Jakov Kalef with his wife Lenka and son Mile

Jakov Kalef with his wife Lenka and son Mile

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This is Jakov Kalef with his wife Lenka and their son Mile. The photo was taken in the Moderne Foto Globus studio in Belgrade in 1916. My grandmother Matilda was the pillar of our family. She rented out the family apartments and maintained the stores. Her older brother, Granduncle Jakov, helped her. We lived right next to each other, number three and number five Gospodar Jovanova. He took care of her and our family. It was as if he was our grandfather. Granduncle Jakov was on the board of the Jewish community. He was a cantor in the synagogue. Granduncle was involved in Jewish communal life and he kept my father and grandmother informed about everything. Because we were like one family and he was the head of the family. In fact, Jakov and Grandmother were the heads. In 1941 they took away some of my relatives before they came to us and told us to leave: for instance, David and Mile Kalef, my granduncle Yakov's sons. David and Mile Kalef were picked up for these actions to clean the destruction from the bombing of Belgrade on 6th April. At one point they came home and then after that they never appeared again. I don't know what they talked about when they came home. We were already hidden. Mother told us that for some time they still came. David and Mile's mother, Lenka Kalef, poor woman, even went to the construction sites where they were cleaning and sometimes brought them some food to eat, until they took her away too.
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Interviewee

Matilda Cerge