Ernesta and Victor Molho

Ernesta and Victor Molho

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This is my mother Ernesta and my father Victor at their engagement. There is  writing in pencil on the back - 8th March 1931, Bunardjik – Plovdiv and more writing by someone else: 'To the dear lazy Plovdiv people – our faces. Kisses Ernesta' I do not know to whom the letter was addressed. There is no seal of a photographic studio.

My father, Victor Yosif Molho, was a gentle and compliant man, who was used to being silent and leaving the decision-making to my mother. He was a very serious man. When he had problems, he didn’t talk to anybody. I would know that ‘papa is angry’ if I saw him silently climbing the staircase to our house, because he would usually whistle or sing. Although he wasn’t authoritative, he insisted on the patriarchal way of life. We always sat together at lunch and at dinner.

My mother, Ernesta Yako Molho, nee Katalan was a very ambitious woman. She was the decision-maker at home. It was her idea to live separately from our grandparents, who lived in a working-class neighborhood. One of the reasons was that she came from a more aristocratic neighborhood.

She married my father when she was 19 years old. Most probably the marriage was arranged by their parents. She never told me anything about her relationship with my father before they got married. My father’s family was also fairly well-off. My father was eleven years older than my mother. It was a big wedding, much talked about in Plovdiv. It was conducted in line with all the Jewish rituals and preceded by a one-year engagement. They married on 16th August 1932.

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Interviewee

Sarina Chelibakova