site.btaDiscussion Dedicated to the Rescue of Bulgarian Jews Organized in Chicago
A discussion on the rescue of Bulgarian Jews during World War II will be held in Chicago on February 9, the Bulgarian Consulate General announced on its Facebook page. The event is organized by the local branch of the American Jewish Committee and is part of the consulate's program to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the rescue of Bulgarian Jews during the Holocaust.
"The representatives of the Bulgarian community are cordially invited to a meeting-discussion on the topic of "Light among darkness". The event is open, but places are limited," the Bulgarian diplomatic mission wrote.
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 12:00 local time, at a convenient downtown location. The event will host Bulgarian Consul General Svetoslav Stankov, Prof. Samuel Refetoff in conversation with Sarah van Loon, AJC Evelyn R. Greene Chicago Regional Director, as they discuss how Bulgaria saved thousands of Jewish lives during World War II.
Samuel Refetoff is a Bulgarian-born American endocrinologist. Nominated for a Nobel Prize in medicine for his discovery of resistance to thyroid hormone (Refetoff Syndrome, 1967). Professor of medicine, pediatrics and genetics at the University of Chicago.
In 2005 the UN declared January 27 International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. On this date in 1945, the largest Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, where over 1.1 million people were killed, was liberated. This year marks the 80th anniversary of the rescue of the Bulgarian Jews.
Bulgaria will be marking the 80th anniversary of the salvation of Bulgarian Jews in 2023.
The anniversary raises many historical and historiographical questions about who the rescuers were, what made this great humanitarian act possible and why it happened in Bulgaria. The Bulgarian News Agency (BTA), in partnership with the Alef Jewish-Bulgarian Cooperation Center, set itself the task of answering these questions with the help of prominent scholars, public figures, and experts on the subject with a series of articles to recall the events of the past and the participants in them, and to present the importance of the rescue and the rescuers. Bulgaria and Denmark are believed to be the only countries that did not allow their Jewish citizens to be deported to Nazi death camps. Nearly 50,000 lives were saved in Bulgaria. According to information on the website of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center, Bulgaria had 50,000 Jews before World War II and zero victims. It is the only country with zero victims.