David Beraha with Avram and Sophie Pinkas

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This photo was taken in Sao Paolo, Brazil in 1990. At that time, I, my husband Simcho [Nissim] Pinkas, my brother Avram and his wife Nora decided to visit our cousins who managed to save themselves from the death camps and lived in Sao Paolo. In Brazil they opened a small factory, which was successful so they were well-off. This was our first meeting with this cousin, David Beraha, after the war. He is in the middle on the photo. I am on the right and my brother Avram is on the left. The Bulgarian police, which was in Skopje during World War II gathered the Jews in warehouses and schools in order to deport them to the death camps. Before they sealed the house in Skopje, my grandmother Sarah hid her son Zdravko and the two grandsons in the basement, thinking that they would be sent to labor camps where it would be hardest for the men. All of my other relatives went to the meeting points and from there they were transported to Treblinka where they were killed right away. We learned the truth about our relatives in the camps much later. We made a lot of attempts to understand what had happened with them; we also contacted the International Red Cross. My uncle Zdravko and the two boys, thanks to the help of Albanian and Turkish neighbors, escaped disguised as veiled women riding donkeys to Albania. There they met the other brother, Albert, who, sensing the direction the events were taking, had gone there to find if it would be possible to escape with the whole family. They started working there. From Albania they moved to Italy where they also worked. Then Zdravko remained in Switzerland and Albert and the two boys left for Latin America: Brazil and Venezuela. We maintain very good relations with our relatives in Brazil and Venezuela. They also came to visit us. We have not been to Venezuela. The brother who lived in Italy and Switzerland and the other one who lived in Venezuela after the war were quite well-off and helped us a lot. They not only visited us, but also sent us money and presents.

Photo details

Interviewee

Sophie Pinkas