Nissim Kohen’s maternal grandfather Yuda Haravon, grandmother Bohora Haravon, uncle Buko Haravon and his wife Matilda

This is a photo of my maternal grandfather Yuda Haravon and his wife Bohora Haravon, who are sitting. Standing is my uncle Buko Haravon and his wife Matilda. The photo was taken in Kyustendil in 1915 or 1916. My uncle Buko is a solder in the [First] Balkan War (1912-1913) or World War I.

My mother had four brothers - Buko-Aron, Chelebi, Mois and Isak Haravon and two sisters - Sofi Haravon and Victoria Eshkenazi. The eldest one, Buko-Aron Haravon was a shoe merchant. He lived in Sofia and died in 1951. His wife is from Sofia and her name is Matilda. They had two daughters - Liza and Bienvenida, who died in 1944 as a partisan.

My mother's kin comes from Kyustendil. My mother's parents Yuda and Bohora Haravon lived there. I went there every summer when I was a student in the first grades of the Jewish school. My grandfather was a tinsman and my grandmother - a housewife. My mother's kin is very large. She had six brothers - Yosif, Rahamim, Shimon, Nissim, Chelebi and Mois Kohen. What is interesting about them is that my grandmother's parents left as early as the beginning of the 20th century, around 1906-1907 to the blessed land (Palestine at that time) to die there. They left their lands, their children and set off. My mother Sarina Kohen was 8-9 years old then. As far as I know my grandparents have graves in Jerusalem.

There were a lot of Jews in Kyustendil. They had their own synagogue and a community house. My grandparents lived in the Jewish neighborhood, which was around the synagogue. I remember that they lived in a small house, which had a ground floor and another floor. A relative of my grandfather's lived on the ground floor. His name was Manoah, and on the next floor lived my grandfather's family and my uncle Isak Haravon.

My maternal grandfather had two sisters Reyna Elazar and Sara Elazar, who had many children. They both adopted the family name Elazar after they married, but I do not remember if their husbands were relatives. Both sisters were very different. Sara was more talkative and funny and the other one was stricter and more aristocratic. My grandfather was the eldest. He was a silent, but a pleasant man.

Photos from this interviewee