Roza Anzhel in a farming brigade

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I am the first on the right with some co-workers of mine from the 'Voroshilov' Works while we were in a farming brigade. On the back of the photo there is an inscription in pen: 'Farming brigade, 1953. Roza Anzhel.' I can't remember where the photo was taken. Most probably it was taken somewhere around Sofia. There is no stamp of a photo shop or any other inscription on the back.

In the 1950s the brigades organized by the companies during the weekends were a wide-spread convention. By doing that we used to help the rural economy - a help given from the town to the village.

I worked in the Ministry of the Interior until 1951 and then I was dismissed for having connections in foreign countries, as was stated in the order for dismissal. I want to declare that wasn't true. All my relatives - my brother and sisters - at that time were here in Bulgaria. In fact, I was dismissed due to my Jewish origin.

I started work in 'Voroshilov' works as a chief controller. I had already become a member of the BCP in 1944, immediately after 9th September. The works was new, it was near our apartment and that was good for me because of the children. I knew that I would have spare time. I started work there and they appointed me a secretary of the Party despite my dismissal because I had been a member of UYW before 9th September. And things were going very well, they called upon from the Party and cited us a model because we were working very well.

One day Todor Zhivkov came to attend a big meeting and they seated me next to him, on the platform and I was so grieved at what had happened in the police that I told him all about it. I sat next to him and told him everything: 'Before 9th September we were victimized for being Jewish. We were in disgrace and I was working here for seven years, my work was excellent and still I was dismissed for being a Jew.' 'Such were the times,' he started explaining. 'Those were the events, there was no other way?' Because a lot of Jews were dismissed. There were no consequences after that conversation, but at least I told him everything and felt much better.

Photo details

Interviewee

Roza Anzhel