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April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Dimitar Peshev’

D.C. Street Renamed For Bulgarian Official Who Saved Jews

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

The street in front of the Bulgarian Embassy  in Washington has been renamed Dimitar Peshev Plaza, in honor of the man credited with halting the deportation of about 50,000 Jews.

In March 1943, Peshev, who was the deputy speaker of the Bulgarian Parliament at the time, heard of a deportation order and decided he had to stop it at all costs. He rushed to the capital city of Sophia, equipped with a petition signed by 43 members of the government. He refused to leave the Interior Ministry office until every deportation center in the country was contacted and everyone released. By the end of that day, the order was cancelled.

Peshev also tried to stop deportations of Jews in northern Greece and Macedonia, but without success.

Because of Peshev’s actions, he was stripped of his position as deputy speaker and then kicked out of Parliament. A year-and-a-half later, when the Soviet-back Communists took over the government, Peshev was tried as a war criminal and sent to jail. One of his crimes was listed as anti-Semitism.

Bulgaria Commemorates 70 Years of Saving Its Jews

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

The 70th anniversary of the rescue of Bulgaria’s Jews in WW II is being commemorated with a number of solemn ceremonies in Bulgarian capital Sofia Sunday, Sofia News Agency reports.

Unlike most other Nazi allies or Nazi-occupied countries (with the exception of Denmark and Finland), Bulgaria managed to save its entire Jewish population of 48,000 from deportation to concentration camps.

Bulgarian Minister of Justice Dimitar Peshev is credited with playing a major role in preventing the deportations, as well as Bulgarian Church officials and ordinary citizens.

The story of the Bulgarian Jews during World War II is been told in “Beyond Hitler’s Grasp: The Heroic Rescue of Bulgaria’s Jews” by Michael Bar-Zohar, an Israeli historian, politician and former Knesset member who was born in Bulgaria.

The organization of Jews in Bulgaria, Shalom, will unveil a memorial sign near the Bulgarian Parliament, after which a solemn ceremony will be held at the Sofia Synagogue.

The ceremony will be attended by official representatives of the Jewish community in Bulgaria, the state of Israel, and other foreign dignitaries.

On Sunday night, the mayors of Bulgarian towns which helped rescue Jews from the Nazis will be awarded the Shofar prize in a ceremony under the auspices of Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev.

The solemn events Sunday will also mourn the 11,343 Jews who were deported to the death camps from territories in Yugoslavia and Greece occupied by Bulgaria during WW II.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bulgaria-commemorates-70-years-of-saving-its-jews/2013/03/10/

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