Matilda Albuhaire -- A Sephardic Family Story

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Това е първият филм, създаден от спечелилия награди Съюз на българските фотографи, в който разказът започва в Истанбул в далечната 1850 г., за да завърши в София в днешно време. След като дядото на Матилда Албухер загубил жена си решил да се премести в черноморския пристанищен град Бургас - град, изпълнен с гърци, турци, евреи и българи - където отворил собствен дюкян. Матилда станала учителка в еврейските училища в Бургас и София. Когато дошла войната, тя зачакала заедно с другите български евреи за депортирането „в Полша" без да е наясно какво ги очаква там.
Българските евреи обаче не бяха депортирани и затова придружаващият Наръчник съдържа статии и изследвания, описващи този забележителен факт.
След войната повечето български евреи емигрирали в Израел. Матилда останала, като след промените от 1989 г. отново станала активистка на еврейската общност.


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Matilda Albuhaire's ancestors grew up in the late Ottoman Empire. To learn more about the Ottoman Empire, visit this website by the University of Michigan's Turkish Studies Department.




In 1882, Matilda Albuhaire's grandfather moved from Istanbul to Bulgaria. See a map from that year.



The European University Institute, located in Florence, Italy, provides you with extensive online resources on Bulgaria's history.




Matilda was born in 1916, during World War I. The Kingdom of Bulgaria participated in World War I on the side of the Central Powers. Read this country study by the Library of Congress to find out more on the history of Bulgaria's involvement in the war.



A US Holocaust Memorial Museum article on the history of Bulgaria during the Second World War.




A history of the Yellow Badge, which Jews were forced to wear starting in 1938.



Matilda Albuhaire mentions that the deportation of her family had fortunately been cancelled, although the Aegean Jews were taken to Poland. During the war, German-allied Bulgaria did not deport Bulgarian Jews. Dimitar Peshev, the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Bulgaria and Minister of Justice during World War II, prevented the deportation of Bulgaria's Jews. Read a biography of Dimitar Peshev provided by The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation.




Bulgaria did, however, deport non-Bulgarian Jews from the territories it had annexed from Yugoslavia and Greece. See historical footage of the deportation of Jews from Macedonia, which was occupied by Bulgaria during World War Two.

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Matilda Albuhaire spent two years in Sofia during the 1930s. Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, is the heart of the Sephardic Jewish culture in the country. Read a history of Jewish life in Sofia, from The Foundation for the Advancement of Sephardic Studies and Culture.



Read this essay to find out more about the city of Sofia.



An article by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum on Jewish life in Europe before the Holocaust.



A history of Bulgarian Jewry.



An article by Yad Vashem on the Jewish World and the Holocaust.



A Jewish Virtual Library essay on Sephardim.



A history of Jewish life in Bulgaria, from The Foundation for the Advancement of Sephardic Studies and Culture.



Matilda Abulhaire's grandfather prayed regularly in the synagogue, and had a seat in front of the teva. Find out more on the meaning of teva in synagogues, or Sephardic Arks, in this article.



Matilda Albuhaire tells about the activities of the Socialist Zionist Youth Organization Hashomer Hatzair, the Zionist Youth Movement Betar, and Maccabi in her hometown Bourgas.



In the film, Matilda Albuhaire mentions that she staged a Purim play with her class. Purim is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people of the ancient Persian Empire from a plot to annihilate them, as recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther.



A summary of the work by the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) in Bulgaria.



Matilda Albuhaire's grandfather came from Istanbul. You can visit the Chief Rabbinate of Turkey online.



To find out more about Jews in Istanbul, you can read this report on contemporary Jewish life in Istanbul.



If you want to find out more about different epochs of Bulgarian Jewish history, e.g. the post-war period, check out this Jewish Virtual Library website. 


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Read about Matilda Albuhaire's Jewish family life before the war.



Matilda Albuhaire talks about the fate of her family in Bulgaria during the war.




Read an excerpt of Centropa's interview with Matilda Albuhaire where she talks about her life in Bulgaria after the war to the present.



Matilda Albuhaire's story begins in Istanbul, where her grandfather lived in the late Ottoman Empire. A very brief history of this city.




See historic postcards from Istanbul online.



Take a virtual tour to Istanbul with a New York Times travel guide.




Plovdiv, one of Europe's oldest cities and the second-largest city in Bulgaria after Sofia, was the hometown of Matilda's mother. You can take a virtual tour through today's Plovdiv on this website.



A collection of Centropa´s pictures from Bulgaria, showing youth group activities.




Click here to learn more about the Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) language.



The synagogue of Bourgas was turned into an art gallery in communist times. You can find some pictures on their English website and more on their blog, which is available in Bulgarian only.




See a listing of all synagogues in Istanbul.

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