A Story About Тhe Red Race Car, Scene 1: A Day at the Races | TIME: Sunday the 3rd September 1939 | LOCATION: Pariska street, Belgrade

A Day at the Races

It was such a beautiful day at Belgrade. Aleksandar was excited – today was the day Belgrade was hosting Grand Prix at the circuit around Kalemegdan Park! He had been talking about this race with his best classmate Bogdan for weeks. Rihard, the Aleksandar’ s father, kept his promise to take them both to the races, so they arrived to the stands opposite to the French embassy very early in the morning. Being prepared to spend a whole day at the races, they brought along a food basket.

Aleksandar‘s cousin Pavle was also there with them. The boy was very fond of Pavle. Pavle was about ten years older than Aleksandar and Aleksandar looked up to him. Secretly he would try to part his hair with a lock hanging a little over his forehead the same way Pavle did. Since his mother always combed his hair back meticulously so that he would look neat and tidy, Aleksandar thought of that Pavle’ s lock as a very significant proof of maturity and independence. “When I grow up I will wear my hair the way I want!” he thought inside himself.

But that day it was all about the races. Bogdan and Aleksandar had already investigated everything they could find about the race cars and their drivers listed as participants of the Belgrade Grand Prix.

– There are no less than four world champions in Belgrade now! – Bogdan kept repeating excitedly. Aleksandar and Bogdan had a long discussion about which race car is the best: Bugatti or Mercedes? Eventually they asked Pavle, whose opinion was mostly appreciated by the boys. Pavle said:
– Mercedes because it is a German car. – But he didn’t have time to explain it in detail because his voice was drowned out by the noise of crowd – the race was on.

When a beautiful red Mercedes Benz dashed out of a curve, they both agreed that it is by far the best car in the world.

– Mercedes Benz W-154 M163. – Bogdan could barely utter because of the excitement,
– Father, may I have a closer look at the Mercedes? – asked Aleksandar.
Through a pungent smell of gasoline and scorched tyres, through the shouting of excited crowd, and the noise of engines and squeaking of wheels, the father shouted to Aleksandar that they were sure to visit the fair and then they would take a look at all brand new Mercedes models.

When the races were over and after all the crowd had long dispersed, Aleksandar and Bogdan, being somewhat solemnly aware that they would remember that day for the rest of their lives stayed for a long time staring at the golden September sky, far beyond the Sava river, and even further where only children eyes can reach.

The story

Location:

Historical photographs:

© Terraforming 2016
www.terraforming.org

Author: Misko Stanisic
Illustrations: Silva Vujovic
Research and expert advice: Cedomila Marinkovic PhD

Creative Commons License © Copyright - Terraforming 2016, Produced under the frames of the ODIHR's programme "Words Into Action to Address Antisemitism"