A photo of my father Morduhay Levi after he was freed from captivity during WWI.
I cannot say where it was taken but most probably in a studio in 1919 in Marseilles.
The back of the photo is like a postcard – the writing is in French. There is no seal of a photographic studio.
There is writing in pencil by my father:
‘Marseilles, 15th August 1919 M. Levi to Mr. Yakov Azarya 81 Skobelev Blvd Sofia’ My father sent this postcard to his father.
My father Morduhay Yako Levi (1896 - 1972) graduated high school and was mobilized as an infantryman at the front.
A year after that he was captured during an attack. He said that it was the most horrible massacre that had taken place during World War I.
The soldiers ran with the bayonets forward and butchered each other.
The battle happened somewhere in France, but I do not know where.
My father was lightly injured and sent to a camp in Marseilles where he stayed until the end of the war from 1915 until 1918.
He learned there to do electrical engineering work and the French language, which he had studied in high school.
When he left the camp, he remained to work in France, at first in Marseilles, then in Paris. He worked as an electrical engineer.
He also made some big improvement on the mechanism of the electrical bulbs.
And since he knew no laws and he was not a very practical man - he was very honest and guileless - he took the originals to some electrical company to adopt them.
They took his unpatented designs and they started using them without paying him anything. He was very disappointed with them.
When he came back to Bulgaria, he brought his designs, but the bulbs had already been introduced. He decided to return to Bulgaria and marry a Bulgarian Jew.
My father had broader views not typical for the Bulgarian style of life.
He was raised with the ideas of the French revolution, he saw no differences between the people - black or white, Jewish or Germans.
He did not denounce the marriages between Bulgarians and Jews.
He accepted people's mistakes lightly, not with the fanaticism present at the times.