Victoria Behar

This is me in 1946, shortly after I graduated from the French College in Sofia.

All Jews from Sofia and the larger Bulgarian cities were interned to smaller countryside towns. We were interned to Dupnitza on 3rd June 1943 and went to live in my grandmother's house. I had to interrupt my education because only one Jew was allowed in a class with vacancies in Dupnitza. There were no vacant places for me and I had to complete my 5th grade as a private student. It was extremely hard for me. The anti-Jewish laws and our internment practically crippled my education. I had my grade officially recognized, although I had only sat for my singing exam, because 9th September 1944 came and all students had their grades recognized. The new power had come; the Soviet armies had reached Bulgaria. We were allowed to go back to Sofia.

My father went to our house to tell the people living there that we were coming back. When he came to Dupnitza, he told me that he had signed me up in the French College for me to continue my education and that the teachers would give me textbooks. I went back to Sofia alone in October 1944 carrying the curtains my mother had given to me so that I could tidy up the house until they had prepared the rest of the luggage. Then Grandfather Gotse and his wife Elena took me to sleep at their place so I wouldn't be alone in the house. And since at the time of our internment to Dupnitza my parents had sold their bed, they bought them a new one. They were such good people. I still have this bed!