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Rumen Radev: in the Darkest Years for Europe and Nazism, Bulgaria Made an Act of Historic Importance by Rescuing its Jewish Community

2018-03-09 17:41:00

The rescue of the Bulgarian Jews 75 years ago was an unprecedented act. In the darkest years for Europe and Nazism, Bulgaria made an act of historic importance. This is what President Rumen Radev said at a meeting with representatives of Jewish organizations from Bulgaria and the State of Israel. The meeting was attended by the Ambassador of the State of Israel in Bulgaria Mrs. Irit Lillian, and also by Eitan Broshi, member of the Knesset of the State of Israel and president of the parliamentary group for friendship Israel-Bulgaria.

“This sign, unprecedented in the history of Europe, united politicians and statesmen, intellectuals, clerics and ordinary people, to defend their compatriots the Bulgarian Jews,” the President further said.  The Head of State emphasized that this act was by far not accidental since the Bulgarian Jews have always been an important and indispensable part of the Bulgarian society and have been the vanguard of public life, of art, culture and science. “This will forever remain one of the brightest pages in our history, an event we will take pride in,” Rumen Radev added.

The President said that 2018 marks 70 years since the State of Israel was established and extended best wishes to his counterpart President Reuven Rivlin, the government, the Knesset and the Israeli people, on behalf of the Bulgarian people and on his own behalf. The rescued Bulgarian Jews have contributed a lot to the building of the State of Israel, Rumen Radev further recalled and said that he will soon visit Israel, will take part in the global forum for fighting anti-Semitism, and emphasized that Bulgaria will continue working for the comprehensive development of the bilateral relations with the State of Israel.

“Bulgaria was the only small country that stood up against the big Nazism and said “no.” Not a single country in Europe and in the Balkan peninsula did what the Bulgarian people did and by saying the Bulgarian people I include everyone – the people, the clerics, the government, even the Tsar, who did not sign the decree for our deportation. This is an act that should be mentioned, as I said at the sanctification of the monument, every year and everywhere so that everyone should know what Bulgaria did,” representatives of the Jewish organizations said. A proposal was made to have the rescue of the Bulgarian Jews during World War II included in the syllabi of the Bulgarian schools and to have the Bulgarian students visit the memorial to the rescue of the Jewish community in Sofia.

The meeting was attended by tens of representatives of the Jewish organizations from Bulgaria and the State of Israel, members of the Consistory of the Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria Shalom and partner organizations.

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