Colorized military photos were popular in Bulgaria during this period. The drive to hastily colour the black and white world and to bring it closer to the real one often turned the photos into a metaphorical painting. After returning from Paris at the end of 1939, Sava Popov received a draft summons for the army. He had already been there – in 1937, he was a cadet in Sofia and Botevgrad, then a non-commissioned officer in the Sofia District Gendarmerie. In 1943, he served as a second lieutenant in Western Thrace. We learn this from his notebook with the daily tasks of the unit in which he looked after the supply trains and food. From 1942 to 1944 he worked as an inspector in the Office for the Supervision of the Sofia Daily Press.
We learn about Sava Popov’s military life from five small photos and several draft summonses that he kept. Having been born at the beginning of the First World War, his youth passed from one war to the next. In his archive there is not a single text glorifying the war, and no approval of either communist Soviet Union or of National Socialist Germany. Were Yordan Povov’s efforts to help his son get to America not precisely for the purpose of escaping to a peaceful and prosperous world? Sava Popov was one of the millions of pacifists who participated in the war.