This is a photo of my family. In the front row sitting are my mother Ernesta and my father Victor Molho. Behind them is my brother Josef Molho and I, Sarina. It was taken in a studio. My brother and I were still students. There is a seal of the photographic studio Mezan – Plovdiv, and a date, 17th February 1949.
My father, Victor Yosif Molho, was a gentle and compliant man, who was used to being silent and leaving the decision-making to my mother. He was a very serious man. When he had problems, he didn’t talk to anybody. I would know that ‘papa is angry’ if I saw him silently climbing the staircase to our house, because he would usually whistle or sing. Although he wasn’t authoritative, he insisted on the patriarchal way of life. We always sat together at lunch and at dinner.
He worked in the ‘Phoenix’ Insurance Company, although he had graduated from a teaching college. He didn’t have fixed working hours. We would always wait for him to sit at the table. He liked to say, ‘While I am head of this family, we will all dine together.’ So I always had to be at the table at eight thirty in the evening. Dinner was always served on a white starched tablecloth with a piece of embroidery put over it.
Our family observed some Jewish traditions. My mother didn’t allow pork to be brought home, but our food wasn’t kosher. There was a tradition in her family that if you wanted to eat a sausage for example, you could buy it and eat it outside. My father’s family also forbade pork. I was raised as a Jew although I went to a Bulgarian school. My brother had a brit on his eighth day in Dr. Araf’s private Jewish hospital which was located on the central square in Plovdiv, where the post office is nowadays.