“Is this Leo?” I asked eyeing another photo, showing an imposing artist in an old hat standing beside an easel.
“No, this is Bedrich, Beda, father’s younger brother, my uncle. He disappeared in 1939, when he was 33. He can’t be alive any more. All these years I tried to locate him, but in vain. Now it’s no use, he is surely not alive.”
The artist poses for us with a bucket in one hand and a brush on a long stick representing a mop in the other; does he really paint a still life from meter away? And what if this man lost in 1939 is still alive?
I raise my eyes and look at Leo Kramar: this is not a man to easily give up the search for his biological uncle. But where could the uncle have disappeared in 1939? Anywhere. Maybe to New Zealand, South Africa, Palestine? Suppose Leo senior got worried up there about his brother Bedrich, plucked up courage and connected us to his son only so that we should find him?
After the conference, I asked Leo and Gunilla if they had ever visited Israel. They said no. “Then, I’ll see you there soon,” I said.