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70 years later, a Musical Tells Story of Bulgarian Jews’ Rescue

A concert this Sunday at the Ira & Nancy Koger Center for the Arts in Columbia, SC, will commemorate the rescue in World War 2 of 49,000 Bulgarian Jews from being shipped to the Nazi death camps.

The Songs of Life Festival presentation, which includes as its centerpiece the oratorio “A Melancholy Beauty” by Bulgarian composer Georgi Andreev, will bring together 200 musicians from South Carolina and around the world. The music is in honor of the 70th anniversary of the saving of the Jews by religious and political leaders in Bulgaria.

The work will be presented in Charleston, NC on Saturday at the Charleston Music Hall before coming to Columbia the following evening.

According to The State, the concert was conceived by Kalin Tchonev, a Bulgarian native, and his wife Sharon, whose Bulgarian grandparents were saved by their gentile neighbors. The couple founded the South Carolina music production company Varna International 15 years ago.

“Three times the deportation was canceled,” Sharon Tchonev described the historic context of the new work. Although Bulgaria was allied with Nazi Germany, she said, King Boris III, who is featured in the oratorio, “played his cards closely” to defy Hitler’s orders.

The Eastern Orthodox Christian church was most powerful in its opposition, expressing outrage and pressuring the king and government officials, particularly after Jews in Bulgarian-annexed lands of Macedonia and Thrace were deported to Auschwitz and Treblinka. The story is told of one priest who scaled a wall where Jews were being held in one city and said he would go wherever they went.

The couple commissioned composer Andreev, chief conductor of the State Folklore Ensemble, and librettists Scot Cairns and Aryeh Finklestein to create the work.

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3 Responses to “70 years later, a Musical Tells Story of Bulgarian Jews’ Rescue”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Dimitar Peshev as vice president of the Bulgarian parliament did not object the Bulgarian alliance with Nazi Germany when King Boris III joined Hitler’s Axis. He also did not speak out or protest against drafting anti-Jewish laws (Law for Protection of the Nation Закон за защита на нацията) that were similar to the Nuremberg Laws in Bulgarian parliament by Bulgarian legislation.

    In July, 2003, public committee headed by Chief Justice Dr. Moshe Beiski decided to remove the memorial, honoring Tsar Boris as a savior of Bulgarian Jew, from the “The Bulgarian Forest" in Israel and replace it by a plaque of remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust in the Bulgarian-occupied territories because King Boris agreed delivery of the Jews from occupied territory of Macedonia and Thrace to the Germans.

    http://www.islamicpluralism.org/2301/the-myth-of-bulgarian-rescue-of-jews

    http://vimeo.com/25341520 Empty Boxcars Documentary Movie by Ed Gaffney

    http://www.yumpu.com/en/document/view/12340342/ Clarifying-70-years-of-whitewashing-and-shelomo-alfassa Clarifying 70 Years of Whitewashing and Inaccuracies: The Bulgarian Government and its Interaction with Jews During the Holocaust

    “When the Jews of Thrace and Macedonia don’t feel that their brothers from Bulgaria appreciate enough their tragedy, I can understand it. King Boris the III signed the order. He knew what will happened to these Jews and agreed to it. He cannot be somebody that we will commemorate his memory even if he saved the rest of the Bulgarian Jews. To have a monument to a man that was responsible for the killing of the Jews from Thrace and Macedonia, for my point of view if it inconceivable. “

    Professor Dalia Ofer, Hebrew University of Jerusalem and member of the, public committee headed by Chief Justice Dr. Moshe Beiski to investigate Israeli honors to king Boris

    http://vimeo.com/25341520 Empty Boxcars Documentary Movie by Ed Gaffney

    “What are we supposed to be thankful to you for-that you didn't kill us?… Now, it is marvelous for people having abstained from killing … but does this make them so morally superior? I don’t think so. I'm grateful yes, but to thank people for not killing me, I will not bring myself to stand up. "

    Norbert J. Yasharoff, Bulgarian Holocaust survivor

    http://vimeo.com/25341520 Empty Boxcars Documentary Movie by Ed Gaffney

    http://www.yumpu.com/en/document/view/12340342/clarifying-70-years-of-whitewashing-and-shelomo-alfassa Clarifying 70 Years of Whitewashing and Inaccuracies: The Bulgarian Government and its Interaction with Jews During the Holocaust

    |
    On March 4, 1943 ,Bulgarian soldiers with a help from German soldiers took The Jews from Cuomotini and Kavala off the Karageorge passenger boat, massacred them and sunk the boat .The Bulgarians confiscated all of the Jewish properties and possessions.

    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0005_0_04761.html
    As recorded in the German Archives, the Bulgarian Government even discussed the cost of deportation for the Jews of Macedonia and Trace with Nazi Germany from their occupied territory. Documents show that Nazi Germany paid to the Bulgarian Government 7,144.317 leva, for the deportation of 3545 adults and 592 children to the killing camp at Treblinka.

    http://macedoniaonline.eu/content/view/22629/2

  2. Anonymous says:

    Dimitar Peshev as vice president of the Bulgarian parliament did not object the Bulgarian alliance with Nazi Germany when King Boris III joined Hitler’s Axis. He also did not speak out or protest against drafting anti-Jewish laws (Law for Protection of the Nation Закон за защита на нацията) that were similar to the Nuremberg Laws in Bulgarian parliament by Bulgarian legislation.

