Vesna Domany: Uevas Inhaminadus

Every year before the Passover in memory of my great grandmother Sara Izrael I start preparing a simple fare of boiled eggs.

I place a dozen eggs on a bed of peel in a casserole, add some pepper corns, put some onion peel over the eggs and cover everything with plenty of water, add a handful of salt, add a table spoon of cooking oil. I usually leave this to boil slowly, partly covered, while I am preparing a meal in the kitchen. I have been preparing such eggs for decades in the same way my mother used to, while she had learnt this traditional way of how to do Uevas Inhaminadus from her Sephardic grandmother, when she was a little girl growing up in Sarajevo during the 1930s.

My maternal great-grandmother Sara, who I only know from my mother’s stories, was an Orthodox Sephardic Jew. Although I have never met my great-grandmother Sara, I believe that she must have been an exceptionally strong and admirable woman. My mother remembered that Sara’s husband, her grandfather David, had spent all his time reading the Torah, or going to the synagogue, while Sara looked after their many children, the household and earned the living. In 1941, as soon as Bosnia and Herzegovina was occupied by the Germans and given to the Independent State of Croatia, the Jews of Bosnia were arrested, many outright murdered, the rest deported to the concentration camps sprouting fast in Croatia. Few of them who survived the first wave of killings and horrors of the Croatian concentration camps were later deported to Germany or Poland where they too disappeared. My mother as a resistance fighter, I as a hidden child and Sara’s youngest son Moshe as a POW in Germany were the only survivors of the Holocaust of once a huge family.

By chance, in 1946 my mother learnt how Sara perished. Upon arrival at the concentration camp, everyone was ordered to hand over anything of value. Sara had not handed over her pocket watch as she didn't think it was valuable. A woman commander guard approached Sara and snatched the

pocket watch. Sara responded by slapping the guard, telling her that she was not to be shouted at by someone so young. The guard pulled out her gun and shot her. This is how I know my great grandmother was a resister and a strong woman.