A Bulgarian survey in 1994 revealed that only 25 per cent of Christian Bulgarians, 17 per cent of Turks, and 12 per cent of Pomaks were negative about communism. The Pomaks are Slavic Muslims in mountain regions of southern Bulgaria. They mainly worked in lead–zinc mines and related industries during the Communist period. An ethnographer who interviewed Pomaks in the early 2000s found that most remembered Communism “as a time of economic growth and social stability, even if secured at the cost of their Muslim traditions.”State provision of childcare allowed women to work outside the home but gave the state a chance to imbue children with socialist and atheist ideas. When Communism collapsed in Bulgaria after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, many women had minimal or no maternity leave. Child allowances were tiny. With medicine and hospitalization now privatized, many families could not afford babies and gave them to orphanages. Abortion was too expensive for many to contemplate.
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Dr. Alvin Finkel
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