Matilda Cerge and her sister Breda Simonovic with their grandmother Matilda Kalef

We had this picture taken when my grandmother, Matilda Kalef, came to visit my sister Breda (on the left) and me at the sanitorium in Fruska Gora where we were recovering from pulmonary illness. We stayed there for three months by ourselves while we were recuperating. Grandmother visited us. Every year my aunt Lenka Kalef would take our dolls before the holiday and make us new ones. Those are the ones. They were so nice; they were made out of rubber. We must have taken them with us. We always had new dresses for them. We were in the sanatorium in Fruska Gora for three months. We were young, maybe my sister was three and I was five. After that mother was very worried about our health and she took us a lot of times to Slovenia so that we could be in the Slovenian forest during the summer to breath the Slovenian air. During the day we laid on a hammock in the woods to breathe in the air and get better. It is amazing how delicate we were. We were sick, we had every possible illness: measles, chicken pox, mumps, problems with lungs, everything. We were not spoiled. Maybe my grandmother exaggerated a bit; maybe she kept us too warm. Then when we went out we got sick. And imagine this, when the occupation came, when we lived up in the attic, and when we had nothing left to eat, we were never sick.

Photos from this interviewee