My son Mony Almalech visiting Israel for the first time in 1960.
In 1960 my wife and my son spent the summer with my parents and my sister Roza. They, Roza's husband, Izidor Natan and their son Amnon, left for Israel in 1948. They lived in Ramle together with her husband's parents. In 1970 they moved to Tel Aviv. Her husband died in 1971. She still lives in Tel Aviv.
My wife Nedyalka's parents were friends of my parents in Stara Zagora. Her mother Marinka and my mother Zelma were schoolmates. Marinka used to buy things from my father's shop. When the mass aliyah to Israel started in 1948, my relatives thought that I didn't want to leave Bulgaria because my wife didn't want so, but it wasn't true. Before her first trip to Israel my father had hoped that sooner or later we would finally settle there. But, after a serious conversation with my wife during her stay there, my father understood that we didn't plan to leave Bulgaria.
My wife loved Israel and she was very fond of the Jewish traditions. When she passed away the rabbi from the synagogue in Sofia gave us official permission to bury her in the Jewish cemetery. She had led a more 'Jewish' life than a 'Bulgarian' one. This was not an isolated case. There are other non-Jewish people who are buried in the Jewish cemetery in Sofia, like there are Jewish people buried in non-Jewish cemeteries in Bulgaria also.
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.