Haim Molhov

This is me as a designer in the Chimmetalurgproyekt Institute. The photo was taken in the 1950s in Sofia. I started working in the institute in 1953. I worked in the Chimmetalurgproyekt Institute for 26 years until I retired. While I worked there, I decided to apply for university. The three years in the commercial school weren't recognized as secondary education, so I first had to complete high school. I signed up with the technical school in industry chemistry. I enrolled in a correspondence course and went in for exams. While I was studying in high school I headed the personnel department of the institute. After I graduated from high school, I went to work in the technical department. Along with two friends of mine - one of whom had been a political prisoner before 1944, and the other, Todor Milenkov, had a death sentence in the same period for antifascist activities - I decided to apply for a university degree in the Chemistry and Technology Institute. However, at that time I was 40 years and two months old and Todor Milenkov 40 years and eight months. It turned out that we couldn't be admitted to university because the upper age limit was 40 years. We decided to go to the Education Minister, but we were received by Deputy Minister Ganchev instead. We explained to him our intentions and that our documents weren't accepted because we were a few months above the allowed age. At first, he refused to help us, but Todor Milenkov said that we would go to the Prime Minister, Anton Yugov, whom we knew personally. Only then he agreed and took our applications. After one week I received a letter saying that the ministry allowed me to study in the institute. I graduated in 1963. In the same year and the same month my son Benedict graduated from the Music Conservatory. The newspaper Jewish News wrote about that saying that there were two university graduates in our home now. My specialty was black metallurgy and when the institute divided into Chimproyekt and Metalurgproyekt, I chose to work in Metalurgproyekt although the director of Chimproyekt was a Jew. I retired at the age of 63 in 1978, but I still felt strong and motivated and I returned to work for two more years. At that time I headed the external relations of the institute with other similar institutions. After 1989 I was also a member of the Union of Engineers.