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baby pisetskaya

During the Great Patriotic War they were all evacuated to Tashkent [today Uzbekistan]. Uncle Yakov was released from military service since the thumb of his right hand was deformed.
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Mico Alvo

In 1932 Joseph left for Palestine. For one, because he wanted to avoid that his son had to do his military service, but also because his son was a Zionist. In fact, he used to say that he will go there and go to the school for agricultural studies. He didn't take agricultural studies there and went to a bank instead. In Palestine Joseph was working for a bank. I think he was a partner at the Recanati Bank.

He was still interested in the business in Thessaloniki without being present or working. My father promised him that his part of the business wouldn't be touched by anybody else. Each one owned half of the company. He would take part of the earnings, as usual. Until the Germans came, they would share everything. He would come and visit us in Thessaloniki at least once a year, but Father never went to visit him. Daniel went a couple of times.

Joseph settled in Tel Aviv. They rented a very beautiful house in a central avenue. They felt very lonely there. They didn't have the circle of people they had here. They didn't have their friends around or anyone from the family. Joseph wanted to drag with him someone from the family because he felt very lonely there. But he didn't succeed.

Daniel went and didn't like it at all, especially the water. 'What kind of water is that?', he was saying, 'This smells like a rotten egg. How do you drink this water?' In fact my father insisted very much on their coming back. 'What are you doing down there?', he used to tell them, 'come back and we will all live together.' Luckily they didn't come back and were saved by pure luck. Joseph died after the war, in 1965.

Marcel was a Zionist. He used to tell me sometimes, 'We will do this, we will do that.' That a state would be created, and the state of Palestine would become a Jewish state. He was a supporter of Herzl [10]. We used to hang out with Marcel because he thought of us as his younger cousins.
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Arnold Leinweber

Her husband was a war deserter and he had a terrible time until he was hired by the army again.
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Renée Molho

My father wasn't very courageous and even if he had political preferences he would never express them publicly. He wasn't that kind of a man. But he was very wise. Let's say that two people had an argument, they would go to him to make the compromise because he was very just, correct and wise. They all trusted his sincerity and his logic. Middle man, intermediator, compromiser may be the correct word. He would ask: What are your differences with him? And yours? Why don't you do this or that and he tried to make them see sense and find an acceptable answer to whatever their problem was.

At home we didn't discuss things, current events, actuality, politics, rumors or anything. He wasn't the kind to have long conversations. He didn't talk a lot, he wasn't funny.. He wasn't communicative, nor expansive. I never remember him laughing out loud; he was always a little distant, even when he was with his friends, distant! You couldn't reach him easily but I was number one to his love.

He was not making favors to anybody but with me he would shake hands! He would never shake hands with anybody. If he had to, and couldn't avoid it, he would rush back home to wash his hands and clean them with alcohol. He was so afraid of microbes and contamination and in the end he died of cancer.

How was he? He was very strict, very strict and very just. He wanted to be just and this locked him into himself. He never showed any affection, hardly to anyone; to his wife I don't know. He was an introvert.

He didn't go to the army. At that time the army was Turkish. It was in 1912 that Thessaloniki became Greek and during the Turkish period paying a certain amount of money would assure that they didn't go to the army.
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güler orgun

My father's elder brother, David Nassi, who was three years younger than Viktorya, was born in 1898 and raised in Romania. The only thing I know about him is this: when he was 17, he volunteered to fight in World War I. He served in the Romanian army and fought from 1915 till 1918. When the war ended, he came home. Three months later, when he turned 20, he was called to do his military service. He tried to explain that he had served in the war as a volunteer for three years, but was told that volunteering was one thing, military service another. He got so infuriated that he ran away, deserting home, family, country, everything. They never heard of him again.

One day, 10-15 years ago, my telephone rang. Somebody speaking Spanish - almost as little as me then - said, 'I am Moshe Nassi.' I got terribly excited: it was my uncle David's son calling! He and his wife had come from Israel and were staying at a hotel in Aksaray. I immediately went to fetch them and took them to see my father. Their meeting was very emotional. My father told his newly-found nephew all the things he did not know about our family. He didn't even know that our grandfather's name was Izak, nor that he himself was named after a younger brother of his father, who had died at a young age. We gave him photographs.

