My mother Simha Baruhovic (right) and my aunt, Blanka Izrael. The photo was taken on a street in Sarajevo in 1937 or 1938.
My mati, as we called my mother, Simha (Sida) Baruhovic (maiden name - Izrael), was born in 1906 to a large Sarajevan family.
She had three brothers and three sisters, and they all lived comfortably in Sarajevo where my grandfather, Josef Izrael, made a good living off the shares he owned in various companies. He indulged his children and catered to their interests.
For instance, he sent my mother to Vienna for voice lessons when she was a young woman. She had a wonderful voice and she tried to encourage us to appreciate music as much as she did.
We lived with Aunt Erna and Uncle David for a year and a half until the idiotic evil Ustashe bandits took over from the Italians. Since we knew what it meant to live under Ustashe control, we knew it was time to run.
My father was from Pristina and since that region was still under Italian control my mother decided that should be our next destination. Aunt Erna and Aunt Blanka went to an Italian camp where they were treated correctly and eventually joined the partisans. Uncle David stayed behind and was killed in Mostar.