Center for Jewish-Bulgarian cooperation

Posters of Hitler and Nazi symbols are being legalized in Burgas

The prosecution has refused pre-trial proceedings against the perpetrators

The Burgas District Prosecutor’s Office refused to form a pre-trial proceeding against the perpetrators, who hanged as posters the portrait of the Third Reich Federer Adolf Hitler and Nazi symbols. Thus the local institution gives a “green light” for future similar events and silently encourages the distributors of the extremely dangerous Nazi ideology.

The posters were being placed in honour of Hitler’s birthday – April 21, 2019, right in front of the entrance to the Courthouse, in the very heart of Burgas. They were spotted by thousands of passengers and children, as the area is pedestrian and popular for walks of the citizens of Burgas. After a signal to the Interior Ministry, the police found the perpetrators of the act, which are three men aged between 17 and 44, accompanied by a 17-year-old girl. The entire file of the investigation and the preliminary inspection was sent to the Regional Prosecutor’s Office of Burgas with a request for an opening of pre-trial proceedings against the persons.

The District Prosecutor’s Office officially stated that a decree refusing to form a pre-trial proceeding was issued on June 4, 2019, and the hanging of Nazi propaganda was classified as “petty hooliganism.” Regional Prosecutor’s Office refused to provide any additional information about the reasons for this decree, as well as the name of the prosecutor who issued it. The information blackout on an extremely serious issue of prevailing public interest is more than inadmissible and seems suspicious.

Center for Jewish-Bulgarian Cooperation “Alef”, as well as many citizens and organizations, express their great concern and anxiety about the inadequate reaction of the Burgas Regional Prosecutor’s Office regarding the dissemination of Nazi publicity material in public places. Over the years there has been a black series of similar incidents in Burgas, such as the painting of Nazi symbols on the Jewish Synagogue and its subsequent burning. Numerous places in the city and public areas can be spotted with painted Nazi symbols, but so far the perpetrators are unknown and have not been prosecuted.

On top of that, the current refusal of accusation by the Prosecutor’s Office of the dissemination of Nazi symbolism and propaganda from April 2019 turns the Bulgarian judicial system into a hidden accomplice of the Nazi propaganda. The reluctance of the prosecution to formally justify these actions raises very difficult and painful questions.

The statement by the Bulgaria’s National Co-ordinator against Antisemitism, Deputy Foreign Minister Georg Georgiev, in which he asserted that no one can vandalise and besmirch with hatred messages, seems too hasty.

“In connection with a signal to me depicting Nazi and anti-Semitic signs and messages on the facades of public buildings in Burgas, today I am happy to inform that the structures of the Ministry of Interior and the local authorities reacted brilliantly – quickly and professionally. Perpetrators have already been identified and a signal has been filed with the prosecution service. I hope this is a clear signal for anyone, who imagines he/she can vandalize and mess with hate messages without justice. He/She will be identified and inevitably punished”, says Georg Georgiev.

Center Alef appeals to all representatives of the three authorities in Bulgaria to the Inspectorate of the Supreme Cassation Prosecutor’s Office and to the Committee on Disciplinary Activity and Interaction with the Inspectorate at the SJC to the Prosecutor’s College of the SJC for reviewing the decree of the Burgas Regional Prosecutor’s Office , which practically legitimizes the public dissemination of Nazi propaganda in public places and is equated with acts such as breaking a window or curse and paying a fine from 10 to 200 levs. We believe Hitler’s posters with Nazi symbols on his birthday before the Court of Justice in Burgas is not usually a petty hooliganism, but a demonstrating act that incites racial, ethnic intolerance and crimes against humanity. Such actions are constitutive and became crimes under both the Criminal Code of the Republic of Bulgaria and the adopted by our country European legislative directives.

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