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.

My paternal grandfather's name was Yako Azarya Levi. He lived with us.

That was the custom those days, the parents of the eldest son lived with his family.

My father had a brother, whose name was Azarya Levi, but he died during World War I on the Dobrudzha Front.

After the marriage my parents left for Paris, because my father liked life there.

They spent there 2-3 years, tried to make a living. They lived in an attic flat.

My mother worked as a seamstress and my father as an electrical engineer, but they did not have regular incomes.

When I was about to be born, they decided to return to Bulgaria.

A month after my birth, I was born on 24th March, on the 25th April the bombing of the St Nedelya Church took place. Arrests started, people became anxious.

My father's parents who had lost their elder son in the war on the Dobrudzha Front insisted that the young family leave Bulgaria.