Photo by BTA on 15 November, 2023

Monument to Jurists Who Played Role in Rescue of Bulgarian Jews Unveiled in Sofia

World News Agencies By BTA - Bulgarian News Agency • 15 November, 2023

Jerusalem, 15 November, 2023 (TPS) -- SOFIA, (BTA)
A monument to the jurists who played a role in the rescue of Bulgarian Jews during the Holocaust was unveiled in Sofia’s Vazrazhdane Square on Wednesday. The initiative came from the Association of Prosecutors in Bulgaria and the Chamber of Investigators in Bulgaria; the project was implemented with the assistance of Sofia Municipality.

Attending the event were Israeli Ambassador Yosef Levi Sfari, representatives of the Judiciary, the local authorities in the capital, the academic community, and citizens. The ribbon was cut by Association of Prosecutors in Bulgaria head Vladimir Nikolov, Chamber of Investigators in Bulgaria head Preslava Petkova, and Georgi Georgiev of the Sofia Municipal Council.

In his speech, Nikolov said that seeing the monument, he feels proud of what Bulgarians did 80 years ago and of how today, “all of us together managed to honour their action”. In his words, the rescue of Bulgarian Jews is not the work of a single person or separate strata but the result of the entire Bulgarian society’s enthusiasm and dedication.

Chamber of Investigators Deputy Chairperson Yasen Todorov said that the Bulgarian jurists who took part in the rescue had the courage and dignity to rise against the status-quo in defense of human values. In his words, the monument aims to show the world that Bulgaria and Sofia are centers of tolerance where various ethnicities and religions live together, as well as to show ourselves that when there is a national cause, various social strata with different political views and financial situation can back it.

The Israeli Ambassador said that the lawyers, judges, and prosecutors played a big role in stopping evil. In his words, Bulgarian society rose against evil 80 years ago; that was not an immediate action but a process. There is right and there is wrong, and jurists cannot justify what is morally wrong because by doing so, they would condemn their society to moral chaos and confusion of the ethical values on which societies are based. Yosef Levi Sfari thanked everyone who took part in the monument project, which will be a reminder of “jurists’ decisive role in our societies”.

The monument was made by sculptor Krasimir Angelov and architect Stanislav Konstantinov. It represents the Star of David when seen from above. It is made of cast bronze. When passing through the monument, one finds oneself between two mirrors that multiply the image; that can be interpreted as preservation of human life and family.

This year, Bulgaria marks the 80th anniversary of the rescue of Bulgarian Jews from Nazi death camps. Nearly 50,000 lives were saved in this country. 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.