Eshua Almalech's daughter Zelma Almalech for the first time in Israel

Eshua Almalech's daughter Zelma Almalech for the first time in Israel
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  • Photo taken in:
    Tel Aviv-Yaffo
    Year when photo was taken:
    1958
    Country name at time of photo:
    Israel
    Country name today:
    Israel
My daughter Zelma visiting Israel for the first time in 1958 together with her grandfather Aron and his wife Luna. We sent her there at the age of 8 to her grandparents and my sister Roza for the whole summer. My father's second wife, Luna Almalech, lived in Sofia with us until 1954. Then my parents left for Israel and lived in Tel Aviv until my father died in 1977. Luna settled in an old people's home in Rishon Letzion near Tel Aviv where she died in 1981. I have always kept in touch with my relatives - through letters, visits. I went to Israel for the first time in 1957. I have visited them many times since then. My daughter Zelma traveled alone by ship to Israel. Our friends in Bulgaria wondered how my wife and I could agree to send her alone through three seas. But she was very happy because she loved a lot all kinds of trips. She stayed in Israel for more than 3 months and when she came back, we noticed that she had begun to speak Bulgarian with an accent, like a foreigner. When we met her at the Varna port, her brother, our son Mony said that according to him in Israel Zelma had changed. During her first trip to Israel she met many of our relatives and their children for the first time because they had left Bulgaria before she was born. I loved my job [as a journalist] but every time there was some possibility for promotion, they hinted to me, sometimes delicately, sometimes directly, that I was a Jew and this was impossible. But the most significant case was with my daughter Zelma Almalech. She completed her university degree in journalism with excellent marks in the Sofia University in 1974. While she studied at the university, she often worked for the Bulgarian National Television and the documentaries department wanted her to start working for them full-time. During that time there was a personnel department in every company, which researched every potential employee in order to find out if he or she is suitable. The research was done mainly for political reasons and for a media such as the Bulgarian National Television the selection was even stricter. They told my daughter that she could not work in the television as an editor unless she changed her name. She flatly refused, saying that she would find another job. But her colleagues and immediate editors in chief were very angry when they heard about that and after much insistence on their part, she was given the job. After some time it became known that there was a spoken order that the recruitment of people with non-Bulgarian names was not advisable, even though they were Bulgarian citizens.

Interview details

Interviewee: Eshua Almalech
Interviewer:
Zelma Almalech
Month of interview:
August
Year of interview:
2002
Sofia, Bulgaria

KEY PERSON

Zelma Almalech
Year of birth:
1950
City of birth:
Sofia
Country name at time of birth:
Bulgaria
Occupation
after WW II:
Journalist/editor

Other Person

Aron Almalech
Year of birth:
1885
City of birth:
Stara Zagora
Country name at time of birth:
Bulgaria
Year of death:
1977
City of death:
Tel Aviv
Country of death:
Israel
Died:
after WW II
Occupation
before WW II:
Businessman, Retail merchant
after WW II:
Jewish community employee

Additional Information

Also interviewed by:
Shoah
Date of interview:
1998

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