Josif Kamhi’s family on the Vitosha Mountain
This is a photo of my father Albert Perets Kamhi, my mother Berta Kamhi, nee Koen (third row, in the center of the picture), my brother Perets Kamhi and me. The photo was taken on the Vitosha Mountain. My father is second from left to right in the back row and my brother is standing in front of him with a rucksack on his back. I am third from left in the back row. There are also some friends of my brother, whom we met on the mountain. One of them took the picture. We could not afford to go on vacation. But my father often took us on excursions to Vitosha near Sofia. Once, when we did not have any money, we went on foot from Sofia to Boyana Lawns, a region in Vitosha. The distance is around 10 kilometers. We carried food, spent the whole day there and returned by tram. We really must have been in a bad financial state if we could not afford to go there and come back by tram. When I was a child, I was sent to a nursery in the central Jewish school. We learned songs and games there. In Sofia there were two Jewish schools. One of them was in the center and the other in the Jewish neighborhood in Iuchbunar. I was not very good at foreign languages there. I was not able to learn Ivrit well, neither French, nor any other languages. My brother’s name is Perets Kamhi. He also went to the Jewish school. When he graduated from the 7th Men’s High School, he started working in a foundry producing door handles. Then he was mobilized to a labor camp in 1942. I do not know the exact place where he worked, but I know that he built roads. He had to break down large stones into gravel, with which the roads were covered. The work was very hard. After that my brother was interned with us to Kyustendil. In Kyustendil he was also obliged to do hard labor for free. He did the same job – digging gravel for road construction. My brother was a UYW member in Sofia and he contacted his friends from the capital. Some months later he decided to escape and he became a partisan in the squad of Slavcho Transki.