Photo taken in:IstanbulYear when photo was taken:1927Country name at time of photo:TurkeyCountry name today:Turkey
This is the first photo that my mother and father had taken right after they were married. My mother was very coquettish, always careful with the way she dressed.
My mother Fortune Mazalto Baruh, was educated in Istanbul after finishing primary school in Edirne. She received her diploma, from Alliance Israelite Universelle, called "Grand Brevet" [the big diploma]. My father had a colleague named Monsieur Seni, at the bank. Monsiuer Seni thought my father Josef Baruh and my mother Fortune Mitrani would be well-suited for each other. My mother got married and settled down in Ortakoy, when the families consented to this marriage. My mother never flirted with my father. My mother felt very happy when my daughter had a son, and dedicated herself to him. She would express her love by saying " I didn't know what love meant until I fell in love with Meyir (the name of my daughter's son).
My father Josef Baruh's name was Yasef Mishon Baruh. [in his documents] He was born in 1902, and died in 1982. He belonged to a part in the society of the time, which could have been regarded as being intellectual. He was educated in Saint Joseph. [A French catholic high school] My father worked at an Italian bank called Banco di Roma [Bank of Rome], and didn't do any other work in his life. Josef Baruh would go to work carrying a walking stick, and wearing a derby on his head, and "getr" on his socks. [In Turkish this is an ornamental chain worn on the upper part of the socks]. My mother did not like him carrying the walking stick at all. She said that this made him look old. Josef Baruh paid and served in the military for a shorter period of time. He worked as a cleaner at a Military Hospital during his military service. I remember my father as a literary man with a beautiful handwriting.
The wedding took place in the synagogue in Ortakoy one Friday during the spring months of the year 1928. (my mother never knew the exact date, she would only say that the weather was warm). There was a special excitement about weddings on Fridays. Everything had to be finished before the Shabat [shabbath], and they had to be home on Friday evening. They didn't have any photographs taken after the wedding in order not to violate the Shabat. That is why my mother doesn't have a picture of herself with her wedding gown on. According to what my mother says, they went to a hotel in Yenikoy to spend their honeymoon. They rented one room for themselves, and one room for my grandmother. My mother has never forgotten this event and she still hasn't forgiven her mother-in-law for it. How funny it seems today, a mother-in-law going on the honeymoon with the newly-wed couple.
Actually, my mother spent very nice days in Ortakoy. But she was a woman who was never quite satisfied with her own circumstances. I guess she was a litle bit ambitious, while my father was a very calm man in return. Though my mother always says, that her mother-in-law had ordered her to work, I always remember my grandmother doing the work. My mother was a very affectionate person, but she showed her affection only to the ones whom she loved. She was cold towards the others. She didn't like being friends with everyone. Those she loved, she loved with all her heart, and wouldn't hesitate to make any sacrifices for them. She was never able to get over my father being diagnosed with the Parkinson disease, and said that this disease affected her life very much. She was very skilled at cooking. But she wasn't open to innovations. For this reason, in a good menu, there had to be "borekas" [Sephardic pastry filled with different kinds of fillings, either sweet or salty, like cheese, eggplants, potatoes or walnuts], not crepe. But in return she was very open-minded. She had both welcomed my son's and my daughter's flirts very nicely, and provided them with comfort at home so that they would come and go without any hesitation. She said that she did this in the name of getting to know them better. But she couldn't keep herself from asking each time "de quelle famille il/ elle est" meaning "which family is she/he from". She liked getting dressed very much. She dyed her hair till six months before her death. She always had her manicure and pedicure done. She died in the year of 1992.