Yako Izidor Yakov as a captain in the Bulgarian navy

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This is me as a captain in the Bulgarian navy. The photo was taken in 1956 or 1957 in Varna. At the end of 1947 I was assigned to go to the army. I went there, passed a course for political officers and was appointed to the headquarters of the Ist army in Sofia. The political officer's job is to be in charge of the moral and political preparation of the soldiers and officers. Said in ?Soviet? style, this is a commissar ? at that time we copied the Soviet army, like we copy the American one now. There was one political officer in every battalion and on every ship. We had to be familiar with military science and know as much as the officers who had graduated from staff colleges and we also had to prepare the servicemen entrusted to us both morally and politically. Starting in April 1948 I served as an officer in the political department at the headquarters of the Ist Bulgarian Army. From 1951 until 1959 I was a captain in the Bulgarian navy in Varna. I worked for some time in the political department of the navy, after that I was head of the Officer's Home and the Navy's Home. Later I also served for a while at the headquarters of the navy's political department. At that time Varna carried the name 'Stalin'. It had that name for 7-8 years. There were two headcount reductions in the Bulgarian army after the signing of the peace agreement with the UN powers. The first reduction was done in 1956 or 1957 and the second in 1958. I was affected by the second one. I decided to ask to be released from the army, because I had worked enough years, which together with the years of work experience awarded by the state for being a partisan, were enough for me to retire. So I was in the so-called 'first category of labor.' During totalitarianism in Bulgaria this category included officers, miners, submarine operators etc., all of whom retired after 15 years of work. The so-called 'second category of labor' included employees of the Bulgarian Interior Ministry and other state departments, who had to have 18 to 20 years of work experience to retire. The third category included all the others, who had to have 25 years of work experience. Today retirement is done in accordance with new regulations, because the previous categories were rejected. Yet I did not want to stop working, because I was still young. So I said I would agree to retire if they found me work in Ruse. And they did.

Photo details

Interviewee

Yako Yakov