Nisim Navon's cousin Jakov Navon poses with accordion and toy horse

This is my cousin Jakov Navon in our grandparents' house in Pristina before World War Two. I remember these two toys from our home.

Three families lived together in the same house: My grandparents Jakov and Rahela, my parents and I and my sister, and my father's brother Jeshua with his wife Sarina and three children, Jakov, Rahela and Netika. It was a one-story house, built of mixed materials. It had four rooms, a hall, and a courtyard. Our paternal grandparents, Jakov and Rahela (nee Asael) Navon, and their home were the center of family life for me and my sister Rukula, as well as for our extended family. As a young child I spent more time in the company of my grandparents than my parents.

In the years leading up to the war, our family was moderately prosperous, living a modest but comfortable life. We had three houses close to each other in the center of Pristina. Before the war, there was generally no electricity nor running water and people did not have cars. I remember an army general stationed there who had a military vehicle which caused a great deal of interest among the residents of the town. We had electricity introduced in our house in 1931, when I was 10. A businessman from Leskovac built a small electrical power station and each house in Pristina got one electric bulb. It hardly changed our lives, as we didn't have any houseware that used electricity. Nevertheless, there were a lot of us in the house (my mother and father, my sister and me, my uncle with his wife and two children, another uncle with his wife and my grandparents), so I had to study at night. Until we got electricity I used the light of a petroleum lamp.

After the war Jakov, his parents and siblings made aliya, and Jakov died in Holon, Israel in 1999.