Sophie Pinkas with a friend in Jerusalem

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This picture was taken in the 1990s. On this photo I am in Jerusalem with my childhood friend Paulina Arie. When I went to Israel, I always visited her. Her family name in marriage is Basan. She graduated as a dentist here in Bulgaria and worked as a dentist in Vidin for a long time; she was a very good specialist. When she moved to Israel, she renewed her practice, had a nice cabinet and many patients. She lived in a house in Ramat Gan [Tel Aviv]. We were very close friends, not only from the Fatherland War [the Bulgarian participation in WWII on the Soviet Army's side in 1944-1945], we were friends since childhood - she is only one year younger than me. Her husband Sami, who was in prison with my husband, was also a friend of ours. They emigrated in the 1960s. They were well-off. She died, Sami is still alive. He lives alone and comes from time to time in Bulgaria. He even wrote a book with memories, which was published recently in Bulgaria. The title of the book is 'My life in two fatherlands'. When I visited them for a couple of days, we went on various excursions and this photo is from one of our trips to Jerusalem. When we met, we remembered the time of war. We were in one group with her. We often remembered that first hard night at the front. The next day when we were at our positions, we lied close to each other and while we were shot at, we told each other that if something injured us, it would be better if we died, than to remain disabled our whole life. After the war we received a Bulgarian medal for the participation in the Fatherland War and a Soviet one for the victory over Germany in 1945. For a long time we had no privileges for our participation in the war. In the middle of the 1980s we were recognized as veterans. Then we received some privileges. We had the right to travel in the public transport for free. Once a year we had one free return ticket with a train or ship and a small sum added to the pension. Now we receive around 25 levs [around 12 $] per month.

Photo details

Interviewee

Sophie Pinkas