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elvira kohn

Because she married a non-Jew, she converted to his religion and became Eastern Orthodox. No one in the family opposed. Jovan's father was an Eastern Orthodox priest and he was the one who baptized Olga.

I remember that someone once told me the following anecdote: Jovan's father, while baptizing Olga told her, 'Even though you are now accepting another man's faith, never forget who and what you really are.' Olga survived because she converted. She died in Belgrade around 1990. She had no children.
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baby pisetskaya

My mother and I cooked delicious food. We often had guests and life was fun. We helped and supported each other. When our relatives' children were getting married we went to their wedding parties.
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Chaya married Israel Meyerson, a Jewish man, in 1936. They had a Jewish wedding with a chuppah. There was a big wedding party. All her brothers and sisters and their families from Kharkov, Moscow and Kursk came to her wedding in Odessa. The wedding was in my grandparents' home. There was even an article about this wedding in a Jewish newspaper - I don't remember, which newspaper it was, but my father told me that there was even a photo of our family published.
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Mico Alvo

We had a really good time with them. Latronis had an employee, who was also his girlfriend. She was a beautiful woman, very beautiful, and she was from Patra as well. Because she got pregnant, he decided to marry her. After a couple of months they got married. The wedding took place in the house. Only we and a few close friends were present.

Latronis and Papahrisanthou didn't think that they were risking anything at the time. But that's how it was. There were many like him. Latronis was very religious, he would go to church every Sunday and he felt it was his duty to help anyone who was in danger. I am certain that this is how it was. He probably also helped us because of the friendship that he had with my uncle.
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We got married on 1st July 1951. My brother was due to leave for Canada because his wife was pregnant. And we wanted to get married before he had to leave. Otherwise, who knows, maybe we would have delayed it.

We had our wedding in the synagogue in Athens. The relatives from Thessaloniki came, Daniel and Solomon. We had a very simple marriage. The synagogue here in Thessaloniki is different than in Athens. We didn't even have a celebration dinner, nothing, and the relatives from here were upset. We had rented a room in Ekali [an upper-class suburb of Athens], at a hotel there, and that's where we went after the wedding. I had the jeep and we stayed in Athens.
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I went to a wedding, too. I remember when Aunt Ida got married. I was a bit older then. The wedding didn't take place at the synagogue; it was at the Matanot Laevionim. Matanot means 'presents' and Laevionim 'to the needy,' so presents for the poor.

There was a special room for ceremonies. You would pay and with the money they would maintain the establishment. After a wedding there would usually be a dance. The dance would be at the Matanot, and if the wedding was at the synagogue, the dance could still be at the Matanot. Because it was a very large hall and could accommodate many people. It had an orchestra with a piano and violin. They used to dance the waltz, tango, foxtrot, dances of the time.

The married couples would always go on a honeymoon trip. And many times, in the wagon the loss of virginity would take place. Many used to go to Constantinople [today Istanbul, Turkey] and Vienna and Paris. Those were the favorite destinations.

Uncle Daniel went to Paris after he got married. I remember his wedding, too, because we had a large house and my uncle used to live upstairs and we used to live on the ground floor, and the bride left from our house. She was from Volos and they had brought her to our house. And she left from our house to go to the synagogue where she was going to get married.

From my uncle's wedding I remember that we really liked the sister of our aunt. She was younger than her sister but she still seemed very old to us. She too was very beautiful. There wasn't any difference, like they say now, for example, that at a first class marriage all the lights of the synagogue will be turned on and the large chandeliers, and if it's a second class marriage there would be fewer lights lit. No.

There was only one way and the wedding lasted the same length of time. In the end the rabbi gave the newly-weds wine to drink, and the bride, I think, or the groom that steps on the glass, I cannot remember. It is a quick and very joyful ceremony, and there are many songs.

In order to have a rich wedding and to have a social event, one had to have more flowers. Also, there were many synagogues at the time and depending on the wedding it would take place in a certain synagogue. In other words, not everybody could get married in the Beit Saul synagogue, because it was more expensive. There were smaller synagogues where the ceremony was simpler. What they read was exactly the same, it would take less or more time, it would be identical.

The bride wore a wedding dress, of course. And it would be a great story, how the wedding dress was made. And Father would get a new suit or a tuxedo. The whole family would be restless, to make their dresses and the men's clothes and the rest of it. The bride had a very nice wedding dress and a great flower bouquet that the groom would give her. This wedding dress was white, similar to the Christian wedding dress. And they had small children holding the tail of the wedding dress.

We don't have best men, we have witnesses. They sign, too. They used to say that if the bride was a virgin, then the wedding ring had to be all gold. The rabbi used to show the ring to one of the witnesses and say 'gold ring' no matter if the bride was a virgin or not.

I remember my aunt Daisy's friend, who was very naughty, and would go to the doctor all the time so he would sew her up again, and at some point the doctor tells her, 'What will we do with you, put a zipper and stop.' If they had lost their virginity they had to sew it up, so that on their wedding nights they would appear to be virgins. So they would go to the gynecologist, who would do that. In fact, I can even remember on some occasions that the wedding would take place and the day after there would be a divorce because the bride was not a virgin. And that was a serious reason for a divorce. You can imagine the shame for the girl and her whole family.
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Rafael Genis

After their wedding my parents settled in the house, given by Grandpa Bentsion to my father. It was located on the same street, next to the house of Grandpa Bentsion. It was an old wooden house: very long and solid. When the babies were born, Father built another house on the same plot of land. It was a large two-storied house. Father leased the old house to a tinsmith. He had his workshop in the house and his family was also living there. We moved to the new place. There was a bakery on the first floor. It was the same as in Grandpa's place.
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Krystyna Budnicka

I remember Szaja's wedding. The year might have been 1938 or 1937. I remember how I was dressed. I wore a red bow in my hair and a plush maroon velour dress that had been taken out. And I also recall that it must have been May or June. That wedding took place in our home.
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Janina Duda

And that was where I met my first husband. I always had his photographs with me when I was in the partisan troops. He was the best soccer player, left striker, Janek, that is Jankiel Baran.

He was a very well known athlete – he was one of the best soccer players in all of Belarus. I only lived with him for a month. I didn’t want to have a rabbinical wedding, so I only had a civil wedding and I announced it to my parents. Father was outraged, but I only said that, Father can believe whatever he wants to believe, but he can’t force me to do it. I explained that a married couple is a social unit, that this has nothing to do with faith. But my family somehow got involved, somehow they arranged it and organized a wedding for me.
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Alexandra Ribush

Abram was engaged in the fur business in London. He also got married there. He and his wife were middle class, neither poor, nor rich.
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She got acquainted with her future husband in 1925 in the Military Medical Academy. They were schoolmates. They had a common-law marriage, without any religious ceremonies and official registration. This was actually common in the young Soviet intellectual circles of the time.
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