Bulgaria & Jews during the Holocaust: Between Mythology and Reality
Please join the Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies and the Harriman Institute for a talk by Professor Rumyana Christidi, Moderated by Rebecca Kobrin.
It is a well-known fact that the Bulgarian Jews survived the Holocaust and none of them were deported to the Nazi death camps. On another hand, the Jews from the so called “New Added” territories of the Kingdom – Macedonia and Thrace – were deprived of citizenship and deported to Treblinka where they all perished. What are the facts behind these stories and how the historians interpret them? Salvation and deportation, mythology and reality? Where does the line lie and what is national historiography choosing to hide, underline, point out or pass over in silence? What made the salvation of 48,000 Jewish lives possible in a country allied to Germany, governed by a pro-Nazi government? And what made the German Ambassador to Sofia in 1943 exclaim: “Bulgarian society does not understand the real meaning of the Jewish question… an ordinary Bulgarian does not understand the meaning of the struggle against Judaism, even more, that the racial question from its nature is incomprehensible to him.” And why after the war did the majority of the Bulgarian Jewish community prefer to leave the country that saved their lives?