Berta Pando with her mother Fortunae and sister Rika Dzaldeti

Berta Pando with her mother Fortunae and sister Rika Dzaldeti


I (on the right) with my mum Fortunae and my sister Rika on ‘Tsar Osvoboditel’ Square in Sofia. I recall my mum and sister came to see me while I was a student at ORT. We were on a walk in Sofia and this photo of us was taken. The year was 1950. There is neither a stamp of a photo studio, nor any other inscription on the back of the photo.

My mother Fortunae Yako Revy Dzhaldeti (1912-1981) was a humble and sensible woman. She was of medium height, with black hair, very agile and very laborious. She seemed very pretty to me and to my father, I guess, as he wanted to marry her so badly…

She used to tell me off from time to time, she even slapped me because I wasn’t a very good child. I was pretty wild to be honest. My knees were always bruised. I used to fall all the time, or hit myself… I was playing together with the boys. As the Jewish school was in the lower parts of the town, and it was snowing, and there was a lot of snow at that time, mind you, I would put the bag on the ground, sit on it and slide down the hill. It was like a real slide. Mum would always warn me not to tear my clothes on that slide. One year the bag simply couldn’t take it any more. We used to also go on top of the Toundzha River because it was nearby and would invariably freeze in winter so we used to go there to slide. Mum was always telling me off, especially when she had got fidgets. She was very antsy because she worked too much. Dad didn’t use to tell me off at all.

My mother was an excellent cook and from her I learned how to prepare very nice pastel

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Berta Pando