Eshua Almalech as a young actor at school

Here I am in 1936 when I was 12 years old in the amateur theatrical group of the Bulgarian school - I am up in the middle with the big white hat, disguised with beard and moustaches. The play is "The Robbers" by Schiller. I played the part of Karl Moor. The woman down on the first row is our instructor, the actress Mara Shopova and the child she is holding in her hands is her son Naum Shopov. Nowadays he is one of the most distinguished Bulgarian actors.

I hadn't started school yet, when, around 1929, the first car appeared in town. There were only carriages until then. In the following years we often went to a restaurant where we could listen to the radio and in 1936 my father bought a Phillips radio set, which was confiscated during the Holocaust. From my first until my fourth grade I studied in the Jewish school in Stara Zagora. The building also housed the synagogue and a canteen for the poorer Jewish families. Then I started studying in the First Junior High School in town. Every year we had to get enrolled in the school and when I was going to enroll for my third year there, the director, Mr. Ilkov, refused to accept my application, because I was a Jew. This happened in 1936. Then I enrolled in the Second Junior High School. Hitler had already taken the power in Germany and anti-Semitism was beginning to spread in Bulgaria.

Photos from this interviewee