brochure “Partizanski spomenik u Mostaru” (1980)
another document or proof of the memorial stone (e.g., a photograph).
Jakov S. LEVI
JAKOV LEVI, son of SALOMON, born in 1901 in Sarajevo (according to some sources, 1908), an engineer. According to one account, “among the first to be taken to the concentration camp Jasenovac was engineer Levi, the husband of milliner Sida Atijas (…)” He was liquidated in Jasenovac in 1941.
In 1999, a Holocaust memorial was erected at the Jewish Cemetery in Mostar, which also includes his name.
EXCERPT FROM LITERATURE:
“I have unforgettable memories of the famous Mostar milliner, Mrs. Sida Levi, whose hats made every Mostar woman not just a lady, but a lady and then some. Those beautiful details of women’s attire, which she skillfully made, were so expertly and femininely worn by her customers that I have no doubt she gave them instructions. We regretted being too young for her creations. It seemed to me that Mrs. Sida, after all her life’s tragedy (losing all her close and distant relatives and her home on Fejićeva Street, above Tiberio’s Cinema), besides her work and customers, was almost uninterested in her surroundings. Her husband, the renowned Mostar intellectual – engineer Levi, did not survive the breakout but remained in the Jasenovac killing grounds until the very end of the war. Seeing her deep in thought, quiet, serious, and withdrawn, with only occasional gentle smiles during rare encounters, I often wondered. At the time, I didn’t know that among all the Jewish victims of our city, she was the greatest. And now, after various pogroms, after experiencing everything, when we search for faces that are no longer there, houses that are no longer there, and all the known ones, killed or deceased or scattered around the world, near and far, deep in my soul, I understand all the pain and sadness of Mrs. Sida’s solitude. And how many of us, all over the globe, dream of our Mostar walls, our pre-war lived city, even in broad daylight: Her excellent cookbook is still talked about, how she selflessly shared the best recipes of Jewish and European cuisine with young ladies, and many of them learned to make exquisite pancakes, princess croissants, marzipans, and other pastries, thanks to her guidance. The last and famous milliner, Sida, after several relocations, finally lived in Faladžića sokak, across from her collapsed home and shop that used to be on the corner of the also collapsed former Alajbegovića sokak. Perhaps that intensified her sorrow, and perhaps it gave her strength to live for a few more decades, after everything? I will never know! Even today, I hear a happily surviving Mostar lady telling how Mrs. Sida, whom she also knew well, was an infinitely noble person who, among other things, lent her same-type hats and other accessories to many Mostar women, free of charge and without discrimination, for parties and other occasions when they couldn’t buy her hats.”
Photo of the memorial plaque: S. Demirović
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