Leon Moshe Seliktar

Here I am in my home in Sofia in 2005.

I didn't go to Israel before 1989. I kept in touch with my relatives by phone. While I was in the army, I didn't receive any letters; after that I received letters regularly. One year while I was a colonel, my mother came to visit. Before that my sister and brother-in-law came, in 1962. Of course, they slept at my place. I reported to my superiors that some relatives of mine had come on a visit, but my chiefs respected me and didn't make any problems about that. My sister and brother-in-law came one more time and then my mother came in 1966. She was quite old by then. I was very happy when they came. My mother saw her grandchildren. My father died in 1961 and I wasn't able to see him again after he left for Israel.

After the democratic changes on 10th November 1989, I went to Israel with my wife a number of times. My sister and her husband came a few times as well. They restored their Bulgarian citizenship. I remember the fall of the Berlin Wall and the political events, which took place here in Bulgaria. Now I go regularly to the synagogue, but I did that before 1989 as well. I received aid from international organizations. I also received some money from the German Red Cross. In Sofia Jews live well, except for some anti-Semitic events recently. Some notes appeared on the walls, some books by Hitler, Goebbels, Bulgarian writers, among which a book by Kubrat Tomov, who says that there wasn't a Holocaust at all and all that is fiction without any proof. But such anti-Semitic incidents are rare, on the whole Bulgarians are tolerant towards us. After all, we, the Jews, are quite few in number in Bulgaria. Most of us are in Sofia. I haven't heard about a Jew who is a member of the mafia, or a killer, or an explosives maker, and yet, there are some anti-Semitic attitudes towards us.