Fascist Bulgaria's occupation of Macedonia during World War II

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  • Bratot
    Senior Member
    • Sep 2008
    • 2855

    The informations only confirms the Bulgarian agression, but I cannot really understand why someone published a book, available on the market, but asked to hide the names already published in the book?

    It's quite strange.

    I will try to look for this book.

    Thank you Daskale.
    The purpose of the media is not to make you to think that the name must be changed, but to get you into debate - what name would suit us! - Bratot


    • Soldier of Macedon
      Senior Member
      • Sep 2008
      • 13675

      Great thread gents.
      In the name of the blood and the sun, the dagger and the gun, Christ protect this soldier, a lion and a Macedonian.


      • George S.
        Senior Member
        • Aug 2009
        • 10116

        Fascist / Nazi / Anti-Jewish Bulgars from WWII

        Macedonian Jews in the “Yad Vashem” Museum (in Jerusalem) are recorded as Bulgarian Jews

        By Slave Nikolovski-Katin

        [email protected]

        Translated and edited by Risto Stefov

        [email protected]

        June 5, 2011

        In the course of World War II, the Bulgarian Fascists collected over 7,200 Jews in Macedonia and surrendered them to the Germans at the Nazi Concentration Camps in Treblinka. This was indeed a sad time for Macedonia. Sadder and stranger however is the fact that in “Yad Vashem”, the largest Jewish Museum in Jerusalem, these Jews are recorded as “Bulgarian Jews”.

        Like the Macedonians, the Jews possessed century old ideals and for many decades strove to have their holy land, a dream which came true in 1948.

        For generations the desire of forming a Jewish state was smouldering in the minds of many Jewish people. So when the time came there was great support from a large number of Jews around the world who were, for the love of their people, country, humanity and future fatherland, more than willing to become sponsors of such a project.

        As historic records show, from the moment the first residents of Israel arrived, they were sponsored by rich Diaspora Jews. The fruition of Israel as a state, right after World War II, spurred many Diaspora Jews to financially assist the newly formed country with more and more donations with each passing day. This is one major reason why Israel today is a successful country with many institutions, and all this is attributed to the love and pride of its people who persistently help in every way they can.

        Between 1948 and today, Diaspora Jews, particularly those in the United Sates and Canada, have formed a large number of funds allowing Jews, through their own means, to make donations and other forms of financial assistance to Israel.

        Through the giving of generous donations, gifts and other forms of financial aid over the years, the Jews have essentially created a bright future for Israel and for its people. The persistent giving, because of love and devotion for country and people, has become a tradition creating lasting ties between Diaspora and Israeli Jews. This is similar, but to a lesser extent, what Diaspora Macedonians like Atanas Bliznakov and Petre Stamatov from the United States have done for the University of Sv. Kiril and Metodi in Skopje. Macedonians, however, have a long way to go to match the Jewish traditions of giving.

        The Jewish funds worldwide, which today help Israel are many and have become invaluable in the development of Israel’s economic, political, cultural, educational, technical, technological and other fields. Thanks to these funds the “Yad Vashem” Museum, which translates to “Memorial and Name”, is an active, functioning, invaluable institution.

        Located near the entrance to Jerusalem, on the road from Tel Aviv near a steep hill in close proximity to the cemetery, the “Yad Vashem” Museum is a mute witness to history which is always expanding and growing; a place where visitors can experience the sad pages of Jewish history. This is a place visited by thousands of young and old, soldiers and foreigners alike where thousands of generations come to learn and be part of the Jewish spirit and remember to never forget the horrors of the holocaust.

        The idea for creating the “Yad Vashem” Museum dates back to the Second World War when Nazi Germany began to gather Jews en masse. The plan for building the museum was initiated in September 1942, with the formation of the Council of the Jewish National Fund, founded by Mordecai Shenhavi, member of the Kibbutz Mishmar Emek. Before the museum was built there were many consultations with a number of Jewish organizations and individuals both in Israel and in the Diaspora. Then in February 1946, a “Yad Vashem” office was opened in Jerusalem and a branch in Tel Aviv, with aims of expanding its activities.

