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Yafa Beni on Klementina Str. in Sofia

On the photo first from left to right is my grandmother Yafa Beni – mother of my mother Matilda with relatives.

The photo was taken on Klementina Str. in 1945 – 1946.

I remember my maternal grandmother Yafa Sabat Beni (1880-1953) because I often visited her.

She lived on 35 Sredna Gora Str. in a house built by my grandfather Mois Sabat Beni (1878 - 1908), which was later extended by my uncles when they got rich.

Stela Astrukova with her sons Evgeni and Emil

A picture of me with the twins – my sons – from left to right – Evgeni and Emil.

It was made in 1949 – 1950. There is nothing on the back of the photo. It was taken in a studio.

I dressed my sons in the same way because they were twins but later I decided that it had been a mistake because they separated from each other with much difficulty. I did not want them to envy each other.

If one of them tore his shoe, I bought new shoes to both of them.

Matilda Levi (nee Beni) and Morduhay Levi

On the photo are my mother Matilda Levi (nee Beni) and my father Morduhay Levi.

It was taken in 1959 – 1960 in a studio. There is a seal of the studio on the back of the photo – HUD. KINO – Photographer …. [illegible] Sofia, 14 Gr. Ignatiev Str.

My mother was very beautiful and had a lean figure.

The son of the owner of one of the houses, in which she sewed, fell in love with her and they engaged.

Stela Astrukova

A picture of me at work in District Hospital – Sofia.

It was taken in 1974. I am 50 years old. There is nothing on the back of the photo.

It was made on the occasion of a laudatory article about me by Friz Oliver in the newspaper ‘Sofiiska Pravda’ [Sofia Justice].

In 1951 I graduated medicine with the second highest marks. I was a mother of two children [the twins Evgeni and Emil] at that time.

That was why I was not sent to work in the countryside and had the right to choose my workplace.

Azarya Levi

This is the brother of my father Morduhay Levi. His name is Azarya Levi and he is named after his grandfather.

The photo was taken between 1910 and 1915. There is nothing on the back of the photo.

Most probably it was made in a studio. He died during WWI on the Dobrudzha Front.

He died at 27–28 of age. Before he went to war he was engaged. My father said that he was always very neatly dressed.

The welcoming ceremony of Mrs Shulamit Shamir in the Jewish Home

The welcoming ceremony of Mrs Shamir in the Jewish Home.

The year is 1983 – 1984. There is not seal of a studio on the back of the photo or any other writing.

On the photo you can see the leadership of the Jewish Home from left to right:

Lili Ashkenazi – secretary, Miko Semo – member of the board, Beti Danon, Solomon Leviev, David Benvenisti – editor of the Annual Book, Rut Shaul from the Israeli delegation, Mrs Shamir, above her is my husband Yosif Astrukov.

Morduhay Levi and his brother Azarya Levi

My father Morduhay Levi on the left and his brother Azarya Levi. The photo was taken in 1915 – 1916. There is nothing on the back of the photo.

My brother was mobilized but was still at home and his brother Azarya had received a medal of valor and was on leave. During the leave they made this photo.

That was the last time the two brothers saw each other because Azarya died on the Dobrudzha Front.

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

Morduhay Levi during WWI

The unit of my father during WWI. My father Morduhay Levi is sitting somewhere in the middle.

It was taken between 1915 and 1918. There is nothing on the back of the photo.

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

A year after that he was captured during an attack. He said that it was the most horrible massacre that had taken place during World War I.

The soldiers ran with the bayonets forward and butchered each other.

The founders of the Jewish mutual aid association in Sofia

This is a photo of the founders of the Jewish mutual aid association in Sofia in 1907.

In the first row on the left is sitting the brother of my father Azarya. The others are unknown to me.

There is a seal of a studio on the back – ‘atelie fotografia na Naum Bardalov’ [photographic atelier of Naum Bardalov].

There is a writing in black ink ‘a memory from the founders of the association’.

There are also lines for ten signatures but only the name of Yosif Eshaya is written. Sofia, 25th March 1907.

Stela Astrukova with her husband Yosif Astrukov

This is a photo of me and my husband Yosif Astrukov.

It was taken on 13th October 1945 in a studio. The back of the photo is like a postcard. There is a seal of a studio but it is unreadable.

On the back it is written ‘5th November 1945 to mama and papa from Stela and Herz.’ I wrote that.

The photo was a present to my parents. I am pregnant in my first month and I am radiating happiness.

My husband is in military uniform and he is smiling. Those were not happy times for him because he had problems at his work for being a Jew and he could no longer serve.

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