Center for Jewish-Bulgarian cooperation

Burgas honored the Day of the Rescue of the Bulgarian Jews with a ceremony

Wreaths and flowers covered the memorial of gratitude for the saved Jews from Burgas. The monument was built in memory of valiant and daring Burgas public figures who did not allow the deportation of their Jewish fellow citizens with the death echelons 76 years ago. The memorial day of rescuing nearly 50,000 Bulgarian Jews and honoring the memory of the victims from the Holocaust was honored with a solemn ritual organized by the Center for Jewish-Bulgarian Cooperation “Alef”.

The detachment of the rescued Burgas Jews, Alberta Alkalay, returned the attendees at the ceremony to the dramatic days of 1943. The heavy repression of the Jewish population in the years of  the World War II and the horror with which they have received the news for the Nazi crematoriums have not been forgotten. She was deeply grateful for the worthy behavior of prominent Burgas citizens who headed the protest against the deportation of the Jews in the city and contributed to their salvation.

 

“Recalling the names of the brave and valorous Bulgarians, today we express our tribute and gratitude and it will be transported in time. The example of Dyanko Pravchev, Petko Rosen, Ljubcho Zurkov, Peter Velchev, Matthew Hadjipetrov and many others is alive and will not be forgotten by future generations. We declare our will to never allow such a precedent of human mass destruction, “said Alberta Alkalay.

 

“I want to join on behalf of the Municipality of Burgas, on my behalf and on behalf of my colleagues, to express respect and esteem for this supreme act of human love and humanity, which our fellow citizens and the management of that time and public figures of Burgas have shown. Burgas people have shown their tolerance in a very categorical manner (1), this so-commented word in recent days. Let us not forget that we live on the European continent and we are people who value human life. We have higher values and relations with our neighbor, with the friend, with the fellow, and this must be proved in everyday life, “said Mayor Dimitar Nikolov in his speech.

In the ceremony in front of the memorial of gratitude in the center of Burgas, the memory of the 11343 Jews from Western Thrace, Vardar Macedonia and Pirot, as well as 6 million Jews from all over the world, was honored. The massive rescue of the entire Jewish community in Bulgaria from extinction is a unique and unprecedented act. It is still not sufficiently well-publicized and analyzed, but it is a non-material intangible capital for the high morale of the Bulgarian people.

The event was attended by Mayor Dimitar Nikolov, Deputy Governor Sevdalina Tourmanova, Deputy Mayor Yordanka Ananieva, MPs Dimitar Boychev and Galya Vasileva, Commissioner Nedelcho Rachev – Chief of Security Police at Regional Directorate of the Ministry of Interior – Burgas, Municipal Councilors and representatives of GERB and NFSB, journalists, teachers, students and many citizens.

 

On the eve of the Memorial Day, their honor in a non-traditional manner was expressed by students from the Commercial High School – Burgas, English Language School “Geo Milev”, German Language School “Goethe”, Professional Mathematics High School “Acad. Nikola Obreshkov” and Professional School of Computer Programming and Innovation. They took part in the creative lesson dedicated to the Salvation Day and taught by the writers Milka Ivanova and Elka Vasileva. The young writers discussed the lessons of history on its darkest page on humanity – the Holocaust. The children united around the Jewish wisdom that “Who saves one human life, saves a whole universe.” The non-traditional lesson on Creativity was co-organized by Center “Alef” and the Burgas Writer Community.

At the end of February, the Burgas Municipal Council voted a proposal from the Initiative Committee for the naming of the space where the memorial of gratitude was built as “Tolerance Square”.

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