Leon Levi with his friends

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Here I am at a picnic with some old friends in the Rhodopi mountain. Some of them are from Hashomer Hatzair. The photo was taken after the war, in the 1940s. As a young boy I was in Hashomer Hatzair for a while, but it happened so that at 16 I was already in prison. Generally, the young Jewish people split into Apoel and Maccabi members. Others were in Hashomer Hatzair and there were also Betar members who were rightists. There were arguments among us but they were of minor significance. Everybody knew that those groups had a very good background and a lot of sports activities were held within them. We used to gather in the large gym of today's 30th school that was then equipped with all the training apparatuses. There was an Albanian sweet shop on Bregalnitsa and Positano. They sold boza there and when we had some money we used to go there. Many of my friends were Jews and I'm still in touch with some, but many of them have already passed away. I've always kept my daughter Galia in a Jewish circle, around Jewish families. She knows very well what she is. When she turned twelve in 1964 I sent her, along with her stepmother, my second wife, on a visit to Israel. They were guests of my mother and my father, my sister and my brothers. Both of her children were brought up in the Jewish spirit as well, especially Silvia - she feels more Jewish than a child of a mixed marriage. She was with me in Israel and she liked it very much. Milena even got an emigrant status at her own will; no one has ever made her do that. She now hopes that things will calm down in Israel and she will go there eventually.

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Interviewee

Leon Levi