Golden years

My younger brother found old slides in my mother’s apartment, I took them to be digitalized a few weeks ago in a store near me and today picked up the end result on a USB stick. What a little treasure it turned out to be! Memories of the golden years of my childhood came rushing back to me when I looked at the pictures, most of which were new to me.

The pictures of my childhood home brought out such warm feelings. This following picture was taken from the side of our house. We lived downstairs and there were two small, separate apartments upstairs that were rented to other people. The laundry you see drying must have been from our upstairs neighbour. I remember little of her (she moved away halfway through my childhood), I just remember she was an old lady called Frau Barur who liked to eat flowers and she scared me a bit. I remember she showed us pictures of herself as a dancer before the war, I think she was of Hungarian origin but not sure about that. She was also an Auschwitz survivor, I remember the number tattoo on her arm.

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The back of our house looked like this (you can see where the stairs are leading up to the upstairs apartment). We used to play on that little wall under the window. That used to be my bedroom that I shared with my older sister, I later moved to another bedroom. This picture was taken before I was born, though.

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In this next picture my older siblings are seated to the left of that back door to the garden and underneath the window that in later years would be the room I shared with my younger brother and sister. This looks like it was taken in the summer of 1968.

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We looked out over the valley from that side of the house and I used to adore looking at that view, at the houses below us and the rocks and trees and tiny buildings across the valley. I love that there’s a picture of that view in these slides. It’s also the view I remember seeing from my second bedroom at that side of the house. Between the trees, at the other side of the valley, the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum is located. I remember looking toward those trees, trying to make out the museum and really wanting to visit it. My parents never let me, though, as they thought I was too young for that (we lived there until I was 10). I finally did visit Yad Vashem years later.

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Another picture taken at the end of the 1970s (I think, going by how big my younger brother and sister are here) shows how our back garden matured. We used to love to play there.

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The pictures also include a few with my oldest brother before he died at age 7 from an accident in March of 1969 (a year before I was born). This is him at the back of the house…

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… and planting trees (I think) with my father, my grandfather and other people I don’t know. That blue Renault was ours. I think I have a flash of a memory of it, but not sure whether it’s a real memory or just a memory connected to seeing pictures of it. In my mind it was a darker blue, though. I think these pictures were also taken during the summer of 1968.

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Speaking of my grandfather, there are also pictures of him and my grandmother. I barely remember my grandfather, he died when I was 4, but I do remember feeling a great warmth for him. This picture of him, taken somewhere in the Old City of Jerusalem, may be one of my fave pictures that I know of him! I have no idea who those kids are.

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I also very much like this one of my grandmother relaxing. I think it was taken in the gardens of the nearby convent which had a guesthouse. My grandparents stayed there when they visited. Our house also belonged to that convent, we hired our house from the kind and fun nuns who lived there.

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I think I even know the exact spot where this following picture of my grandfather was taken, right outside the convent’s guesthouse.

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The official entrance to the convent looked like this. The man in the picture is my grandfather, I don’t know who the lady is.

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There are also a few pictures from inside the house. We used to have an old olive press right in the middle of our living room. This picture was taken after my brother died and before my mother’s pregnancy with me showed, I think it must be fall of 1969 going by the sweaters everyone is wearing. The curtains behind the olive press lead to the door to our back garden.

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The next few pictures were taken during Christmas of (I think) 1976 when I was 6 years young. I’m the little blonde girl. We had a load of guests that year and were singing all kinds of Christmas carols. The first picture is of me and my brother performing a song, probably “Little Donkey” which is the only thing I ever remember performing with him.

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There were also some lovely pictures of my dad. In the second picture of all the clergy coming out of the church, my dad is the man in the middle (dressed in black). The third picture is typical of how my dad used to gesticulate when he spoke, I love that picture.

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Last, but not least, when my parents were engaged in 1959-1960 they went to Israel for a year (before moving there again in 1967). My dad was studying at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem for a year and my mother worked as a librarian in Tiberias at the ‘Scots Hospice’. They used to visit each other during weekends. This picture was of them during that time…

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The final picture I want to share here is of my mother and some sheep. Somehow this picture has a “the hills are alive with the sound of music” vibe to me. Going by the fact that my mother is wearing the same outfit as in the picture above, I think this may be outside Tiberias.

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There are of course more pictures (79 in total!) but these really were my favourites. It’s been so much fun discovering them.

19 thoughts on “Golden years

  1. Mezz

    What lovely memories!
    Old photos can be so easily lost, thank goodness technology means we can get those on slides transferred to a memory stick. I did the same thing a few years back with my parents’ boxes of slides, it was a lot of fun sorting through them. They have lasted a lot better than photos from the 70’s that were put into albums with “sticky” clear film to protect them but which in fact turned them brown.😕

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mezz same thing happened with my mums pictures. My brother tried for years to get my mum to give the pictures to him to transfer to memory stick and she wouldn’t part with them

      Like

        1. Her pictures are very similar to yours here and many of her relatives and her parents before WW2 broke out are there
          I think my brother had good intentions but my mum thought they would get damaged or destroyed and her memories are built in those pictures

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Isn’t it wonderful how photography works as a trigger for memories? To me that is the greatest practical benefit of photography, and in that sense I am very glad that we nowadays have built-in cameras in our phones and take more photos than ever. But this must have been a wonderful trip down memory lane for all your family! Thanks for sharing it with us!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful memories, thank you for sharing them with the rest of us! It must have been such a big difference, growing up in Israel and the Netherlands. The culture, the climate … 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it was a huge difference. Before I moved to the Netherlands we first moved to Germany. I lived there for 6 years. Moving from just outside Jerusalem (we lived just outside but I went to school in Jerusalem) to a little village in the middle of then Western Germany was a huge adjustment and I found that quite difficult for a long time. Adjusting from Germany to The Netherlands was much easier.

      I once blogged about visiting my childhood home in case you’re curious: https://bookesther.wordpress.com/2017/02/08/and-it-was-all-yellow/

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Servetus

    Can’t believe this post is two weeks ago already — life’s been a blur. Anyway, I really enjoyed seeing these photos of you and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Nostalgia – The Book of Esther

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