Haim Pando and Mois Benaroy with their grandsons, Mois Benaroy and Milen Benaroy

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    Bulgaria, 1944-1989
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The two grandfathers – my husband Haim and Mois (on the left) - my daughter’s father-in-law. They are together with their grandchildren on the balcony in our flat in Plovdiv. The year was 1984. Haim is holding Mois who is three months old (our grandson) while Mois (my daughter’s father-in-law) is hugging Milen – their older son Borko Benaroy’s child. There is neither a stamp of a photo studio, nor any other inscription on the back of the photo.

My daughter Stela finished high school and started work in the trade system. She finished a course for sales consultants. At first she was a shop assistant for 6 or 7 months and then she became a cashier at big store. She worked there for more than a year… What happened afterwards? Her wedding was also interesting and indicative of how sometimes things follow a certain destiny. As I have told you with Milka nee Godzes, Benaroy by marriage, we had been friends since childhood. My Stela was friends (when visiting her grandparents in Yambol) with her son – Itsko [diminutive from Isak] – the boy part of whose flesh I had taken after the brit. When they were young children they were fighting and quarrelling all the time. He used to pull her plaits. Later, when they grew up, they didn’t keep in touch because we lived in Plovdiv most of the time. We returned to Yambol from time to time. Afterwards, Itsko went to Varna to study economics, he came back to Yambol to study for some exams and they met again, but as grown-up people. Stela was finishing school and had gone to visit her aunt. They started flirting, wooing. They were writing letters and in a year, a year and a half they decided to get married in 1983.

The wedding took place in the hall in the registry office. Stela was a real bride, all in white, unlike me. At my time it wasn’t fashionable for the brides to look like that. After that the reception was in the Jewish club. It was a magnificent wedding. We prepared everything with Milka, a lot of people came. About fifteen people had come from Plovdiv. It was very nice, we had lots of fun. They live in Yambol now. Even now when we get together with the young people and the in-laws Milka starts joking – ‘Stela is our girl from the very beginning. Don’t forget that she was concepted because of Itsko’s weewee’ and I reply: ‘Itsko is our boy – it was we who took his weewee…’ Stela worked for about ten years for the heating company in Yambol. Now she assists her husband. He makes furniture on commission. She stays in the office and takes the orders. My first grandson Mois was born in 1984. Now he is a student in Plovdiv and lives with us. Their daughter Alberta – Betti – was born in 1989. She is a student and lives in Yambol.

Interview details

Interviewee: Berta Pando
Svetlana Avdala
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Plovdiv, Bulgaria


Haim Pando
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before WW II:
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Mois Benaroy
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