The Kohen family

  • Photo taken in:
    Year when photo was taken:
    Country name at time of photo:
    Bulgaria, 1944-1989
    Country name today:

I, sitting, on the right is my son Sami (Samuil) and my husband Sharlo (Shemuel), on the left is my son Ouri (Solomon). On the back of the photo there’s an inscription: ‘To our beloved children and grandchildren as a souvenir from the stay of Sami in Plovdiv. Papa, mama, Ouri. 9th September 1975.’ The photo was for my son Sami who at that time was already living in Israel. It reflects his stay in Bulgaria. He liked coming back very much and when he visited us he always wanted to eat from ‘mama’s’ pickles and dishes.

Sami was an excellent student at school. He had received excellent marks and certificates. Whenever I was at a parents’ meeting the teacher didn’t miss the opportunity to compliment me that I shouldn’t go there at all. Outside school he was playing the piano and had a tutor in French. He even enrolled in the Musical School but he gave up and dropped out. He enrolled in an ordinary school. My husband, who was a very clever and practical man, used the holidays to teach him how to tune pianos so that he would have a vocation. My biggest desire was for him to study Medicine because that was my unfulfilled dream. (After the high school I wanted to go to Sofia to study for midwife but my mother didn’t agree). Bu he chose his own path – he graduated from the Law Department in Sofia. As an award for his graduation I decided to sponsor his move to Israel. So in 1965 he went to his aunt in Israel and lived there for thirty years. In 1968 he got married there – to a sabra. His wife’s name is Lea. I couldn’t attend the wedding because at that time the relations between Bulgaria and Israel weren’t good and the authorities wouldn’t even let us travel to there. In Israel he had worked as a piano tuner. He has two twin sisters – Margarit and Tamar and a son – Eran – who committed suicide. He returned to Bulgaria in 1993 and now he is unemployed here.

Interview details

Interviewee: Margarita Kohen
Svetlana Avdala
Month of interview:
Year of interview:
Plovdiv, Bulgaria


Margarita Kohen
Year of birth:
City of birth:
Gorna Dzhumaya
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before WW II:
An assistant dental mechanic
after WW II:
Housewife, librarian
Family names
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    Year of changing: 
    Reason for changing: 

Other Person

Shemuel Kohen
Year of birth:
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before WW II:
after WW II:
Planner at ‘Balkan’ State Company and ‘Madara’ State Company

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