions, some were taking photos. There were old stories to repeat again and remind us of our childhood. The oldest generation was not with us – but we remembered them and talked about them. Time passed quickly and we were not able to tell all we wanted. Still, we were happy to embrace and kiss each other.
In the evening came my cousin from my mother’s side, Sonja. She brought photos of her four children and twenty grandchildren! She is young and strong and full of energy and happy to help whenever any of them needs her. There were so many things we talked about and we both were only too happy to see each other.
Wednesday, November 14th
It is time to pack. I did some shopping and paid a short visit to Ana Somlo – just to see where she lives. We see each other in Belgrade at least twice a year and now there was no time for long talks.
Beti, who comes from Sarajevo and who went through the same expeerience as I did, with whom I was in the concentration camp with and who was taken from it by the Schmucklers, wanted to see me. That was a warm and moving meeting. It meant much to both of us. So many memories we share. I was glad Isabella’s son came to greet me. Although I was in a hurry the short conversation means much to me. My relatives came to take me to Tel-Aviv. After a short meeting with their children we set off for the airport. I had a night flight, which I hate.
I am arriving in Belgrade, back to my old life in the middle of the night, better to say at the break of the down.
The author is a retired professor from Belgrade
Printed in the Weekly Supplement of the daily paper Danas (Today) (l7-18,nov.2007) in the popular column “Diary”.

Previously:
Holocaust Children, part I (guest post by Mom)
Holocaust Children, part II (guest post by Mom)
Holocaust Children, part III (guest post by Mom)
Holocaust Children, part IV (guest post by Mom)

Holocaust Children, part IV (guest post by Mom)

Here is the fourth installment in the series – the fifth is coming tomorrow. Please comment and my Mom will respond.
Fulfilled lives of Dina and Jovan Rajs
Sunday, November 11th

The Hotel Dining room could accomodate all 800 participants. Members of the Conference Committee used the oportunity to let Israeli officials, polititicians and scientists address the audience and point out the significance of our gatherings. To me it was an oportunity to watch them all and imagine them as children, like me, who were lucky as I was, to stay alive in spite of all that could have happened to them and to me. We were all rescued. Today we have our fullfilled and fruitful lives, our families, professions and careers. Some of them come every year to keep memories of six million Jews killed in Holocaust. The goal of such gatherings is to leave our memories to the young. It could be done only by telling them our stories and teaching them.
As far as former Yugoslavia is concerned, only two people came from Serbia and three from Croatia. At the Galla Dinner some other people of Yugoslav origin who live in Israel joined us for the occasion. I was extremely happy to spend some time with Dina and Jovan Rajs [Reiss], my old friends who now live in Sweden. We have not seen each other since the 60s. Dina is a successful architect and Jovan is a doctor and a retired professor of the Stockholm Medical School. Jovan was born in Zrenjanin (a small town not far from Belgrade – in the Province of Vojvodina). He was in Teresienstad and Bergen-Belsen. He is one of the few memebers of his family who survived.
I was happy to be with old friends. It seemed it was not long ago when we walked our children in Karadzordjev Park. The internet did a lot. We keep in touch and that is what we are going to do in the future.
Two tragedies of Isabella Schmuckler
Monday, November 12th

The Conference was aproaching the end. Some new friendships have been made, email addresses and cards have been exchanged.
My family, who arrived illegally in Palestine during the war have been living in Israel since war time. They came to see me in Nathania. Some of them used to come to visit us in Belgrade so we have seen each other several times in the past . Isabella Schmuckler is the only one I have not seen for more than twenty years and she never came to Yugoslavia from the time she left the country. Her husband died few months ago and she lives on her own. I specially wanted to spend a couple of days with her. I wanted to bring back our memories of war. I brought a dictaphone to tape her “story” for our series (edition) “We survived“. But, she was not able to talk and remind herself of things from long ago. She became too emotional after few first sentences. She took a pill to calm down. I put down the dictaphone.
Isabella went through a tragedy after the war. She married Nikola Bovan, an officer who spent some time in the USSR at a Military school. Quite accidentally, as it used to happen at those times, he asked a wrong question at a wrong place and was accused of belonging to a pro-Soviet group. It all happened in 1948. He was arrested and his fate is unknown. Isabella was left alone with a two months old baby. She decided to join her parents and left for Israel.
We walked the streets of Nathania, sat at the sea shore and enjoyed the open sea at summer temperature. The town is beautiful, full of flowers, tidy and neat. I felt so close to her as if we have always been together. We met some friends from my early childhood. I do not claim recognizing them but the names rang the bell.
Previously:
Holocaust Children, part I (guest post by Mom)
Holocaust Children, part II (guest post by Mom)
Holocaust Children, part III (guest post by Mom)