        With the establishment of Israel in May 1948, it was proposed that “Yad Vashem” become a state institution, whose purpose would be to register the casualties of the holocaust. In 1953 the Israeli (Knersset) Assembly passed a law charging “Yad Vashem” with that responsibility. In August of the same year the law was put into effect and the Museum began its work. Its main mission was to complete the commemoration and documentation of events; selection, research and publication of all holocaust evidence. After that the Museum was charged with the task of registering all the names of the dead. Later one of its tasks included the education of the next generations about the holocaust.

        This contemporary institution of Israel is one of the most equipped institutions in the world. The “Yad Vashem” Museum is divided into ten functional parts included in which are: The Inferno of Names, the International School for Holocaust Studies, the library and the special museum section.

        “Yad Vashem” is a place that every Jew either from Israel or from the Diaspora must visit. It is a great place for non-Jews to learn about the fate of the Jews, their Promised Land, their destiny and their future.

        Sadly the Macedonian Jews, deported by the Fascist Governments of Bulgaria, have been recorded as “Bulgarian Jews” in the “Yad Vashem” Museum, a historical error, an injustice that has lasted for over half a century.

        Articles by Risto Stefov:

        Free electronic books by Risto Stefov available at:

        Our Name is Macedonia

        from email from R.stefov
        Last edited by George S.; 06-04-2011, 08:56 AM. Reason: ed
        "Ido not want an uprising of people that would leave me at the first failure, I want revolution with citizens able to bear all the temptations to a prolonged struggle, what, because of the fierce political conditions, will be our guide or cattle to the slaughterhouse"


        • Soldier of Macedon
          Senior Member
          • Sep 2008
          • 13675

          This is rather stupid given that it was the Bulgarians who rounded up the Macedonian Jews and sent them off to death camps. But this is somehow forgotten about because as an Axis country they ironically managed to save their own Jews.
          In the name of the blood and the sun, the dagger and the gun, Christ protect this soldier, a lion and a Macedonian.


          • mango
            • Feb 2010
            • 142

            Bulgarian role in the extermination of the Jews from Macedonia


            • Soldier of Macedon
              Senior Member
              • Sep 2008
              • 13675

              Thanks Mango, but going forward please post the article or a short summary instead of just a link.
              Challenging traditional views seems to be a specialty of Professor Ed Gaffney, a lecturer in law at Valparaiso university in Indiana and a writer and filmmaker.

              Empty Boxcars: Murder and Rescue of Bulgaria's Jews in World War 2, a new 90-minute documentary that had its world premiere in Bulgaria on October 11, permeates traditional comfort zones and highlights some unpalatable facts about Bulgaria's actions.

              This seems to be Gaffney's vocation, to prick self-satisfaction. As an Irish-American Roman Catholic engaged in Jewish-Catholic dialogue for decades, Gaffney is deeply critical of anti-Semitic animus and contempt for Jews within his own church. But Gaffney is by no means a "pro-Jewish, right or wrong" evangelist of the type to be found in the US on the Christian Right. He targets injustice wherever he perceives it.

              Gaffney is also a friendly critic of Israeli policies he deems unlikely to promote Israel’s own interests; for example, he regards demolition of Palestinian homes as inflicting on others "the horrible attacks on the fragility of Jewish homes over the centuries when Gentiles dispossessed Jews or sent them into exile, or when the Nazis stole their violins and pianos and art and homes all over Europe during World War 2." So it was that Gaffney was also moved to make an earlier documentary exploring how bereaved families on either side of the Israel-Palestinian divide (murdered by the other) came to empathise with each other's suffering. The film, Unbroken Circle, features many (Jewish) critics of the Israeli government.

              I make this point lest readers think Gaffney is an unbridled supporter of every Jewish/Zionist cause – rather he is a humanitarian.

              Under Bulgaria's thumb
              Gaffney refuses to play what could be called the preferential numbers game regarding Bulgaria's Jews during World War 2. When I cite the fact that 50 000 Jews in Greater Bulgaria survived the war, Gaffney shoots me down.

              "That's a distinction without a difference," he says. "I don't think there's a plausible justification for singling out Greek or Macedonian Jews, on the one hand, and saying they were somehow worthier of death in Treblinka. Claims by the Bulgarian authorities that they couldn't stop it (murders outside so-called Greater Bulgaria) are baloney. Nobody's going to indict Bulgaria for any of these crimes in 2010 but these WERE crimes against humanity nonetheless," he says.

