Roza and Leon Anzhel

My husband Leon (Larry) Anzhel and I - a photo from our wedding taken in a photo studio. On the back of the photo there is an inscription in pen (the inscription probably dates back to later years): 'Vratsa, 16th March 1944 - Thursday. Our wedding - Roza and Leon Anzhel.' The back of the photo looks like a postcard.

While we were in Vratsa, Larry was working in the labor camps. They demobilized them from time to time, to spend the winter at home, and then mobilized them again. In the winter of 1943 he had come back to Vratsa. He came back and started living opposite us. We had decided to get married. We had made an arrangement with the rabbi in Vratsa, decided on the day. The wedding was between 8 and 10 o'clock because we could move about freely in this period. A lot of young people came. 'Granny' Olga had prepared cookies with jam and had cooked some modest dishes, she had done all she could do and the wedding was fine. They had freed ?Grandpa? Bitush from the camp. He had returned. Otherwise what wedding would it have been? The date was 16th March 1944.

Before our wedding, there had been a big air-raid over Vratsa, a very big air-raid. The central part of the town was completely destroyed and burned to the ground by the Englishmen. Larry was mobilized in Vratsa to clear off the debris; they even made the women clear off, particularly those of us who were living in the center. The men were also digging the graves because there were a lot of victims from the raids. After we got married the air-raids continued. The raid alarm sounded twice that night, during our nuptial night. The first time we ran away because there were raids after all but we stayed after the second one - three of us in the bed as my mother-in-law remained on one side of the bed. The woman was very scared. We all survived after 9th September.