We met one of our few relatives there: Ildi Ivanji, the widow of my mother's first cousin George. Amazingly, she still lives in the same house once owned by Nicky and Julchi Petrovic (my grandmother's sister). Though somewhat decrepit, it is an elegant home with still elegant furniture.
Ildi is in her 80s. She had a distinguished career as a journalist and writer. She was imprisoned in two concentration camps as a child, Terezin, which had a large population of artists and children, 90% of whom died there, and Bergen-Belsen, where Anne Frank died. Her parents--both doctors--were shot by the Nazis in mass killings.
Ildi's brother Ivan Ivanji, also survived the war. He too was in two concentration camps. He is quite a distinguished writer and was Tito's translator.
We met Ivan and his wife at Ildi's house. Communication was difficult because he speaks German and a number of East European languages, but not much English or French, the languages of our family.
Ivan is a survivor of Auschwitz, whose liberation is being commemorated today. Little of his writing has been translated into English. I found only a very short piece, which is autobiographical. It doesn't read like a translation and is both beautiful and painful to read. Please read Games on the Banks of the Danube.