Matilda Cerge in her gymnasium uniform

Here I am wearing my school cap from the 4th Women's Gymnasium. Everyday we had to wear a black apron and white collar and our caps. The photo was taken in Belgrade in the 1940s. I finished elementary school and then two years of gymnasium before the war. I went to the 4th Women's Gymnasium in Dorcol, on Cara Dusana Street. It was also a mixed school. All the professors were Serbian. It was normal that girls go to gymnasium like the boys. I never had any problems in either elementary school or gymnasium because I was a Jew. At that time this type of anti-Semitism didn't exist. I don't know if we went to school on the Jewish holidays. In gymnasium we had to wear hats with our grade on it and black aprons. I cannot remember if we went to gymnasium in the mornings or the afternoons. I went to the Jewish community for religious classes. All of the Jewish children had to go to religious lessons on Kralja Petra Street. I don't know the names of the teachers. There we learned about the Old Testament and the Jewish language. Clearly, I didn't learn any of that, because it was such a short time. In general I know that we Jewish children had to go to our own religious classes when the Serbian children had theirs. This was once or twice a week. There was a predetermined time when the Jewish kids gathered in the small hall upstairs in the Jewish community. This is why even today I love to go to the community, especially the small hall, upstairs on the second floor, where we had our religious classes. I love this building especially because I went there as a kid. I also fondly remember the hall downstairs where we had the Purim parties.

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Matilda Cerge

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