Moshe, on his part, told us what had happened to David after he left Romania. David crossed to Bulgaria, where he started to work on a farm and married Blanca, the daughter of a Jewish family who also worked there. They had a boy and a girl, whom they named Moshe and Nehama. They emigrated to Palestine before World War II. My cousin Moshe is exactly my age, his sister Nehama seven years younger.

When Moshe turned ten, his father died. Their mother raised the children. As they lost their father at a very young age, they did not know much about his family background. I don't know how he found out that we were in Istanbul; apparently, he got our name and address from the Chief Rabbinate.

A year after Moshe's visit, his sister Nehama also came and met my father. That encounter was as, if not more, emotional as the earlier one with her brother. Nehama was only three when she lost her father. When she saw my father, therefore, she clasped both his hands and held them for the duration of the meeting. Now, we keep in touch with them by telephone and e- mail.
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henryk prajs

He had a finger missing. He had cut it off himself so that they wouldn't draft him to the tsarist army.
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anna schwartzman

My brother Ruvim, who was drafted into the army in Tashkent, never went to the front. He told the military committee that he was a builder and was sent to rebuild the city of Gorky. He worked for a military factory until the end of the war. After the war he settled in Chernovtsy and continued working in construction.
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leon solowiejczyk

But those who did not want to go to the army and who were starving, they were peaceful. And nobody wanted to go to the army. Jews didn't want to either. Before the war, it was like this, they'd choose whom they wanted in the army. You had to be tall enough, weigh enough, you had to be healthy. The boys had to be healthy and fit. And those who didn't want to go, would starve themselves on purpose, so they would weigh less.
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Leon Glazer

My brother was with us even though he had been called up into the army as a recruit. If he'd done his school-leaving certificate he would have been called up as an officer cadet. But he never went into the army. Mobilization was announced [on 30th August 1939 universal mobilization was announced and then revoked, on 31st August it was announced again] and everyone who had recruitment papers was under obligation to report to their unit. I don't remember what unit he was supposed to report to, but everyone was looking for their units and couldn't find them, because they weren't organized, or they were already on their way somewhere else.
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Max Tauber

Mein Urgroßvater väterlicherseits Leopold, jüdisch Elieser, Müller kam ursprünglich aus Polen. Er ist mit seiner Frau, ihren Namen weiß ich nicht, noch im 19. Jahrhundert nach Österreich gekommen. Polen war damals unter russischer Verwaltung, und in Russland war Militärpflicht ab dem 21. Lebensjahr, da hat es kein Pardon gegeben, da hat man einrücken müssen. Der Militärdienst hat sieben Jahre gedauert. Mein Urgroßvater muss damals zwanzig Jahre alt gewesen sein, und wäre bald militärpflichtig geworden. Da ist er praktisch geflüchtet mit seiner Frau, die damals 18 Jahre alt war.

Meine Großmutter Anna Müller wurde auf dieser Flucht zwischen 1860 und 1870 in Weikendorf, im Marchfeld, dem östlichsten Teil von Niederösterreich, der direkt an die Slowakei grenzt und in der Nähe von Gänserndorf liegt, geboren. Dort haben sie Unterkunft bei einem Bauern gefunden, der ihnen ein Kammerl zur Verfügung stellte.
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Alice Granierer

Im 1948er-Jahr, als der Staat Israel ausgerufen war, musste ich mich zum Militär melden. Ich habe gesagt, sie sollen mich nur als Reserve nehmen, denn ich arbeite bei Kolbo/Schwarz, und ich muss meinen Geschwistern und meinen Eltern helfen.
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Bruno Bittmann

Unter Stalin durfte man nichts sagen. Meine Mutter hatte immer Angst, weil ich so ein Revoluzzer war. Bevor ich die Arbeit als Elektriker im Theater bekam, meldete ich mich bei der Miliz. Man konnte schießen, man bekam ein Gewehr - das gefiel mir. Eines Tages musste ich jemanden, der verhaftet wurde, abholen.

