Nina Joseph Natan (nee Perets) and Avram Merkado Natan with their children Beka Avram Natan and Joseph Avram Natan

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My wife Nina Joseph Natan (nee Perets) and I with our children Beka Avram Natan and Joseph Avram Natan in Sofia in 1974.

Our daughter Beka was born on 14th August 1960. My brother's son Merkado was born the same year. Three years later our second children were born - on 28th June 1963 Joze [Josef] waz born, and my brother's son Alfred was born the same year. We raised them - my wife was working as a technician in a laboratory measuring electrical appliances, and I worked as a designer. My wife died in 1976. In 1973 she was operated from breast cancer, she lived three more years, but she had metastases and she died. She was born in 1934. Before she got sick, we went trekking every year (a group of tourists start walking from mountain hostel to another, sleeping in different places and following a fixed route usually in Rila, Pirin or Stara Planina [The Balkan] Mountains). We also brought our children with us.

I did not raise my children in the spirit of Jewish traditions because I did not have the time, especially after my wife died and I had to work, do the shopping, cook and look after them. And since one salary was not enough I started working on innovations. In the evenings when the children were asleep, I was writing and calculating in the kitchen. Then I started making inventions and I had no time educating them in that respect. The times were also different. We did not go to synagogues. Moreover, I am not a religious person. Even when I was a child and I was studying the Tannakh in the Jewish school, I was not interested in it. Now, we follow the traditions, not because we believe in them, but because they are traditions.

My children have degrees in machine engineering. My daughter worked in the Institute at the Plant for Metal Cutting Machines and my son became a technologist in the same plant. When the institute was closed down, my daughter Beka was left unemployed. My son was also laid off. He was offered to be a turner, and he accepted but he could not support his two children with that job and his wife was on a maternal leave. He quit the plant and worked in a private construction company, doing all kinds of work. In the end, he decided to emigrate with his family to Israel. His wife Mariela is a Bulgarian, an accountant. They moved in 1996. They have two children - a boy and a girl. Avram and Maria - pupils. My daughter Beka has a son Albert. She tried to find another job, for a while she worked in some shops. Then she enrolled in university again. She graduated psychology and worked for two years as a psychologist in the kindergarten of the Jewish organization 'Habat'. Now she is no longer working there. She is writing a dissertation in psychology at the Sofia University 'St. Kliment Ohridski' and she teaches classes there. Her husband is a Jew - Maxim Varonov. He is a programmer, a computer expert. Their son also has a degree in computer technology and already has a job.

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Interviewee

Avram Natan

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