              Empty Boxcars features, among others, the story of a Bulgarian Rabbi, Haim Asa from Plovdiv, who survived the war. Other family members, however, didn't. This, says Gaffney, is a crucial part of the film.

              "There were three different members of the Asa family, all of whom thought of themselves as Jews," says Gaffney.

              Asa had a cousin in Bitola, in Macedonia, who he remembers visiting in the 1930s, and another in Kavala. Both were murdered at Treblinka.

              "What are we saying – that we're going to differentiate between members of the Asa family, that national borders is the way you discern moral legitimacy or legality? No, it's illegal and immoral every time," says Gaffney.

              And, as Gaffney points out, these people were in areas administered and controlled by Bulgarians.

              "They were issuing postage stamps with pictures of King Boris right at the top and then it showed you three major cities in Macedonia - Skopje, Ohrid and Bitola. During their occupation the Bulgarians ran everything from the post office through to the police station and the educational curriculum. One of the dumbest reasons given by Bulgarians for why they couldn't save Jews in those other countries is that they weren't citizens of Bulgaria. Well, who decided that? The Bulgarians did! Under the Law to Protect the Nation, they denied citizenship to Jews," says Gaffney.

              Starting out
              Gaffney first became interested in Jewish-Christian relations when he studied theology in Rome. This was a time when the Church was starting to acknowledge its long history of Christian anti-Semitism.

              "In a way this film is one person's attempt to turn around centuries of mistaken and outrageously false teachings about Jews," he says.

              Reading a book called the War Against the Jews (by Lucy Dawidowicz) first stoked Gaffney's interest in Bulgaria. In the book she lists the fate of the Jews in each country during the war.

              "At the time it (Bulgaria's story) struck me as pretty remarkable. Then, subsequently, I met someone at my law school who asked me which country, allied to Nazi Germany, had more Jews after the war than before." (The answer was Bulgaria). "It turned out he was married to the former cultural attache of the Bulgarian embassy in Washington."

              From 1998 onwards Gaffney started making many trips to Bulgaria and Israel (where most Bulgarian Jews emigrated after the war) to interview survivors. Incidentally, but perhaps inevitably, this also stirred his interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

              Origins of race laws
              Bulgaria's race legislation post-1941 emulated Germany's. Gaffney sees modern anti-Semitism - reaching its most virulent zenith in the 20th century - as a continuum. Hitler did not invent it. He merely added some rather obscure racial theories to an enduring animus against Jews that began with the erroneous Christian assertion that the Jews crucified Christ. As Gaffney says, it was actually Pontius Pilate.

              "When Hitler grows up in Linz there are few Jews around. Then when he goes to Vienna to see the Jewish community he's filled with revulsion and disgust. In Mein Kampf all these animal metaphors are brought in – the Jews are 'sub humans' – people always use animal metaphors when they hate someone; it's always rats or something like that," says Gaffney.

              According to Gaffney, hatred towards Jews is a feeling that the anti-Semite then justifies with various spurious charges.

              "The Protocols of Zion (a notorious forgery) recites the world's ills and scapegoats Jews but that, of course, puts the cart before the horse. The hatred existed first and then the justifications, which are bogus and totally false, are used to explain it," he says.

              Inside the anti-Semitic mind
              Holocaust-denial and anti-Semitic websites particularly concern Gaffney.

              I cite David Duke, who seems obsessed with Jews, as a perfect example. Gaffney agrees.

              "There was a time when he (Duke) was running for governor of Louisiana and people had bumper stickers on the back of their cars urging support for the incumbent governor – who's now dead but was known to be 'on the take' a lot – saying 'vote for the crook, it matters'."

              Can one, I wonder, have a rational conversation with the anti-Semite to change their mind?

              "I don't think it's a question of reasons that are thought through," says Gaffney. "These people are not attentive to facts. Rational people are humble enough to change their mind when they're told – 'wait a minute; you didn't take into account enough of the data'. Duke doesn't do that, he starts off with the judgment, not the facts, just as the only experience that Hitler needed to justify his revulsion was to meet a few Jews in Vienna and invoke the same vulgar stereotypes that guide the Protocols."

              Gaffney says that personal encounters helps to cure hatred of other groups.

