Saturday, March 10, 2012

Remembering Dimitar Peshev

On a quiet street in the center of Sofia, a small group of people gathered around an unassuming apartment block on a Friday morning. They were there to remember the actions taken by Dimitar Peshev, deputy speaker of the Bulgarian National Assembly during WWII, to prevent the deportation and likely death of Bulgaria's sizable Jewish population. March 9th marked the 69th anniversary of the date when the order given by Hitler to send all Bulgarian Jews to German-occupied death camps in Poland was refused, at the urging of Peshev. This remarkable event, although quietly remembered today, is hugely important to the few Bulgarian Jewish families who remain here and the thousands living abroad. I went to the small ceremony held at Peshev's former home with a group of students and teachers from the Hebrew School. Several leaders from Sofia's Jewish community spoke about Peshev's life and legacy, and the Deputy Minister of Culture said a few words about Bulgaria's history as a tolerant and accepting nation. While the story may be more complicated than that, it is a moment in history that Bulgarians can and should feel proud of: not one Jew from Bulgaria was deported during the war.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for writing about this event,Sophia!This is important and needs to be known and remembered!