12 Ottobre 2011

Antisemitic manifestations in Bulgaria – 2009-2010

Data:

12/10/2011

Fonte:

http://antisemitism.org.il

Dear Reader,

 

We offer you the first issue of the newsletter on Anti-Semitic acts in Bulgaria.

 

The newsletter’s format was chosen to stay clear of emotionally coloured

 

evaluations and analyses which are not helpful for following, recording and reacting

 

to Anti-Semitic phenomena. The newsletter presents concrete and easily available

 

information on the “banal”evil – Anti-Semitism in Bulgaria during the last two years.

 

It was conceived and accomplished as chronology of events. The choice of the

 

last two years was determined by the period of existence of an organized Anti-

 

Semitic acts monitoring system. Why was it necessary to build up such a system

 

now, is another subject but what you have here is the result of its operation.

 

We would not rush to a hasty assessment of what is happening as it might

 

be wrong but we should strike an alarm bell. Because, in the conditions of an

 

economic and spiritual crisis when some circles in “old” Europe” are beginning

 

to export xenophobia and Anti-Semitism, and the world is becoming increasingly

 

intolerant to those who are different in terms of religion, ethnicity and even way

 

of life, there is a danger for our country to mar and even lose its reputation of an

 

ethnically and religiously tolerant country.

 

A lot has been written about the traditional friendship between Bulgarians and

 

Jews and that is true. A lot has been said about the remarkable rescue of Bulgarian

 

Jews from death during the Holocaust. The stories of those events reveal the deep

 

gratitude of Jews for those Bulgarians who stretched a helping hand, often at the

 

risk of their own wellbeing, to save their Jewish compatriots. We thank G-d that

 

those Bulgarians were the majority of the Bulgarian people.

 

Very little was written about Anti-Semitism in Bulgaria during the last 130 years.

 

Anti-Semitism in Bulgarian lands in more recent times had, blessedly, a modest

 

history. It recorded the pogroms against Jewish shops in Karlovo at the close of the

 

19th century; the attempts of individual lumpen elements to instigate persecution

 

of Jews on accusations that they used Christian blood for preparation of matsot

 

for PESACH; the active publishing activities of the “patriotic” organizations of

 

“Ratnik”, “Bulgarian National Legions”, “Father Paisiy” etc. in disseminating Anti-

 

Semitic literature in Bulgaria. Anti-Semitism in Bulgaria reached its apogee with

 

the anti-Jewish legislation, passed and enacted in the country in 1940-1944 which

 

resulted in looting and humiliating 50 000 Bulgarian Jews and dispatching 11 343

 

Jews from Thrace, Macedonia and Pirot to Nazi death-camps in 1943. With the

 

political changes after 9th September, 1944, Anti-Semitism decreased temporarily

 

but reappeared in new forms during the “struggle against cosmopolitism” and the

 

“doctors’ plot” in the Soviet Union in 1949-1953. Later on, some sporadic Anti-

 

Semitic acts and activities took place under the guise of “struggle against Zionism”

 

which disturbed the normal life of those 5000 Jews who remained in Bulgaria.

 

Nowadays, Anti-Semitism is not a state policy in Bulgaria and is not supported

 

by the majority of public forces. It spreads out under the influence of outside

 

factors; as a result of some lapses in the legislation and as part of the political

 

activity of extreme nationalistic, anti-NATO circles. The best thing in this sad

 

review of Anti-Semitic acts in Bulgaria is that most Bulgarians have never shared

 

Anti-Semitism as a political belief and have had and still have a negative attitude

 

to this shameful phenomenon. But doesn’t hate of those who are different have a

 

future in our country?

 

This newsletter mirrors the Bulgarian Jewish community’s concern not only

 

and not that much for its own fate but mostly for “the health” of the Bulgarian

 

society which has never encouraged fanatics and extremists. We are hopeful that

 

the society has a vigilant civil conscience as it had at the time of the rescue of

 

Bulgarian Jews back in 1940-1944. The millions of people conscience and ethics

 

are the key to the survival of our world.

 

Our thanks go to those who accomplished this newsletter and are the driving

 

force of the Anti-Semitic acts in Bulgaria monitoring system – Victor Melamed,

 

Annie Avtova and Pepa Ilieva. I would also like to express appreciation of the help

 

provided by our partner, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (AJJDC),

 

the Anti-Defamation League (ADL, New York), American Jewish Committee

 

(AJC) and the Coordination Forum for Countering Anti-Semitism, Israel which we

 

consulted in establishing the Anti-Semitism in Bulgaria monitoring system and

 

preparing this publication.

 

Maxim Benvenisti

 

President of the Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria

 

SHALOM