Roza Benveniste with her parents, Flora and Vidal Cohen

Roza Benveniste with her parents, Flora and Vidal Cohen

This photograph was taken in Thessaloniki in 1929. Here you can see me with my parents, Flora and Vidal Cohen.

My mother didn't know Greek, we taught her the language. She had lived  in Paris for a long time. She knew French very well and used to wear long green dresses. My father had gone to Paris to learn couture for men’s and women’s clothes. At some point he returned to settle in Thessaloniki. My mother had come back from Paris with a European style. They met at a dance. My mother was wearing one of her long dresses. When my father saw her he was very impressed. My father was a quite short, while my mother was a stunningly beautiful woman.

My mother used to read a lot, but my father didn’t have much time for reading. She read mainly literature and newspapers, in French and Spanish; she was able to read Greek only later.

My father owned a shop called ‘Com fete’ that sold clothes and trench coats. The shop used to have the nickname ‘The Trench Coat Source.’ My father was a very difficult man. He was very strict. He wanted the towels to be very well ironed, and if they weren’t he would say, ‘What is this?’ in an angry manner.

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