brni (brni) wrote,

the past hasn't gone anywhere

In 1941, Vojvodina was occupied by Nazi Germany, Hungary and Croatia. The occupation lasted from 1941 to 1944. In those four years, some 50,000 people, primarily Serb, Jewish and Roma, were killed. On January 22nd, the Hungarian military began rounding up Serbian and Jewish civilians in Novi Sad. Over the course of three days, they rounded up 1300 people, machine gunned them, then pushed the bodies out onto the ice of the Danube River. They then fired artillery to break up the ice and wash them away.

My family comes from Novi Sad. My grandfather was Jewish, my grandmother was German. The story I've heard is that the SS officer to took my grandfather away looked at the kids - my father and my uncle - and said, "They look like good German boys."

So they lived.

The only thing that we have left of my grandfather is his pocket watch. It has been broken for as long as I can remember. Last year my parents were in a purging mood. My aunt had died and left them a bunch of jewelry, most of which was only worth the weight in gold, and they were thinking of throwing the watch into the pile to be melted down. I took it. I found a place that said they could fix it. I left it there February 16th, 2007.

Today it was ready. The gold is thin, dented. It looks like it's gone through a war. But it works.

I brought it home, showed it to Linda, and the crystal fell off. I guess I'm taking it back in the morning.
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