Matilda Levi as a third grader

Matilda Levi as a third grader

Here I’m with my classmates, back in 1933. I’m standing, the first from the right in the back line. This is soon after we moved to Sofia in 1932.

I graduated from junior high school in Sofia. When I was in the second grade, we moved to Sofia. Instead of sending me to Sofia on my own, my father found a job here so the whole family moved. We: my mother, my father and I, came to live in this apartment in 1932.

Of course, I felt pity when we moved to Sofia. I felt nervous that there were no hills in Sofia and there was no place where I could walk around. And the hills in Karnobat were all covered with almond trees. In the spring, the trees bloomed wonderfully. Sofia children weren't better than I was, especially in literature. They all used a pompous style; a fact that made me anxious and I couldn't understand why they spoke like that. I spoke in a different style. They didn't laugh at me for speaking in a different manner because they knew it was the correct way. The Bulgarian teacher always emphasized my good style.

At some point I contacted a Jewish organization that was something like a leftist scout organization. Its name would translate as 'The Young Guardian.’ I became friends with some Jewish girls. I also became friends with Bulgarian girls in the high school. There was a Jewish junior high school in Sofia but I wasn't ready for it, since there were only three grades in the Jewish school in Karnobat, and I went to a Bulgarian school. It was in October 1932. Some boys asked me, 'Girl, what are you looking for? 'I would like to enroll.' 'Well, go to the headmaster.' So I was enrolled in the class E. And there I graduated from the junior high school.

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