              "It's certainly not having a rational conversation with David Duke. Hope for transformation comes from – to cite the example of what San Francisco's celebrated gay activist Harvey Milk said – when people meet individuals in the group they dislike. In other words, they meet Aunt Sally who's a lesbian but a fabulous family member. And you simply can't help but love her even before you discover her sexuality. Similarly, change comes when you consult your Jewish neighbour about the crossword puzzle because he knows a word you don't. Then you find that they're extraordinarily sweet and generous people – that's what shifts attitudes."

              Hitler's rise
              Gaffney believes that so many Germans bought into Hitler's anti-Semitism, either actively or passively – due to a confluence of well-timed (from the Nazi point of view) factors.

              He sees Hitler's rise to power as resulting from a fusion of unjust war reparations, longstanding Franco-German enmity and severe economic crisis set against the background of a desperate people looking for a scapegoat. (Gaffney, by the way, sees the European Union's greatest achievement as rendering impossible another war between France and Germany).

              "You impose massive reparations on a country and the price of a loaf of bread jumps from one mark to 10, and then to 100, and you have huge debts. That's the moment Hitler enters the scene. Democratic persuasion plays no part. He says that the way out of the mess is to overcome these Jews" – although they made up less than one per cent of the population – "but a demagogue needs a scapegoat, a handy person. Sadly, the Germans didn't invent racial purity, the Americans did. Just look at the history of American race theory. Unfortunately, all this Aryan baloney that Hitler pumps out becomes part of the story in Bulgaria, which is all the more ludicrous because there is no racial purity in Bulgaria – it's a country of immense ethnic diversity."

              Does that imply that such ethnic purity existed in Germany?

              "I don't believe in racial purity anywhere; it's a fairytale," says Gaffney.

              "I teach my students that Barack Obama is not the first Afro-American president. Warren Harding was. Every black person in the US who knows anything about black history in the US acknowledges that. But most whites don't. Harding was one eighth African-American and that was enough in racial purity theory not only to put you at the back of the street car, but to put you in jail in the US. So the racial differentiation in Germany (between a Jew and an Aryan) was no stranger than a white man showing up in South Africa, saying that a Dutch God had declared that they were the rulers."

              All racism, says Gaffney, defies scientific analysis or rational thinking.

              "As I said, Obama is not the first African-American president but if you want to take seriously everything we know about genetics and about human origins, we're all Africans. There's no justification for it. In Germany, one of the first acts of the Nazis was to force Jewish scholars and academics out of their jobs. Why? Because somebody decides so. That doesn't answer why; that doesn't satisfy an inquiring mind, that's just a dictator talking."

              The Bulgarian case
              Gaffney does not diminish the Bulgarian rescue of its Jewish population, describing it as "extraordinary, stunning and staggeringly wonderful". He does, however, qualify it.

              "All by itself it's a beautiful story. What's wrong with it from our point of view as journalists is that it's not a complete story. That's why Rabbi Asa's story is such a compelling part of this film."

              A total of 11 393 people from the occupied areas were murdered in Treblinka – about 7000 from Macedonia and 4000 from Thrace.

              "The really destructive act of rounding up everyone in a community is described by Holocaust historian Michael Berenbaum in the film. 'When you deport the entire population of a town what you get is the absence of presence and the presence of absence'." Gaffney says these crimes can't be overlooked. "In Bitola or Skopje and Kavala, you see Bulgarian gendarmes and soldiers guarding Bulgarian trains and you see the Jews of Bitola in Skopje's tobacco warehouse."

              The pictures sometimes seem so mundane that Hannah Arendt's remark about "the banality of evil" comes to mind.

              "One of the extraordinary things about the Bulgarian story is that we expect our rescuers to be 100 per cent saints and never get anything wrong. The very improbability of the Bulgarian story makes it a compellingly human one because most of us are like that; we're not saints and we get it wrong as often as we get it right," says Gaffney.

              Boris - saint or sinner?
              Perhaps that's never more true than about Bulgaria's King Boris. What, I ask Gaffney, is his true legacy?

              "In criminal law, no prosecutor ever attempts to prosecute the dead," says Gaffney. "When a person dies, historians can evaluate a person's life but it's useless trying to vilify someone. For example, in Hitler's case, why are so many skinheads admiring of him? That's a contemporary cultural issue that we have to wrestle with and take seriously. We can't ignore that, just as we can't ignore the David Dukes of this world. But what's the point of trashing Hitler? He trashed himself; he trashed the entire civilisation of the country he governed. As for King Boris, Hitler's description of him is enough – 'a fox' – he was clever and very attentive to facts. Hitler used to love it when Boris visited Berlin because he'd find out what was really happening. He'd say to his staff – 'How come I didn't know that until Boris came to town?'"

