It Was Only a Picnic
"In 1941, after the German (Nazi) occupation of Yugoslavia, the Jewish population was persecuted and, very soon, deportation began.
"Following the deportation of her husband and son, and when she realized that women were also being deported, Relly's mother entrusted Relly to her sister, Relly's aunt, who was married to a Christian. A few days later, Relly's mother was also deported. Thinking that the end of the war was imminent, the aunt had undertaken to look after Relly.
"As the war dragged on, and afraid that Relly would be discovered living in their home, endangering the lives of the whole family, the aunt sent her twelve-year-old niece to a village some distance from Belgrade. There she found refuge with a poor young woman who was chronically ill and who did not know Relly's true identity. She accepted to look after Relly for a modest payment. Relly was all the time in fear that her true identity would be discovered.
"After some time, she was brought back to Belgrade and hidden in the home of a couple who depended on Relly's uncle for their livelihood. There, in a room the size of the mattress she slept on, Relly had to pass her days without giving any sign of life. In the three-bedroom apartment, two of the rooms were used by a lawyer, who did not know that Relly was there.
"We learn about the daily tensions - the surreal happenings - lived through by a young girl, in a world which quaked under relentless ferocity while awaiting for the victory of a free world over the barbarians.
"All through the book, one hears the voice of a young girl and feels with her her on-going, traumatic experiences."