Morduhay Levi with the soldiers during the Balkan War in 1912

These are soldiers who are checking each other for lice during the Balkan War in 1912.

My father Morduhay Levi is the first on the left. I do not know the others. There is no seal of a photographic studio on the back.

There is a stamp of 5 stotinkas and a post seal. Its back is like a postcard. There was a writing in pencil but it has faded and is unreadable.

My father Morduhay Yako Levi (1896 - 1972) graduated high school and was mobilized as an infantryman at the front.

Stela Astrukova’s family

This is my family in the living room of my flat.

The photo was taken in 1985 – 1986. There is nothing on the back of the photo. In the second row standing from left to right are Neli Astrukova, wife of my son Evgeni, I am next to her, next to me is the wife of my other son Emil – Medi.

In the first row from left ro right are my son Evgeni, his daughter Linda and son Yosif.

In the middle is my husband Yosif Astrukov and next to him is Emil’s son – Yosif, my son Emil and his daughter Ines.

Stela Astrukova with her grandchildren

Me and my grandchildren.

I am holding Yosif, who is Evgeni’s son and Ines – Emil’s daughter.

Behind me are Yosif, who is Emil’s son and Linda, who is Evgeni’s daughter. The photo was taken in the living room at home in 1980.

My husband was somewhat insistent that our sons should marry Jewish women.

He believed that Jewish girls had different moral qualities than the others, they were more conservative towards life and values and had a better upbringing.

Stela Astrukova and the welcoming of the partisans on 10th September 1944 in Gorna Dzhumaya

The welcoming of the partisans on 10th September 1944 [The day of the communist takeover in Bulgaria. In September 1944 the Soviet Union declared war on Bulgaria.

On 9th September 1944 the Fatherland Front, a broad left-wing coalition, deposed the government.].

The people had gathered on a square in Gorna Dzhumaya where we had been interned.

I am behind the man with a gun on the right. There is nothing on the back of the photo.

Two days ago I ran away from the Pleven prison. I remember the dress which I was wearing.

Stela Astrukova with Mrs Shulamit Shamir on the Vitosha Mountain

Here I am with Mrs Shamir on Vitosha Mountain. The photo was taken in 1983 – 1984.

On the back of the photo there is an inscription:

‘To Stela as a memory of the visit in Bulgaria Shulamit.’ This is the handwriting of Mrs Shamir. The photo was sent to me by her with an accompanying letter.

We had a positive attitude towards the state of Israel even during the cold war with the country.

We obeyed the official position, but we believed that our government was not right.

Stela Astrukova at the graduation of high school in 1945

A photo of me for the graduation of high school in 1945.

There is nothing on the back of the photo. I cannot remember where it was taken.

I am dressed in my school uniform which was obligatory – black apron with white collar and a monogram of the high school and a ribbon.

We also wore a beret with the sign of the high school

I graduated the classic high school where we studied Latin and Greek, because I wanted to become a doctor.

Stela Astrukova

Sofia, Bulgarien

Stela Astrukova
Interviewer: Svetlana Avdala
Date of interview: March 2006

I do not know this woman, I see her now for the first time.

At first glance – very well-preserved, with delicate and even childlike features. We sit down and we start. In the beginning everything she says seems innocent, especially the parts about her childhood. A discreet smile appears on her lips when she goes back to her memories.


Margarita and her husband Shemuel Kohen

The picture was taken in May 1939 in Zlatni Pyasutsi resort near Varna [a town on the Black Sea coast] at a voyage de plaisir – honeymoon with my husband Sharlo [Shemuel Kohen]. The sea seemed to me very frightening and endless. We traveled by train. We visited some other towns like Vratsa, Belogradchik and we traveled on the Danube by ship. There is neither a stamp on the back of the photo, nor any other inscription.


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