Centropa ebook: Leontina Arditi

Leontina Samuilova Stoyanova is known as an actress under her maiden name Leontina Arditi, which was also used in her biography. 

Leontina Arditi is a part of the history of Bulgarian theater. She was among the first to successfully introduce one-(wo)man performances, or the so called 'theater with one actor', as a separate art category in Bulgaria. A character actress of vast and flexible range, she has played dozens of brilliant comedy and drama roles. 

Her hard life path as an actress in the communist regime in Bulgaria prevented her from immigrating to Israel. The love of the Bulgarian culture and society induced her to become a stage- director. She has been teaching half-professional and amateur teams for several decades, coming to know the 'charm discreet' of the Bulgarian province. The international awards that followed proved that she had made the right choice. One of Leontina's unexpected talents turned out to be writing. 

Her autobiography 'Sahraneni broenitsi' ['Safe-kept Rosaries'], which concentrates on the period of the Holocaust, or to be more precisely the Law for the Protection of the Nation in Bulgaria, is written in the rarely found succinct and precise, schooled style of a writer. 'Safe-kept Rosaries' was translated into German and published in Austria under the title 'In meinem Ende steht mein Anfang' ['In my End is my Beginning']. The book attracted the interest of a broad public at its presentation in Vienna last year. Israel has also expressed interest in translating the story of an early Jewish childhood transposed over the prism of horrible historical events. 

Despite the poverty and humble style of living - a two-bedroom apartment on the outskirts of Sofia - Leontina's home is warm and hospitable, although it creates a bit of a sad impression. This is due to the fact that she lives alone, away from her daughter and her granddaughters, repatriated to Israel. They are the only thing that still makes her believe in life, apart from the Arts and Theater that she is still involved in as a stage-director.