Haim and Ventura Benaroya

These are my mother, Ventura Benaroya, nee Levi and my father, Haim Benaroya photographed in 1935. My father knew seven languages. He was a corn-merchant - he used to purchase grain from Kiustendja and sold it in Europe. As a soldier during World War I he had been very badly wounded and had lost one hundred percent of his working capacity. He was ashamed to be among people because he wasn't able to move at all. My mother was a manlike, hard-working woman. Life made her such. My mother's brother Avram - he was my mother's benefactor - opened a grocery on the corner of Positano Street and Sredna Gora Street. There my mother achieved her proficiency in calculating and in reading Bulgarian. At that time marriages among young people weren't a love-match. Parents used to do the matchmaking. Thus my mother's brother Avram arranged the marriage between my parents. They had a religious marriage in March, 15 days before my father went to war, but I don't know the year. My father used to spend three months a year in the Home for Invalids in Bankya. This was his holiday. We used to visit him on Sundays and that was our holiday. My father was very ill - he suffered from insomnia and couldn't sleep because he had a grenade splinter in his brain. He died from it later, in 1938.