Ida Alkalai in the choir at the Galenov Factory

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This is a photo of the choir at the Galenov Factory. It was taken in the 1960s in Dupnitsa. We sang very well. I’m the third on the left. Ani Isakova is the second on the left. Milka Kalo is the fourth on the left. We got along very well. We sometimes sang in the community house in the town. I was a soloist in the choir. We had a supervisor, who asked me to sing while the others were working.

In 1954 I started work in the Galenov Factory in Dupnitsa producing medicine. I started work when the factory was founded. My colleagues were very nice. Some of them were Jewish. The job wasn't easy, we had quotas to fulfill.

I was respected at my workplace. I worked there for 21 years. It was later transformed into 'Pharmahim.' I retired from there with a small pension. I was easygoing and sang a lot. I was in the factory choir and had some solo performances in the community house of the town. I was also a soloist in the choir. I know songs in Ladino, which I learned from my mother.

After 9th September 1944 my parents stayed in the house where I was born. We continued to celebrate the Jewish holidays, but we didn't get together with them, but with my husband's family. My brother, Josko, often visited us. My uncles and aunts who lived there, before they left for Israel, always got together on holidays.

After September 1944 we didn't go to the synagogue, although it was opened. But after, most of the Jews immigrated to Israel from 1948 to 1950. It was then closed and used as some kind of a warehouse. Later, unfortunately, it was demolished and the Home of Techniques was built in its place. As far as I know the synagogue was built in 1599. I don't know who made the decision to demolish it. The decision was made in Sofia. The Jewish organization in Dupnitsa didn't stop working though.

Photo details

Interviewee

Ida Alkalai