The chairperson of Center Alef- Alberta Alkalay, Dr. Maxim Benvensti- manager of Cedaka Foundation, Ivanka Gezenko- expert from Archives State Agency and Asen Milchev, journalist and publisher were interlocutors on the topic of the salvation of Bulgarian Jews in BNR show-program Hristo Botev, April 18, 2018.
Unforgettable faces of salvation
We honored the 75th anniversary of Yom Ashhoa, the day of the catastrophe that happened to the Jewsish people during Nazism. We, the Bulgarians, are among the few nations on the planet, who saved their Jews, and we are rightly proud of this fact. We are proud of those who have shown Christian mercy, empathy and civic courage. But alongside our nationally known heroes, there are also those who will never reach the noisy annals of world chronicles. Exactly their silent heroic deeds will continue to excite both the children and grandchildren of the rescued Bulgarian Jews as well as the relatives and heirs of the silent rescuers. And despite the distance in time, their actions continue to surprise and admire us. For these honest people we are talking today. The great story may have not noticed them, but the memory of the generations has preserved them. This year, four Bulgarians will take their deserved place in ‘’Yad Vashem” and their names will be recorded among the rest of the world’s righteous.
The Institute and Memorial “Yad Vashem” was founded in 1953 in Jerusalem and is dedicated to the Holocaust. One of his aims is to search for and perpetuate those people of non-Jewish origin who have saved Jews from their executioners. By 2018, over 25,000 people from 49 countries, including Bulgaria with 20 righteous, have been recognized. The honourable title “righteous of the nations of the world” is awarded only to those who, under the Nazi terror, on their own initiative , have saved Jews; who, even with risk for their own lives, have come to the rescue to their neighbours, classmates, colleagues, acquaintances or even strangers, marked with the shameful yellow star.It turns out that Bulgarian diplomats have saved 13,000 Jews with visas and resort cards, these are Polish, German, Turkish, French and Czech doomed souls.These 13,000 resort and work visas issued between 1940 and 1944 by Bulgarian diplomats are for those Jews who have asked to leave Europe and reach Palestine or even China. Only around 1940, according to data from the police, about 3,000 Jews arrived in Bulgaria, who expected the ships to go to the Promised Land, says Ivanka Gezenko from the State Archives Agency. There is also a case file for 1500 people, departured from Budapest, Bucharest and Galatz.The Bulgarian consuls prescribe that these people should be brought to Dedeagach in groups of 4-5 people, so that they stay out of side of the other passengers.The conversation will also address 36 other foreign diplomats of different nationalities who have also done the impossible, but have managed to save hundreds of sons and daughters of David.
The conversation will also address 36 other foreign diplomats of different nationalities who have also done the impossible, but have managed to save hundreds of sons and daughters of David. Interlocutors were Maxim Benvenisti-manager of Cedaka Foundation, Ivanka Gezenko- expert from Archives State Agency, Alberta Alkalay from Center Alef and Asen Milchev, journalist and publisher.