Rifka Vostrel and her family in Split

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This picture was taken on 4th November 1947 in Split.

From left to right: my sister Lea Pinteric, nee Altarac, my mother Rosa Altarac, nee Atijas, I and my father Leon Altarac. The photo was taken after the war, in 1947, when we returned to Split from El-Shatt in Egypt.

After the war we returned to Split, but I went to Zagreb to work in the Central Youth Committee. Because I was still very young, my parents felt that they should be close to me. My father moved to Zagreb in 1949 whereas my mom, Lea and my grandmother only came in 1950.

At first, my father worked in a Jewish old-age home, which was housed in today's Community Center. He was working as a caretaker and later, when the old-age home was moved from the community building to another building, he became an employee with the Jewish community.

After Dr. Gruner, who was a cantor, died, my father took over his duties. He became a 'non professional' cantor because he wasn't educated in schools.

On the contrary, everything he knew he had learnt in his parents' home. In the community, every holiday was celebrated and it was my father who led the ceremonies.

Sometimes even rabbis from abroad came and celebrated holidays with us. Since we are Sephardim my father read the prayers in Ladino. He didn't only lead the holiday celebrations but did everything else that was required, such as burials and the like.

When Rabbi Menahem Romano from Sarajevo died, he used to go there and help out in the community. Unfortunately, my parents died very young.

My mother died when she was only 60 years old and my father at the age of 69. They were buried in the Jewish cemetery in Zagreb.

My sister worked as chemical technician and is retired by now. She is divorced, but has a son named Srecko, born in 1963, and also a grandson, Tomislav.

Photo details

Interviewee

Rifka Vostrel