This is the wedding photo of my mother and father, Ernesta and Victor Molho. The year is 1932. It was taken in a studio. There is no inscription on the back but there is a seal of Photo Stamenov – Plovdiv. The back is designed like a postcard.
My mother, Ernesta Yako Molho, nee Katalan, was a very ambitious woman. She was the decision-maker at home. It was her idea to live separately from our grandparents, who lived in a working-class neighborhood. One of the reasons was that she came from a more aristocratic neighborhood.
She married my father when she was 19 years old. Most probably the marriage was arranged by their parents. She never told me anything about her relationship with my father before they got married. My father’s family was also fairly well-off. My father was eleven years older than my mother. It was a big wedding, much talked about in Plovdiv. It was conducted in line with all the Jewish rituals and preceded by a one-year engagement. They married on 16th August 1932. I have pictures of it.
My mother’s ambition showed in everything she did. She was a perfect housewife, who kept the house tidy and clean; she knitted, sewed, made wonderful desserts and dishes. She also wanted us to rise in society. We were educated not to stand out from the crowd, rather to do the same as everyone else, but to do it better. That’s why we didn’t speak Ladino at home, only Bulgarian. She didn’t allow us to go to the Jewish school, which she disapproved of. She enrolled us in the elite junior high school ‘Kiril and Methodii’ and then we graduated from the elite junior high school ‘Carnegie’, which my aunts and uncles had gone to.
My mother was also an avid Zionist. She was a secretary for WIZO. She was a very dedicated Zionist. She said she would never allow us to marry Bulgarians, although my brother had a Bulgarian girlfriend.