Vukica Kalef, Lenka Koen and Lenka Kalef

Vukica Kalef, Lenka Koen and Lenka Kalef

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Pictured here are my paternal grandmother's sister and sisters-in-law. From left to right are: Vukica Kalef, Lenka Koen and Lenka Kalef. The photo was taken in the Atelie Erak in Belgrade. Most likely these three women were killed at Sajmiste. Lenka Koen was married to Josip Koen and they had four children: Isak, Marko, Maci and Elica. They were all killed during the war. Her husband was taken away with Jakov Kalef and killed among the first of the adult Jews killed in Belgrade. Elica was transported from Belgrade with her new born baby. Since she knew she was going to die she threw her baby, Avram, out the train window, with the hope that someone would rescue the baby. I learned this story from my mother and she heard it from a survivor whose name my mother never told me. Lenka Kalef was my granduncle Jakov's wife. They lived close to us. In 1941 they took away some of my relatives before they came to us and told us to leave: for instance, David and Mile Kalef, Lenka's sons. David and Mile Kalef were picked up for these actions to clean the destruction from the bombing of Belgrade on 6th April. At one point they came home and then after that they never appeared again. I don't know what they talked about when they came home. We were already hidden. Mother told us that for some time they still came. David and Mile's mother, Lenka Kalef, poor woman, even went to the construction sites where they were cleaning and sometimes brought them some food to eat, until they took her away too. The whole family perished in the Holocaust. Vukica was my granduncle Avram's second wife. From his first marriage he had a daughter, Stella, and with Vukica he had Regina and Josko.
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Interviewee

Matilda Cerge