Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The winds in Bulgaria are changing' – how a onetime Nazi ally is confronting its past

While some Eastern European countries are going to increasing lengths to whitewash their role in the Holocaust, Bulgaria is slowly starting to recognize the darker side of its own wartime actions – It’s something Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has long been fond of telling the world. “The Bulgarian people managed to save 48,000 Jews. That is why the Bulgarian people deserve great respect," he said once more in Skopje on Monday.

But there’s also a much darker side to the story. During World War II, Bulgaria occupied parts of what is now Macedonia, Greece and Serbia. Under direction from the Nazis, Bulgarian occupying forces – including the Commissariat for Jewish Affairs (KEV), headed by noted anti-Semite Alexander Belev – helped send more than 11,000 Jews in those areas to their deaths.

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