Magdalena Berger's husband Ivan Berger

Magdalena Berger's husband Ivan Berger

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My husband Ivan Berger as a little boy. The picture was taken in the Bergers' house in the village of Torda in Banat, Serbia, in 1932, when Ivan was 10 years old.

I met my husband after the war, in the Jewish student dormitory in the Belgrade synagogue. He came from a rural Jewish family that was not at all religious. He had a drastically different upbringing than I did. For example, his father was inclined to drink a lot, and socialized with the local gypsies, things that my father never did. We married in Belgrade on the same day as another Jewish couple from the dormitory. The two of us, the other couple and all the witnesses lived in the Jewish dormitory, which confused the judge officiating at the weddings. We married on a Friday because on Friday afternoons the Jewish cafeteria served the best lunch, beans and apple pie, which served as our wedding feast.

Ivan and I had one son, Ivar, who was born in 1957 in Zemun. Ivar, while aware of his Jewish background, was never active in the Jewish community. We lived in Zemun and worked a lot and there was not much time left to go to the community. My son is 43 and not married and says that he is waiting to find a nice educated Ashkenazi woman to marry. Personally, I am inclined to think that this is just an excuse.

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Magdalena Berger