Margarita Kohen with her friends Meriam and Debora

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  • Photo taken in:
    Plovdiv
    Year when photo was taken:
    1932
    Country name at time of photo:
    Bulgaria, 1878-1944
    Country name today:
    Bulgaria

I with two friends of mine. Meriam is on the left, Debora – on the right. I am at the top. The three of us were members of Hashomer Hatzair and were studying at high school together. But they both left school to learn crafts because they prepared to live in a kibbutz and to leave for Israel. Meriam became a seamstress and Debora – a shoemaker. I asked mum to send me to Sofia to become a midwife but she refused because she wanted me to be near her. My two friends left for Israel in 1948. The date was written in ink at the bottom: 1st October 1932, Plovdiv.

We were particularly close with Meriam. I remember that when my brother caught typhus in 1932 I lived at her place for six months. We were together all the time, we were going to school. Meriam left for Israel and I visited her just before her death. Debora on the other hand was living on Bounardzhika Hill [in Plovdiv]. I used to go to her house and call her, she showed on the window and I remained downstairs. So we used the Morse code to talk. She left for Israel too but I can’t say what happened to her. We didn’t keep in touch.

It was a habit of ours after the activities to walk home with my friend Meriam. And one and the same young man was accompanying us every time. ‘I’ll take you home, I’ll walk home with you.’ Meriam and I were wondering who he was actually interested in – me or her. It turned out it was me… And little by little a friendship began that continued for two or three years. In the end when we turned 19 the people started asking: ‘Haven’t you got engaged?’ And one day I decided to ask him: ‘Tell me what I should tell them. Should I go on accepting their congratulations or not?’ He only told me: ‘Well, now… my sister is at home.’ And when I heard that I put an end – that was it.

There is neither a stamp on the back of the photo, nor any other inscription.

Interview details

Interviewee: Margarita Kohen
Interviewer:
Svetlana Avdala
Month of interview:
March
Year of interview:
2006
Plovdiv, Bulgaria

KEY PERSON

Margarita Kohen
Year of birth:
1917
City of birth:
Gorna Dzhumaya
Country name at time of birth:
Bulgaria
Occupation
before WW II:
An assistant dental mechanic
after WW II:
Housewife, librarian
Family names
  • Previous family name: 
    Selanikyo
    Year of changing: 
    1939
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage

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