Aron Alkalai’s mother Regina Alkalai (nee Lazar) and her brother Yosif Lazar

Aron Alkalai’s mother Regina Alkalai (nee Lazar) and her brother Yosif Lazar

This is a photo of my mother Regina Alkalai (nee Lazar) and her brother Yosif Lazar. The photo was taken in the 1930s, place unknown.

I know almost nothing about my mother's parents. I remember that they lived in Kyustendil, where I went in the summer during my vacations. My maternal grandfather Rafael Lazar had a small goatee. I do not know what he worked. I do not remember my grandmother Vinucha Lazar. She was a housewife.

My mother's name is Regina Alkalai and she had two brothers and two sisters. Her eldest brother's name is Yosif Lazar. He was a lawyer and lived in Plovdiv. Her other brother's name is David Lazar. He was a merchant and lived in Kyustendil. One of my mother's sisters was Buka and she married in Sofia. Her other sister was Matilda and she lived in Dupnitsa. Her husband's name was Konorti and he was a tailor. Unfortunately, that is all I know about them.

My mother was a teacher in the Jewish school in Kyustendil. Probably she also worked as a teacher in Dupnitsa but for a short time. After she married, she stopped working under the influence of my father. He wished that she would only be a housewife. My mother knew French very well. She also played the guitar and knew songs in Ladino and in Bulgarian. I have seen her singing a melody and playing on the guitar to herself. In the evenings she would go on the balcony and hum a song for 'good night'. Times were more peaceful then and people were less demanding. We did not buy many clothes, did not rely on material things so much and people lived more peacefully than they do now.

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