Sarina Sabitai with friends

This is a photo of my mother (center) with girl friends in Sofia in 1935. They are dressed in Bulgarian folk costumes, which were most probably lent to them by the photo studio itself. At that time my mother's family had four children and we lived in the new house, built by my father after 1928. My mother's parents, Shabat and Rebecca, came from the town of Berkovtsa. My mother became orphan at a very early age - her mother died when she was 5 or 6. I don't even know my grandparents' family name. Her father remarried, but his second wife was a nasty woman who treated my mother very badly. From her father's second marriage she had five stepbrothers and stepsisters. Being a child herself - she helped to look after them and took on too much - she became a hunchback as a result of the heavy work. Our family was comparatively well off because my father had succeeded in changing his fortune through his work as a tinsmith and plumber, and had even managed to open a scrap warehouse. The house he had built was at the corner of Pernik and Positano and for that time, it was one of the best in the quarter. It had two rooms, kitchen and a toilet inside, which was a great rarity at that time. We had hot water from a coal-heated boiler, too, which my father, being a very skilled craftsman, had connected to the stove. Four children were born in that house - one boy and three girls (including me). All the children used to sleep in the same room. My parents occupied the smaller room. We grew up in such conditions.