Samuil Kohen’s wedding

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My son Sami’s [Samuil] wedding in the town of Rehovot in Israel in 1968. At that time I was in Bulgaria because the authorities didn’t let me leave for Israel because of the official Bulgarian policy towards Israel. There is neither a stamp on the back of the photo, nor any other inscription.

My son Samuil Kohen was born in 1940 on my mother’s insistence. We didn’t yet want children at that time but she had written in a letter to my sister that I had to give birth because anything could happen. She used to even come to our house to dare me to get pregnant. ‘Marga, how is the family, dear?’ She was asking about this and that. ‘I’m fine, mama.’ ‘Do you know that there are a lot of childless families? A lot of them bathe in the warm waters.’ And she described the situation to me. ‘And what about you?’ ‘Mama, I say, I’m still very tired of all the arrangements around the wedding, let us have some rest...’ ‘Come on, if you have a child, you’ll have a rest afterwards...’ After that when my son was born in 1940 mum used to help us a lot in his bringing up.

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
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Plovdiv, Bulgaria


Samuil Kohen
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after WW II:
Piano stringer

Other Person

Lea Kohen

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