Sophie Pinkas in the Jewish school in Vidin

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This photo was taken in the Jewish school in Vidin in 1932. This was our alumni, and we were all Jews. Photos were usually taken at the end of the year. The man sitting in the middle is Adoni [mister in Ivrit] Koen - the school headmaster. He taught us Ivrit. He was a very strict teacher and the children treated him with much respect. Next sitting to him is Giveret [miss in Ivrit] Buka. She taught us all subjects. The other teacher I remember, but who is not on the picture is Adoni Bito, who also taught Ivrit, but he wasn?t so strict. There were also two or three women teachers. I remember most vividly Giveret Ernesta, who taught us Bulgarian. She was a very pretty, plump woman, always smiling and kind to the children. I liked her a lot and long after I left Vidin when we returned from time to time I always visited her. The other teacher was Giveret Buka, who taught us maths. As most school curriculums in the country, ours included reading, writing and maths; we called it 'calculation'. On the picture I am in the middle, the girl, who holds the board, on which 'Kita Bet? [Ivrit for second grade] is written. I was good friends with Ester Panova, nee Moshe, who is second from right to left. We continued our friendship in high school, but she married, graduated in geography from university and became a teacher in Kjustendil. The Jewish school was a two-storied house. There were four rooms and an office used as a teachers' room on the first floor. There was an inner wooden staircase to the second floor where there were other classrooms. In fact, I can remember five classrooms. There was also a yard. We studied Ivrit - reading, writing, I don?t remember if we studied history, maybe some basic things. From the school subjects I preferred reading; I liked poems. Only Jews studied in that school. It was a Jewish municipal school, supported by the consistory. Bulgarians had other schools. Even in Kaleto, the Jewish quarter in Vidin, there was a Bulgarian school where some Jews also studied. They came to our school for the Sunday classes in Ivrit. My brother Avram also studied in the Jewish school in his first four grades.

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Interviewee

Sophie Pinkas