Matilda Levi with her classmates from the Jewish school

This picture was taken in 1925. I’m the little girl hugged by the teacher, in the center. Here I’m in the infant school.

First, I had to go to an infant school. [The last year in the kindergarten, where children are prepared for school.] This was before the Jewish school. I even have a photo from the infant school. We had a very nice teacher; she just recruited the children. She recruited me too. In order to go to my grandmother's I had to pass by the school. Once I was walking towards my grandmother's and the teacher stopped me and said, 'Come on, Mati, come study in our school!' 'No, I can't. I'm going to see my grandmother.' And so I passed by the school, I didn't want to go there. But eventually the teacher recruited me. And I liked it so much that I even became 'the boss' of the infant school. There were around twenty children. We weren't taught reading and writing. We were led to the nearby hill to play games. There were two hills near Karnobat: Dedo Dimcho's hill and Kakkazan hill that means 'Hill of the 40 cauldrons.' There was a myth that a big bey [Turkish title] had buried his gold there. Then they tried, but with no success, to plant a forest on it. It's a lilac garden now. We made great efforts in the past: we had brigades that went there, digging and planting trees. We didn't plant lilac but something else then.