Ich kannte ihn und habe beschlossen, das nicht zu tun. Ich habe zu meiner Mutter gesagt, dass ich nicht mehr bei der Miliz arbeiten will. Sie bekam einen furchtbaren Schreck: 'Bist du verrückt, du kommst da nicht mehr heraus, man wird dich verhaften!' Das war mir aber egal, ich wollte das nicht machen.

Ich ging zu meinem Vorgesetzten und habe ihm gesagt, dass ich das nicht mache. Er hat schrecklich getobt und mir gedroht, aber ich habe gesagt: 'Von mir aus sperr mich ein, ich verhafte niemanden,' habe meinen Ausweis und meine Pistole auf den Tisch gelegt und bin gegangen. Nichts ist passiert!
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Vladimir Baum

Meine Tochter Sanja hat Theaterwissenschaften und Regie studiert. Ich flog von Stockholm, von der ersten Umweltkonferenz der UNO, über Jugoslawien nach New York zurück, um die Diplomarbeit meiner Tochter im größten Theater in Belgrad zu sehen. Das war 'Doktor Faustus' von Christopher Marlowe, einem Vorgänger von Shakespeare. Der 'Doktor Faustus' ist ein altes Spiel aus dem 16. Jahrhundert, und in dem Stück gibt es auch einen Mephisto.

Sie hatte den Mephisto - das war eine Neuerung - mit einer Frau besetzt. Sie war eine Zeit lang Regisseurin in kleinen Theatern in der Provinz. Später war sie beim Rundfunk in Belgrad. 1992, nach dem Ausbruch des Balkankrieges, emigrierte sie mit ihrer Mutter, ihrer 6jährigen Tochter Julia, einer Cousine und zwei Cousins nach Israel. Sie war damals 44 Jahre alt. Die zwei Cousins waren im Militäralter, und um sie vor dem Militärdienst in Jugoslawien zu bewahren, emigrierten sie nach Israel.
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Eshua Aron Almalech

While we were still interned to Lukovit, in August 1943, I received two call-up orders from the army – one from the region of this town and the other from the Stara Zagora garrison. But I ignored them both. I did not want to serve in the army of a country, which was persecuting Jews. They wanted to put me on trial in August 1944, but I did not show up in court. The Soviet armies had almost reached the Bulgarian borders and the end of the fascist rule in Bulgaria was near. After 9th September 1944 [9] when we returned to Stara Zagora, I received once again a summons to appear in court, because I had not responded to the call-up orders. I explained why I did not go, that this was not a normal army and we Jews were tortured enough in the hard military labor camps. In the end I was not convicted.
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Leon Yako Anzhel

In September a telegram was received in Vratsa. All the runaways had to be returned under escort to their units. Our unit then was military headed by a captain and an NCO to beat the people. My friend Shaoul Perets, whose relatives were interned to Vratsa, too, and I decided to go somewhere in order not to be returned. We decided to leave for Pazardzhik. My aunt Naumi and cousin Leon Alkali were interned there. Let me remind you that my mother’s sister and my mother were born in Pazardzhik. They weren’t interned there by chance, so we left for Pazardzhik but I didn’t have any money on me. I had a pair of overshoes, sold them and got 100 levs. So we traveled from Vratsa through Sofia to Pazardzhik. We arrived in Sofia and while we were waiting for the train to go to Southern Bulgaria there was some unrest because one or two German soldiers were arrested and escorted by Bulgarian soldiers but two other German soldiers tried to give the arrested something to eat and drink.

At the station immediately other people started protesting because they were bullied and chased by them as soldiers. A fight began. On 8th September 1944, my friend and I arrived in Pazardzhik. We got off the train and saw that there, too, was some unrest in progress. We found out that the partisans would be in Pazardzhik any minute now. My aunt and cousin who were waiting for us were worried because they didn’t know what was to come. And moreover, the Germans who were leaving the country set everything behind them on fire.

With Shaoul Perets we went back to Vratsa via Sofia. I met some of my comrades in Sofia. We arrived in Vratsa with him and remained there until 25th September 1944 with my mother, Roza and her family.

We waited for the Soviet army to come and every day we stood as if on duty at the station to meet them but there wasn’t such a welcome as there was in Sofia. We just greeted the partisans who came back from the mountains. On 25th September 1944 we returned to Sofia.
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