Matilda Ninyo’s husband Isak Ninyo in the Jewish school

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These are the classmates of my husband in the Jewish school. The picture was taken in Sofia in the early 1930s.

In the first row the fifth girl on the left is Shely Beraha, she used to be a very good friend of mine. My husband is in the middle of the last raw. On the farthest left is Nissim Koen, we still have a very nice friendship.

All the children on the picture come from very poor families. However all of them had good education after 9th September 1944 [the day of the communist takeover in Bulgaria]. Despite the common opinion about this date, I think that was a change which gave many young people a good opportunity for education. Otherwise, they would have never been able to go to school and university. Shely was a clever girl, she graduated from the evening high school. She was very keen on literature, but it happened so that she couldn't continue her education. She passed away. Unfortunately, many of the children on the picture are already dead.

I was a little girl when my family left Karnobat. I was born in 1928. We moved to Sofia in 1933 or 1934, soon after my father's death. I returned to Karnobat only once when I was still at the high school in Sofia. We didn't live in the Jewish quarter in Sofia. I don't know the precise reason, but I suppose my mother didn't like it there. Many poor people lived in the Jewish quarter called Iuchbunar. There was a great poverty in the Jewish quarter. Of course, there were some very nice people who lived there. My maternal grandmother's brothers lived there: Aron and Vitali Baly, as well as their sister Doreta.

I started school after we moved to Sofia. I attended a school on Tsar Simeon Str., which was near the central open market of the city. It was called ‘Simcha’. It was a secondary school. When I finished it I moved to the high school called ‘Antim I’. A year before graduation we were interned and I couldn't graduate. I didn't study at a Jewish school, because we didn't live in the Jewish quarter. This school was a far cry from home and no one was able to take me there and then see me back home. It was entirely my mother's decision not to attend a Jewish school.

Photo details

Interviewee

Matilda Ninyo