    In July, 2003, public committee headed by Chief Justice Dr. Moshe Beiski decided to remove the memorial, honoring Tsar Boris as a savior of Bulgarian Jew, from the “The Bulgarian Forest" in Israel and replace it by a plaque of remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust in the Bulgarian-occupied territories because King Boris agreed delivery of the Jews from occupied territory of Macedonia and Thrace to the Germans.

    http://www.islamicpluralism.org/2301/the-myth-of-bulgarian-rescue-of-jews

    http://vimeo.com/25341520 Empty Boxcars Documentary Movie by Ed Gaffney

    http://www.yumpu.com/en/document/view/12340342/ Clarifying-70-years-of-whitewashing-and-shelomo-alfassa Clarifying 70 Years of Whitewashing and Inaccuracies: The Bulgarian Government and its Interaction with Jews During the Holocaust

    “When the Jews of Thrace and Macedonia don’t feel that their brothers from Bulgaria appreciate enough their tragedy, I can understand it. King Boris the III signed the order. He knew what will happened to these Jews and agreed to it. He cannot be somebody that we will commemorate his memory even if he saved the rest of the Bulgarian Jews. To have a monument to a man that was responsible for the killing of the Jews from Thrace and Macedonia, for my point of view if it inconceivable. “

    Professor Dalia Ofer, Hebrew University of Jerusalem and member of the, public committee headed by Chief Justice Dr. Moshe Beiski to investigate Israeli honors to king Boris

    http://vimeo.com/25341520 Empty Boxcars Documentary Movie by Ed Gaffney

    “What are we supposed to be thankful to you for-that you didn't kill us?… Now, it is marvelous for people having abstained from killing … but does this make them so morally superior? I don’t think so. I'm grateful yes, but to thank people for not killing me, I will not bring myself to stand up. "

    Norbert J. Yasharoff, Bulgarian Holocaust survivor

    http://vimeo.com/25341520 Empty Boxcars Documentary Movie by Ed Gaffney

    http://www.yumpu.com/en/document/view/12340342/clarifying-70-years-of-whitewashing-and-shelomo-alfassa Clarifying 70 Years of Whitewashing and Inaccuracies: The Bulgarian Government and its Interaction with Jews During the Holocaust

    |
    On March 4, 1943 ,Bulgarian soldiers with a help from German soldiers took The Jews from Cuomotini and Kavala off the Karageorge passenger boat, massacred them and sunk the boat .The Bulgarians confiscated all of the Jewish properties and possessions.

    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0005_0_04761.html
    As recorded in the German Archives, the Bulgarian Government even discussed the cost of deportation for the Jews of Macedonia and Trace with Nazi Germany from their occupied territory. Documents show that Nazi Germany paid to the Bulgarian Government 7,144.317 leva, for the deportation of 3545 adults and 592 children to the killing camp at Treblinka.

    http://macedoniaonline.eu/content/view/22629/2

  3. Anonymous says:

    Dimitar Peshev as vice president of the Bulgarian parliament did not object the Bulgarian alliance with Nazi Germany when King Boris III joined Hitler’s Axis. He also did not speak out or protest against drafting anti-Jewish laws (Law for Protection of the Nation Закон за защита на нацията) that were similar to the Nuremberg Laws in Bulgarian parliament by Bulgarian legislation.

    In July, 2003, public committee headed by Chief Justice Dr. Moshe Beiski decided to remove the memorial, honoring Tsar Boris as a savior of Bulgarian Jew, from the “The Bulgarian Forest" in Israel and replace it by a plaque of remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust in the Bulgarian-occupied territories because King Boris agreed delivery of the Jews from occupied territory of Macedonia and Thrace to the Germans.

    http://www.islamicpluralism.org/2301/the-myth-of-bulgarian-rescue-of-jews

    http://vimeo.com/25341520 Empty Boxcars Documentary Movie by Ed Gaffney

    http://www.yumpu.com/en/document/view/12340342/ Clarifying-70-years-of-whitewashing-and-shelomo-alfassa Clarifying 70 Years of Whitewashing and Inaccuracies: The Bulgarian Government and its Interaction with Jews During the Holocaust

    “When the Jews of Thrace and Macedonia don’t feel that their brothers from Bulgaria appreciate enough their tragedy, I can understand it. King Boris the III signed the order. He knew what will happened to these Jews and agreed to it. He cannot be somebody that we will commemorate his memory even if he saved the rest of the Bulgarian Jews. To have a monument to a man that was responsible for the killing of the Jews from Thrace and Macedonia, for my point of view if it inconceivable. “

    Professor Dalia Ofer, Hebrew University of Jerusalem and member of the, public committee headed by Chief Justice Dr. Moshe Beiski to investigate Israeli honors to king Boris

    http://vimeo.com/25341520 Empty Boxcars Documentary Movie by Ed Gaffney

    “What are we supposed to be thankful to you for-that you didn't kill us?… Now, it is marvelous for people having abstained from killing … but does this make them so morally superior? I don’t think so. I'm grateful yes, but to thank people for not killing me, I will not bring myself to stand up. "

    Norbert J. Yasharoff, Bulgarian Holocaust survivor

    http://vimeo.com/25341520 Empty Boxcars Documentary Movie by Ed Gaffney

    http://www.yumpu.com/en/document/view/12340342/clarifying-70-years-of-whitewashing-and-shelomo-alfassa Clarifying 70 Years of Whitewashing and Inaccuracies: The Bulgarian Government and its Interaction with Jews During the Holocaust

    |
    On March 4, 1943 ,Bulgarian soldiers with a help from German soldiers took The Jews from Cuomotini and Kavala off the Karageorge passenger boat, massacred them and sunk the boat .The Bulgarians confiscated all of the Jewish properties and possessions.

    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0005_0_04761.html
    As recorded in the German Archives, the Bulgarian Government even discussed the cost of deportation for the Jews of Macedonia and Trace with Nazi Germany from their occupied territory. Documents show that Nazi Germany paid to the Bulgarian Government 7,144.317 leva, for the deportation of 3545 adults and 592 children to the killing camp at Treblinka.

    http://macedoniaonline.eu/content/view/22629/2

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