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.
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”.