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elvira kohn

In Vinkovci, I completed the public elementary school, four grades of public high school and after that I learned photography in a private photographer's shop called Seiler. In this photo studio, I learned the trade and became a qualified photographer. I was very much interested in photography and I learned to love this art form very much.

At the beginning, of course, I only worked in the photo studio but with time I became less interested in taking static pictures and telling people to turn left, right, smile, and so on. After I learned the profession and gained experience. I wanted to become a photo-reporter. I wanted to work outside the studio, take photographs of events and people.

Many traders and photographers came to the Seiler photo studio where I worked, and once one of them asked me if I would be interested in working in a photo studio in Dubrovnik. He said that they needed someone with my qualifications and that I could work as a photo-reporter.

I left for Dubrovnik in 1932. At first I lived alone but later I found a bigger apartment and settled in, and my mother came from Vinkovci to live with me. In Dubrovnik my mother didn't work. She wasn't employed anywhere. She took care of our house and of me. Apart from my work, I didn't have to take care of anything because my mother was there.

I worked in a photo shop called Jadran, which was on the corner of Zudioska Street where the synagogue in Dubrovnik was and still is today. The owners weren't Jewish. The name of the owner was Miho Ercegovic, and his son was called Velimir Ercegovic. Within the shop, there were three sections: a book store, a stationary and a photo studio.

I worked in the photo studio. My main duties were to take photos of various daily events that were taking place in Dubrovnik and its surroundings: cultural happenings, political events, events related to the church, such as mass, baptism, or other church-related events.

Sometimes people asked me to take photos of their children at birthday parties, or when a child was born. I always liked taking photos of children. Sometimes I took photos for newspapers and journalists wrote a story related to the photo. I never wrote for newspapers, I only took photos.
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My father's oldest sister, Malvina Kohn, died before World War II. The second sister Olga Cvjeticanin, nee Kohn, married a non-Jewish man, an Eastern Orthodox Serb named Jovan Cvjeticanin and lived in Belgrade. Nobody in the family was against the fact that Olga married a non-Jew. There was never any argument. Everyone in the family loved Jovan very much.
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baby pisetskaya

My grandchildren live in the USA, but I have no contact with them. I don't even know in what town they live.
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In the 1970s many Jews began to move to Israel. The situation was hard; there were meetings where anti-Semitic speeches were made. I believed everything that was said at such meetings. I had a negative attitude toward departure and I still do, as a matter of fact.
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Sergei was six years old when my sister died suddenly of breast cancer. Shortly afterward Boris married a woman from Bershad'. His second wife was kind to her stepson. The three of them moved to Israel in 1990.
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Chaya was going to move to Israel in the year 2000. She even bought a ticket, but a few days before her departure she died of extensive myocardial infarction.
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Her son got married and moved to Baku. Later he emigrated to the USA with his family. He was supposed to take his mother there, but then he divorced his wife and remarried.
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Gisia married Aby, a Jewish man. They had two sons. After her mother died - I don't know in what year - she, her husband and their children moved to Israel.
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His wife Manya and her daughters Beba, Polia and Sopha moved to the USA in the late 1970s.
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