Ernesta Molho with fellow students of the French College in Ruse

Ernesta Molho with fellow students of the French College in Ruse

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This is the French College in Ruse where my mother studied. My mother, Ernesta Molho, is the second from the right on the second row. The year is most probably 1929 or 1930. There is no inscription or seal of a photographic studio. The back is designed like a postcard.

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.

My uncles had graduated in Strasbourg, which meant a lot then. She herself studied in the French College in Ruse, which she didn’t graduate from because of the high Catholic influence there. Her parents didn’t want her to be swayed in that direction and she left college before graduation.

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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Sarina Chelibakova