Gracia Albuhaire with colleagues

This picture was taken in Panagyurishte [a small town in the heart of the Balkan Mountains], on the occasion of the celebration of the April Rebellion anniversary in 1956. [The biggest uprising in Bulgaria against five-centuries of Ottoman yoke. It took place in 1876 and failed.] I am in the centre. The others in the picture are: gen. Hristo Rouskov, who was still a colonel at the time; Tsolo Krastev, who was a member of the process against Gorunia, who was killed as an opponent to the regime of Todor Zhivkov. Tsolo Krastev was imprisoned in the Bourgas prison, together with gen. Anev, who was my friend's husband. Tsolo had diabetes. His situation became critical in the prison, so they freed him in several years. He was my boss, chairman of the Voluntary Auxiliary Defence Organization (V.A.D.O.) We had very good relations, I have never had any problems with him in terms of authorities. The others are colleagues from different towns all over the country.

When I came to Sofia I first began working in the Voluntary Auxiliary Defense Organization (V.A.D.O.) at the Ministry of Defense. It was a school for radiotelegraphic operators, parachutists, and motorcyclists. I was there for some six years and in charge of the radio programs. Then I was redirected to the military editors of Radio Sofia and our programs were broadcast from there. The programs were dedicated to different competitions in yachting, parachuting, and to various club activities; to the work of the V.A.D.O. in different enterprises. At that time Kamen Roussev, a senior lieutenant, was the editor-in-chief. I didn't get on well with him at all. I was inexperienced at the very beginning of my career as a journalist and he was constantly making remarks to me.

Then I switched over to working in the 'Internal Information' department of the radio. I traveled around plants and factories and made a lot of interviews and articles about them reflecting on various problems. Now most of those enterprises are destroyed and it makes me feel really sad. Those were highly esteemed enterprises, which had worldwide export.