A Purim celebration of Matilda Albuhaire's class

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This photo was taken at the Purim celebration. The children are dressed as characters from a short play I wrote in Hebrew and put on stage as a producer. Standing in the middle you can see the girl, who was starring as Ester ha-malkah [Queen Esther] and who came back to Bulgaria many years later to see me. Her name was Bella Sidi. And you can also see some of the courtiers, Mordecai and then there is Roska Baruch. She is Rebecca Baruch, the kindergarten teacher's daughter. There is another girl called Corina. And there is Marco Hasson, who came to my birthday many years later and said: 'I was her pupil in 1st grade.' The other teacher is Mois Cohen. He came from Yambol and worked as a teacher of Bulgarian literature. During the Holocaust he was in a forced labor camp. In 1948 he left for Israel with the mass aliyah from Bulgaria. He died recently in Israel.

Between 1938 and 1943, I was employed as a teacher in Bourgas - actually it was until 1941, but on record it says until 1943, because the time I was unemployed was recognized as working experience. I was a Hebrew teacher at the Jewish elementary school and I was paid by the Jewish community. The children loved me very much. I loved them, too, because I was very young, 21 years old. We celebrated all the holidays. We had a very intensive Jewish life before the war. During the war the Jewish school was closed in 1941. After we were driven out of our school, we went to an old building and continued to work there as a Jewish school for some time. It was later transformed into gendarme's barracks.

Interviewee

Matilda Albuhaire