site.btaCelebration of 80th Anniversary of Rescue of Bulgarian Jews Held in US Congress
The Bulgarian Embassy in the US organized a celebration of the 80th anniversary of the rescue of the Bulgarian Jews at the US Congress on June 6. Bulgarian National Library’s exhibition "The Jews in the Bulgarian Lands" was on display during the event, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
The House of Representatives' Bulgarian Friendship Caucus Co-chairs and Congressmen Joe Wilson and Brad Schneider were in attendance as official guests.
Bulgaria’s Ambassador to the US Georgi Panayotov highlighted the decisive role of the Bulgarian society for the rescue of the Bulgarian Jews, referring to civil associations and unions, citizens, leaders of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and especially National Assembly Deputy Chairman Dimitar Peshev, who, together with Metropolitans Kiril and Stefan, were named "Righteous Among the Nations" by the Yad Vashem Memorial in Israel. “Thanks to the unprecedented unity, strong spirit and courage of the Bulgarian society, which dared to stand up against injustice, the order for the deportation of nearly 50,000 Bulgarian Jews was revoked. At the same time, every year Bulgaria commemorates those 11,343 Jews from parts of the former Yugoslavia and parts of northern Greece who could not be saved from the death camps,” Panayotov stated.
Schneider pointed out that during one of the darkest periods in human history, the bravery and determination of a group of people in Bulgaria led to the saving of nearly 50,000 lives. “The memory of 11,343 Jews from parts of the former Yugoslavia and parts of northern Greece must be honoured, and the rescue of nearly 50,000 Bulgarian Jews was a heroic act that must not be forgotten. Our role is to keep alive the memory of the events of 1943 and to pass it on to future generations,” he added.
Congressman Wilson noted that the event was a sign of the bipartisan support of the US for Bulgaria. He highlighted the excellent level of the Bulgarian-American relations, to which he continues to contribute as the founder and co-chair of the Friendship Caucus with Bulgaria. ”The commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the rescue of Bulgarian Jews is also an occasion to remind that anti-Semitism has reached threatening levels around the world. The lessons of the past should motivate us to counter all forms of anti-Semitism, discrimination and hatred,” he stressed.
Wilson congratulated the newly elected Bulgarian government, expressing readiness for future cooperation.