Margarita Kohen with her friends Meriam and Debora

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.

Margarita Kohen with a group of girls from Hashomer Hatzair

I with a group of girls from Hashomer Hatzair. There were some boys in the group but they are not in the picture. In the first row from right to left are Meriam, Mani, over them are Hana, Sofi, Rashka. And from the town of Ruse – Debora, Zelma, Margi. Most of them are with plaits because schoolgirls weren’t allowed to have short hair. Only Shoulamid and Sofi are with short hair because they were workers. There is an inscription in ink at the bottom: 1934. We are wearing uniforms that we were sewing ourselves at home.

Margarita Kohen with her friend from Hashomer Hatzair

I with my friend from Hashomer Hatzair, Sari. I am the first on the right, next to me is Sari and the others are her cousins from Ruse in the garden of their house. There is an inscription on the back: ‘As a souvenir to my dear Sari.’ The date was written in front – 1932. There is no stamp of a photo shop. The photo was taken during a conference of Hashomer Hatzair in Ruse. We were put up in the houses of members of the organization in Ruse. I was accommodated in Sari’s home.

Margarita Kohen in the orphanage in Sofia

A photo from the orphanage in Sofia. It was taken on 1st March 1929. There is neither a stamp on the back of the photo, nor any other inscription. I am the fourth in the last row from right to left. Our teachers are also in the picture – the principal Mrs Basan, on the left is Mrs. Douda – the housekeeper and Miss Roza who was a tutor. In the top row is the cook whose name I can’t remember and I can’t remember the names of my classmates. But we were good friends.

The Kohen family

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.

Margarita Kohen between two neighbors

I between two neighbors of ours. I don’t remember their names. My mother was in the photo too but she cut her part of the picture to put it on some documents. There is neither a stamp on the back of the photo, nor any other inscription. It was taken on Bounardzhika [Hill] in Plovdiv in 1932. On the hill there was always a photographer who was taking pictures. We were living in poverty but my mother was a strong woman who managed to deal with all difficulties and taught us to do the same.


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