Center for Jewish-Bulgarian cooperation

Alef’s Virtual Library with a new rubric for the Bulgarian Righteous among the Nations proclaimed by Yad Vashem

20 Bulgarian Righteous among the Nations from a total of 22 thousand from 45 countries … What are they? People with different professions, education, interests… just like us, an ordinary people. But they did something extraordinary in an emergency situation – risking their own lives to save other lives. They acted as their heart commanded. Without thinking about themselves, without any fear of the consequences during the Holocaust.

Alef will tell about them and their lives in its new rubric, prepared with the assistance of the State Archives Agency. There are various sources on the subject in Alef’s electronic library.

With this virtual collection, Alef creates something unique – gathering valuable information in one place, which in many cases is scattered and scarce, and enables it to be periodically enriched with new sources and information. The rubric will be constantly updated. This is a modest but necessary contribution of Alef against the oblivion and opening pages that can be added.

The year is 1953. The World Holocaust Remembrance Center “Yad Vashem” was created in Jerusalem to immortalize the memory of the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Information about Jews who were victims of Nazism in the period 1933-1945 was collected in the library and museum of the center. But there are survivors, and there are saved. One of the Yad Vashem’s main responsibilities is to convey the gratitude of the State of Israel and Jewish people to the non-Jews who risked their lives to save the Jews during the Holocaust.

In 1963, Yad Vashem began the implementation of a worldwide project to award the title of “Righteous among the Nations” to the few who had helped the Jews in the darkest time of their history.

A public committee has been set up to examine each case and it is responsible for conferring the title of “Righteous among the Nations.”

The elected receive a medal and an honorary certificate and their names are honored on the mountain of memory in Jerusalem.

The righteous come from different nations, religions, and life area. What they have in common is that they were protecting their Jewish neighbors at a time when hostility, fear, and indifference prevailed. So far, 22,000 men and women from 45 countries in the world have received this honorary title.

Bulgaria has rescued nearly 48,000 thousand Jews from Hitler’s meat grinder. This was possible thanks to the intervention of the Bulgarian society, which does not accept the cruel, immoral and unconstitutional policy.

Yad Vashem chooses 20 of the Bulgarian citizens and honors them with the title of “Righteous among the Nations”. These are:

Dimo Totev Kazasov – a journalist, public and political figure

Stefan / secular name Stoyan Popgeorgiev / – Bulgarian Exarch

Cyril / secular name Konstantin Markov / – historian, doctor of theology, academician, Patriarch and Metropolitan of Sofia

Dimitar Yosifov Peshev – politician and public figure, Minister of Justice, Vice-President of the National Assembly

Assen Suichmezov – merchant in Kyustendil

Ivan Momchilov – a lawyer in Kyustendil

Vladimir Kurtev – teacher and activist of VMRO in Kyustendil

Petar Mihalev – lawyer, Deputy of the 25th National Assembly of Kyustendil

Mihail Georgiev Mihailov – Accountant in Kyustendil

Vera Paseva-Ichkova from Sofia

Dr. Pavel Gerdzhikov from Shumen

Nadezhda Vasileva – Nurse in Lom

Mladen Ivanov from Sofia

Stanka Stoycheva from Targovishte

Rubin Dimitrov-Bichko – baker in Sofia

Dr. Atanas Kostov – doctor

Anna Georgiva Damyanova-Popstefanova – theater actress

Anna Sarchadzhieva – lawyer

Spiro Denkov from Sofia

Vasili Ivanov – Bulgarian from Odessa

You can read about them and their heroism here:

http://alef-bg.org/category/%d0%bf%d1%80%d0%b0%d0%b2%d0%b5%d0%b4%d0%bd%d0%b8%d1%86%d0%b8-%d0%bd%d0%b0-%d1%81%d0%b2%d0%b5%d1%82%d0%b0/

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