Mariika Arditi with Leontina Arditi in front of the maternity ward
This is a photo of my mother Mariika Samuil Arditi, nee Uziel, with me as a baby and with friends in front of the maternity ward. The photo was taken in Sofia in 1929. I was born in Sofia in 1929. I know my mother had difficulties having children. I was born in the seventh month and they suffered a lot because of that. They didn't have any children after me at all. They had wanted many children, because all the Jews had many children then. My parents used to dress fashionably for their time - European style, elegant and neat. I want to underline that the Jews in Bulgaria, even up to their ears in misery, were very clean people. Despite the poverty, their houses were shining, no matter if hens strolled in front of them. The financial situation of my family was very bad. We lived in the so-called 'Slatinsky redoubt'; there my parents had built a house, having bought the plot beforehand with my mother's dowry and hired a gypsy - according to the superstition of the time - to bring them good luck. The plot was abound in clay. The gypsy and my parents made clay bricks, burnt them and built a house: a room, a kitchen and a foyer. Oh, at the beginning we used to walk over some planks and often fell into the basement because we didn't have a floor, but after that they bought some furniture and took some things from my grandmother, the rich one, my father's mother; we even had an upholstered armchair. We had running water and a toilet only in the yard. We had hens, rabbits and cats. My father dug a pit in the ground and filled it with water so that we could have ducks. We even had a dog but a car ran over it. We heated the house gathering fir-cones from the wood for kindling.