My mother Suzana Hacker in Subotica in 1932.
My mother was born in Senta on February 25, 1915 and raised there. She studied at the secular gymnasium in Subotica. In 1932, at the age of 17, she married Dusan Necak, a Serbian officer in the Royal Yugoslav Army who was stationed in Subotica. They were married in Prilep [Macedonia] in a Serbian Orthodox church. At the time of the marriage my mother changed her name to Dusanka Necak. She was not religious and did not observe any Jewish holidays or practices nor did she observe the Serbian Orthodox practices. They had two children, my sister Marina and me. As father was an officer in the army we moved around a lot during the pre-war years but regardless of where we were most of our friends were people from the Jewish community in that town. When I was born we were living in Novi Sad, and by the time the war started father was already permanently stationed and working in Belgrade.
When the war began we were living in Belgrade. At the time mother's mother, Tereza, was also with us. When the Jews were rounded up in Belgrade she moved us in with family friends, the Djordjevic family, who lived on Knez Milos Street. Grandmother went back to Senta and mother did not tell anyone where she had moved us, thereby breaking all connections with her past. Mother went into this form of hiding because of her Jewish background but also because she was a member of a revolutionary group that had killed a police officer and whose members were being arrested. We lived with this family for the first half of the war and around 1942 we moved to stay with another family in Belgrade, also named Djordjevic. At one point, when all the Jews were told to register themselves with the authorities in Tasmajdan Park mother went to register herself. The clerk she handed her papers to looked through her paperwork and saw that there was no mention of her Jewish background. He ripped up her registration form and advised her that if ever asked she should make up a story about her parents' background and would thereby avoid registering herself as a Jew. While we were living with these two Djordjevic families we were able to walk on the street and do many daily tasks because we had Serbian last names and had distanced ourselves from the family and friends.
At the beginning of the war, my father was captured and was taken to a camp in the Italian occupied zone. He escaped from that camp and was traveling back to Serbia by train when he was spotted by an acquaintance in the Zagreb train station. The acquaintance had him arrested and he was immediately deported to Jasenovac [concentration camp] were he was killed.
After the war we remained in Belgrade where mother worked as a financial clerk. My mother currently resides in the Jewish old age home in Belgrade.