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Reine Behar walks down a commercial street in Sofia holding her father's hand.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 93680

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    Reine Behar walks down a commercial street in Sofia holding her father's hand.
    Reine Behar walks down a commercial street in Sofia holding her father's hand.

Her mother and grandfather are behind her.


    Reine Behar walks down a commercial street in Sofia holding her father's hand.

    Her mother and grandfather are behind her.
    Sofia, Bulgaria
    Variant Locale
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Reni Yulzari

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Reni Yulzari

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Reine Yulzari (born Reine Behar) is the daughter of Rachamin (b. 1893/4 Plovdiv) Bulgaria and Rachel Cohen (b. 1898 in Samokov). She was born on August 31, 1931. Reine's father had a large perfume store, (Perfumeria Princessa) in the best street in Sofia as well as another smaller perfume store. Her parents were married in 1929. The family was assimilated Jews but celebrated the Jewish holidays. Reine attended public school. They lived in a large house with a garden which belonged to her grandfather that was divided into several apartments for themselves and various aunts and uncles. Her grandfather had been the President of the Jewish community in Samakov. When the Germans entered Sofia in 1940, Rachamin was given three months to give up sell his store or put it in someone else's name. He lost 23 kilos once he learned that he had to sell the store. After someone bought the business, he asked Reine's father to manage it for a period of 4-5 months while he learned the business. Afterwards he fired him.

    In 1943 the family was forced to leave Sofia for the countryside. They were sent to Haskovo and had to travel thru Plodiv to get there where Reine's aunt lived. Her grandfather who was traveling with them hoped to see his daughter at the train station, but the police would not allow them to meet. He only saw her from far and he was heartbroken.

    In Haskovo they installed in the women's balcony of a synagogue together with 14 or 15 families. There was one bathroom downstairs. The family slept in a corner on one mattress; Reine's grandfather was given a bed. Since Reine's father had money, he was able to buy food. There was a communal kitchen set up by the Joint. They remained in the synagogue for about 6 weeks, and then they found a room to rent in a house of a Jew who had immigrated to Palestine. Reine's grandfather managed to receive permission to move to Plovdiv to stay with his daughter. Reine attended a Jewish school that had been set up, and all subjects were taught in Hebrew. The family had to wear the Jewish star at all times. They could go out only between 10:00-12:00pm. In order to keep themselves occupied, Reine's father found some work for the family pasting envelopes together.

    After the Russians liberated them in 1945, they returned to Sofia. However, they could not return to their own home and instead lived in the clinic of an uncle who was a doctor. They remained there until 1948. Reine's father returned to the person who had taken over his store and asked him if he was interested in a partnership. He refused the offer. He then told him he would open a store on the same street which he rented from a communist. It was near his former store, and he named it "The Old Princess" store. The other man turned his store into a grocery. Everyone who knew Reine's father came to the store bearing presents. Reine joined the Hashomer Hatzair youth movement. All of the members were imbued with the idea of building Palestine. In 1948 Reine left Sofia via Yugoslavia (Baka) by train where she waited to board a ship. They were on their way for 19 days sleeping on shelves. When the 1,100 passengers arrived in Palestine, the British deported them to Cyprus. After two months they returned to Palestine prior to the declaration of the State of Israel. Reine went to Kibbutz Mishmar HaEmek where she stayed for one year. After her parents moved to Israel in 1949, she joined them and settled in Jaffa.
    Record last modified:
    2010-10-28 00:00:00
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