'Bulgarski Pisatel' publishing house staff

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This is a photo of the whole staff of ?Bulgarski Pisatel? [Bulgarian Writer] publishing house, taken on the occasion of its 35th anniversary in front of the National Theater ?Ivan Vazov?. I?m the fifth from left in the first row. After the war I worked as a journalist in the 'Narodna Gvardiya' [National Guard] newspaper, then at 'Partizdat' publishing house as a technical editor; we produced two very good editions - one of them was a volume of poetry by Nikola Vaptsarov with Radevsky as editor and Shmirgela as illustrator [Hristo Radevsky (1903-1997) is a well-known Bulgarian poet; Shmirgela a well-known artist]. Afterwards I worked at the newspaper Narodna Mladezh, then at their publishing house and finally at the publishing house of Bulgarski Pisatel [Bulgarian Writer] where I was editor-in-chief at the time when I retired. Meanwhile I was also engaged in literature. I wrote ten or eleven books for adults and three books for children. My novel 'Beyond the Law' was successful - there are six reprints of it and it has been translated into French [with the title 'Hors-la-loi'] and English. I don't know if it is still available. I remember a meeting with the academician Mikhail Arnaudov [Bulgarian ethnographer and literary historian (1878-1978)] who was taken to court and imprisoned after 9th September 1944 because he was Minister of Education in Bagrianov's government. He was given a library in jail in order to work there. When the academician Derzhavin from the former USSR came to Bulgaria he asked for Arnaudov and when he was told that the latter was in prison they immediately ordered his release. When the new restaurant of the UBW [Union of Bulgarian Writers] was opened - right before the official ceremony we were waiting for Todor Zhivkov's [Bulgarian communist leader] arrival. Petar Pondev, the editor-in-chief of 'Bulgarski Pisatel' at the time, came in and said to me, 'Let me introduce you to Prof. Mikhail Arnaudov'. When he heard my name he said, 'Oh, Mr. Baruh, did you know that we put the stars away.' 'I know', I answered. The merit of this government was that they tried to make an attempt to remove Bulgaria from the pro-German course even in the midst of the pressures of the day. Later I met Mikhail Arnaudov at the publishing house when we put together the second edition of Dimitar Shishmanov's book on Ivan Vazov, a book that was prepared by him.

Interviewee

Victor Baruh