"Today or tomorrow, I shall be taken to the camp. May God help me to overcome this too. I have suffered greatly, but survived because I believed in the good Lord, and because my great love for you, Mutzek, gave me strength."
Regina Kandt wrote these words to her husband on the eve of her deportation from Belgrade. She entrusted the letter to her Christian neighbor. True to her word, the neighbor kept the letter, and sent it to a member of Regina's family in Israel after the war.
In November 1941, some 7,000 women and children from the Belgrade area were incarcerated in the Sajmiste camp and murdered. Among them were Regina, her daughter-in-law Eva, whom she mentions in her letter, and her six-year-old grandson, Alexander (Sasha). Her husband, Maximilian Kandt, who was a journalist and a diplomat, and her oldest son Rudolf, Alexander's father, had been imprisoned since April 1941 in a camp in an area under Italian jurisdiction. They survived, and immigrated to Eretz Israel (Mandatory Palestine) on the ship "Stefan Batory". Regina's middle son Fredi immigrated to Eretz Israel in 1935 and her youngest son, Reuven Dafni (Milcek), immigrated in 1936 and settled on Kibbutz Ein Gev. He was one of the parachutists serving in the British Army who were parachuted into Yugoslavia in the spring of 1944 in order to rescue Jews, and in later years, served as Deputy Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate.
My dearest Max,
Today or tomorrow, I shall be taken to the camp. May God help me to overcome this too. I have suffered greatly, but survived because I believed in the good Lord, and because my great love for you, Mutzek, gave me strength.
It's already been months since I heard anything from you both. Yassa and Katiusha know everything. I've hidden some things, so if our kind Lord will give us the good fortune of seeing one another again, not everything will be lost. Katiusha was wonderful. Everything is being arranged according to the possibilities. Sasha and Eva are coming with me, but I do not know how long we shall stay together. I sent you, through Yassa, 10,000 Italian lira; I hope you got them. Mutzek, I greatly loved my mother and my dear boys, but I've never loved anybody in the whole world as much as I've loved you. Therefore you too must be strong and patient, one day this too will come to an end. Katiusha knows where everything is. I am writing this just in case I don't survive, but I have a feeling that we will see each other again.
Hugs and love to you, Rudi, Fredi and Milcek,
In case we never see each other again, God forbid, you must stay with Father and take care of him. If you love me even a little bit, do not remarry Eva because you will be eternally unhappy. It may not be her fault, but she has a terrible character. If it had not been for little Sasha, I might not have supported her. I slaved for her and for the child. She exploited me greatly. Take care of yourself and of father.
Love and hugs,
Yad Vashem Archives, O.10/22