Eshua Almalech at the Olimpic Games in Mexico as a journalist

Eshua Almalech at the Olimpic Games in Mexico as a journalist

Here I am at the Olympic Games in Mexico in 1968 with other colleagues journalists. I am the second from right to left.

From 1958 until 1971 I worked at 'Naroden Sport' [National Sport] and then, until my retirement in 1986 at the illustrated sports weekly 'Start'. I was one of its founders and headed the International Affairs department. Later I became its secretary-in-chief.

I often traveled abroad as a sports journalist. I loved my job, but every time there was some possibility for promotion, they hinted to me, sometimes delicately, sometimes directly, that I was a Jew and this was impossible. After the Israeli-Arab war in 1967 and the events in Czechoslovakia, my wife Nedyalka was fired from Sofia radio, where she worked as a journalist, because as they told her, she was married to a Jew and had a Jewish family name. During that time the director of the National Radio was the Jew Albert Cohen, a distinguished journalist and writer. He was also fired.

At that time some of my colleagues even wrote to the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior that I was a Zionist, despite the fact that I lived in Bulgaria. It was said also that I had a lot of friends abroad, not only from Israel, with whom I had shared my opinion about the bad Bulgarian and Soviet policy in Czechoslovakia in 1968 and in other countries, which protested against becoming USSR satellites.

I think that one of the most important events of the XX century is the fall of the Berlin Wall. But the road to democracy after so many years of stagnation is not easy. What's more, living in the hard conditions, people start blaming the minorities for their hardships. Even in Bulgaria some translations of Nazi and anti-Jewish books have appeared. Skin heads also appeared, although not on such a big scale as in other European countries. These tendencies are a bit dangerous and although they are not very popular, they remind me of the ideas of the fascist organizations during the Holocaust in Bulgaria. Some of their leaders emigrated from Bulgaria in the past, but now although they are very old, they have started to come back. They claim to be victims of the communist regime, although they in fact have fascist orientation, in particular their former ideologist Ivan Dochev. I am worried by all these things.

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