Zelma and Yako Katalan and their two daughters Ernesta and Marga

Zelma and Yako Katalan and their two daughters Ernesta and Marga

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This photo shows my maternal grandmother Zelma Katalan, next to her is her husband Yako Katalan, between them is Aunt Marga and my mother Ernesta is standing. The photo was taken in a park on a bench but I don’t know where. It was probably taken in Plovdiv in the 1910s. There is no inscription or seal of a photographic studio. Its back is designed like a postcard.  My grandmother Zelma Katalan Natan was born in Plovdiv. She was a small woman who wore her hair in a bun. She was a very energetic and jolly woman, although she became a widow early on, as did my other grandmother. She would also give me cereals and sweets and she never told me what to do. She was often sick; she had heart problems. My grandmother’s heart pressure often increased. When I was a child, I didn’t know that her blood pressure was the cause of her heart attacks. My grandfather Yako Katalan was born in Plovdiv too. I don’t know what he graduated in and what education he had, but he was a bank director. I don’t know the name of the bank he was in charge of. Their family was wealthy and they could afford to give their children a good education. They had four children – my uncles Isak and David Katalan, who graduated in law in Strasbourg, and their two sisters: my mother Ernesta, who studied at the French College in Ruse, but didn’t graduate, and Marga, who has a secondary education. Their house was nice and large and it was also an example of their wealth. It was on Svetoslav Street and had a very nice garden. Later they sold a big part of it and the yard got very small. Yes, the house was large and the attic floor was also suitable for living in. When I was young, Uncle Isak, Uncle David and Aunt Marga were still single. Uncle Isak got married in 1942 to Vizurka from Dupnitsa and they moved to Sofia. In 1946 Uncle David married Veneziya Sarafova and Aunt Marga married Mordehay Natan.
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Interviewee

Sarina Chelibakova