Avram Kalef with workers from his store

Avram Kalef with workers from his store

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This photo was taken in Belgrade in the 1940s. Here is my father, Avram Kalef, right before the war. He was already very sick. Father, poor thing, had to have someone push his wheelchair, dress him, undress him, put him in the bed and all of that.

I don't know who the child is. The man on the left is Karl Getman. He worked in the store as a salesman. He was of German descent. The other one worked in the store too. And the other one pushed my father's wheelchair. And they all lived downstairs in our house. And ate with us, etc.

When the Germans came, Karl Getman, joined the German army. One day in 1943 there was a knock on our door in the attic. My mother looked out and saw someone in a German uniform. She thought they had found us and wanted to come in. She almost fainted. It was him, Karl Getman. I have no idea how he found us. He came to ask if we needed anything. Mother said, "Thank you. Nothing." And he never called again and he didn't turn us in.

That is because truly in our house the relationship with those who worked for us was very correct and they were well taken care of. No one hated anyone. Since he was, imagine, in a German uniform, when Mother saw him she thought she would die. He was the only one that came to visit us. No one from Dorcol knew where we were. This was the extreme periphery of the city and no one knew us. That is why Mother took us there. We never heard anything else about him. I don't know if he died or remained alive. He never called again.

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Interviewee

Matilda Cerge