Jewish organizations commended the Bulgarian government for preventing an annual neo-Nazi march in the country’s capital of Sofia from taking place last weekend.
The annual torch-lit Lukov march is named after Bulgarian Gen. Hristo Lukov, founder of the pro-Nazi Union of Bulgarian National Legions movement, which supported the deportation to Treblinka of more than 11,000 Jews from territories controlled by Bulgaria in Macedonia, northern Greece and eastern Serbia.
Lukov was responsible for a Bulgarian law, based on the 1935 Nuremberg Laws in Germany, that stripped Jews of their civil rights. He was assassinated in 1943 by Communist partisans.
The Lukov demonstration draws thousands of neo-Nazis and right-wing extremists.
Bulgaria’s Supreme Administrative Court prohibited the march, ruling that the far-right demonstrators could only lay wreaths at Lukov’s home.
“The court decision, as well as the cooperation of senior Bulgarian government officials, is a victory for the Bulgarian Jewish community,” said B’nai B’rith International president Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin in a statement on Tuesday.
The National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry said, “We are grateful to the Bulgarian government … and the other municipal and national government officials who worked tirelessly to end this annual display of hate and anti-Semitism.”
NCSEJ chairman Daniel Rubin added, “This decision by the government sends a strong message to all the voices of extremism that hate and anti-Semitism will not be tolerated in Bulgaria.”