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Bulgaria marks its Holocaust Remembrance day

Author: The Sofia Echo staff Date: Thu, Mar 10 2011 5 Comments, 4199 Views
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Bulgaria marks Holocaust Remembrance day on March 10. The ceremony will be attended by Parliament speaker Tsetska Tsacheva and other MPs who will gather before the memorial by the National Assembly, commemorating the 68th anniversary of the rescue of Bulgarian Jews.

The Council of Minister had declared March 10, by dint of a resolution on February 13 2003, as Holocaust Remembrance Day and the "Day of the Salvation of the Bulgarian Jews and of the Victims of the Holocaust and of the Crimes against Humanity".

The event is initiated by the Bulgarian Jewish Association Shalom, and the Sofia Regional Jewish Organisation, the private television channel bTV reported.

The solemn ceremony will be opened by Maxim Benvenisti, president of Shalom, in the presence of schoolchildren from the 134th secondary school Dimcho Debelyanov.

The anniversary will be commemorated also by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in the presence of Israeli ambassador to Bulgaria, Noah Gal Gendler, as well as representatives of religious organisations and NGOs.

During World War Two, Bulgaria, an ally of Germany, successfully managed to save the Jewish population in Greater Bulgaria from deportation and death, although Jews in other areas under Bulgarian jurisdiction, Macedonia and Thrace, were sent to their deaths.

Bulgaria also adopted various discriminatory laws against Jews at the behest of Berlin. Anti-Semitic laws modelled on the Nuremberg laws were approved by MPs in Sofia, and in December 1940, Bulgaria's National Assembly adopted the Defence of the Nation Act.

Bulgaria's Jews were saved from deportation and death when the then-deputy speaker of Parliament, Dimitar Peshev, and Bulgarian Orthodox Church leaders Sofia Metropolitan Stefan and Plovdiv Metropolitan Kiril, stood up in 1943 against intentions to send Bulgarian Jews to concentration camps.

The Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church sent an official letter to Boris, to the National Assembly, and to the Cabinet demanding that there be no deportations. It is widely accepted that in the process, Bulgaria saved about 50 000 Jews from deportation.

At the Yad Vashem memorial in Israel to the Holocaust, 14 Bulgarians are listed as Righteous Among the Nations, including the then-deputy speaker of Parliament, Dimitar Peshev, and Bulgarian Orthodox Church leaders Sofia Metropolitan Stefan and Plovdiv Metropolitan Kiril, who were prominent in the campaign against the deportations.

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    • Anonymous
      Jew Rating:
      neutral
      #5 22, 48, Sun, Mar 20 2011

      In April 1941, the Bulgarian army, which was an ally of the Axis powers, entered into Macedonia and occupied most of the territory. In Bulgaria it saw an opportunity to increase his territory and introduced stricter measures. So on October 4, 1941, Bulgarians have introduced a bill that among other things, it prohibited the Jews to be involved in any such society. A little later, the Bulgarians have collected almost all the Jews of Bitola and moved into poorer and worse parts of life. Soon in 1942, the Bulgarians in Macedonia and Aegean Macedonia (northern Greece) began deportation of Jews, [...]

      Read the full comment which culminated in the deportation in the second half of March 1943 when 7,315 Jews were sent to Nazi death camps in Poland. Thus, almost all Jews from Macedonia were "swept" while Jews with Bulgarian citizenship are not picked. Stip had more Jews in Bitola remained few.

    • Anonymous
      Tova Rating:
      neutral
      #4 19, 02, Wed, Mar 16 2011

      Bulgarians are from many diverse places and are proud of their ethnic diversity. They viewed Jews as simply fellow Bulgarians, just like everyone else. And well they should. Their inclusion and their ability to stand up against bad people and bad ideas (Nazis) has made them a stronger and more rightous people than those of their European counterparts. Long live Bulgaria!

    • Anonymous
      Dave Rating:
      neutral
      #3 18, 58, Wed, Mar 16 2011

      Thank g-d for Bulgarian leaders during World War II! The one true European friend the Jews had and continue to have. Thank you!

    • Anonymous
      Jew Rating:
      neutral
      #2 16, 40, Fri, Mar 11 2011

      In April 1941, the Bulgarian army, which was an ally of the Axis powers, entered into Macedonia and occupied most of the territory. In Bulgaria it saw an opportunity to increase his territory and introduced stricter measures. So on October 4, 1941, Bulgarians have introduced a bill that among other things, it prohibited the Jews to be involved in any such society. A little later, the Bulgarians have collected almost all the Jews of Bitola and moved into poorer and worse parts of life. Soon in 1942, the Bulgarians in Macedonia and Aegean Macedonia (northern Greece) began deportation of Jews, [...]

      Read the full comment which culminated in the deportation in the second half of March 1943 when 7,315 Jews were sent to Nazi death camps in Poland. Thus, almost all Jews from Macedonia were "swept" while Jews with Bulgarian citizenship are not picked. Stip had more Jews in Bitola remained few.

      To moderators
      Please be honest and do not delete this truth.

    • Anonymous
      Mari Rating:
      neutral
      #1 03, 12, Fri, Mar 11 2011

      Bulgaria - the only non-anti-semitic nation in
      europe...

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