My father, Haim Baruhovic, with two unidentified women. The picture was taken in Zagreb in 1925 or 1926 while my father was studying at the university there.
My father's family was of lower social standing than my mother's. They were small-scale merchants in Pristina where they ran their small family-owned shop.
My grandfather knew how to read and write. In his shop they wrote in Hebrew letters and spoke Ladino.
My father's family was mainly looked after by my “Vava,” Pristina Ladino for grandmother, Rahela Baruh (maiden name - Simon).
My grandfather, Moshe Baruh, liked to drink and did not make too much of an effort to look after his large family.
Those responsibilities fell on my Vava. Looking back it seems to me that the women in my family were much more capable than the men: starting with my Vava, then my mother, and now my sister.
Otherwise, the Baruhs were a typical Pristina Sephardic family-- traditional in their religious observances and modest in their means.
My father, Haim (or Mika) Baruh, was born in Pristina in 1898.
He studied medicine and dentistry in Zagreb and in Prague. When he finished his studies he enlisted in the military and became an active officer.
When he joined the military he Serbianized his name. He was not compelled to make this change but felt it would help his career and make life less complicated.
My father knew how to read Hebrew, but he did not understand it. He learned Hebrew in school in Pristina with Rabbi Levi.
At that time, Jewish youth were obligated to go to Jewish school for at least a year or two to learn how to read and write Hebrew.