              Gaffney says that Hitler demanded payback for negotiating with the Romanians to cede lands to Bulgaria. Part of that price was the deportation of Bulgaria's Jews. The result was catastrophe for Jews in the occupied territories.

              "The year 1943 was the most horrible year for mass murder," he says. "In just a few months between 700 000 and 850 000 Jews were killed in Treblinka. Some people say the title I chose for the film – Empty Boxcars – is false. 'The trains were full, not empty', people say. Well, they were full until they get to the terminus but here's what you should know about Treblinka. Eichmann had these trains running on a precise schedule - 20 cars with exactly 2000 people in each – and then the boxcars would leave empty because no freight cars had food or water, nothing like that. It was a place of extermination."

              Going back to Boris, however, Gaffney does believe that some of his anti-Semitic comments – as with his infamous address to the synod of bishops in 1943 – was merely a way of covering his back in Berlin.

              "When Boris met Hitler you get a sense of how insightful he was about Hitler's pernicious psyche. For example, at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, he relates how Hitler talked non-stop and didn't seem interested in what other people had to say."

              Weighing up the evidence, however, Gaffney rejects the notion that Boris was in any way a hero. "What's wrong with this theory is not that Boris didn't have the courage to stop the deportation, it's that he didn't do it earlier," he says.

              Jews were more integrated in Bulgaria than they were in Germany and this may have been a decisive factor in their salvation, according to Gaffney. If you put people in a ghetto, then you create a 'them and us' attitude that perpetuates discrimination.

              "In fairness to the Germans they didn't invent the ghetto. It began in Rome and Venice, from where the name derives. But when you lock people up in an area, telling them that they belong there and there is no integration, then it becomes 'Jew town'. That's what Hitler witnessed in Vienna. But in Bulgaria, by contrast, the Jews were common labourers and artisans. There may have been a couple of Jews in banking but there was no data to say they wielded an undue influence or any basis for alleging that they ran the country's finances."

              Bulgaria, according to Gaffney, has always tried to wriggle out of responsibility for its wartime role to the extent that even some claim that the Star of David that all Jews had to wear in public was smaller than that of the German equivalent, as if this in some way diminished the humiliation.

              "If a Jewish kid was on his way to school, it meant that thugs caused trouble for them, just like Norbert Yasharoff (who features in the film) from Pleven, who recounts in the film how he was beaten up daily as a kind of price of admission into the Fascist youth group."

              As we end, I try to draw more solace from Bulgaria's actions. Does the saving of Bulgaria's Jews indicate a greater compassion in the Bulgarian national character?

              "Compassion is a human question, not one of national stereotypes," says Gaffney. It seems an appropriate conclusion from a person whose work has always repudiated the notion that inherent or ingrained characteristics define any group of people.
              In the name of the blood and the sun, the dagger and the gun, Christ protect this soldier, a lion and a Macedonian.


              • Onur
                Senior Member
                • Apr 2010
                • 2389

                1000s of people praised the Bulgarian generals of WW-2 during neo-nazi march in Sofia;

                1000 Take Part in Bulgaria's Controversial Far-Right March
                Some 1000 participants joined the so-called Lukov March, a procession deemed to be neo-Nazi, whose organizers defend it as patriotic.

                The 2012 "Lukov March" procession, which has been held for the last couple of years by Bulgarian far-right formations to honor the memory of Gen. Hristo Lukov, a hero from Bulgaria's national unification wars turned an anti-Semite and a pro-Nazi activist, was also said to honor the memory of Vasil Levski, Bulgaria's undisputed national hero from the anti-Ottoman liberation struggle.

                The so called Lukov March has been initiated by the Bulgarian National Union, a far-right organization, but appears to have attracted some members of the general audience as well.

                As if to make it even more controversial, the participants in the Lukov March held banners of both the questionable Gen. Hristo Lukov (right) and the Bulgarian national hero Vasil Levski (left).

                After standing out during the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913, General Hristo Lukov (1888-1943) was the commanding General of the 13th Division of the Bulgaria's Army during World War I, and later a Minister of War.

                In the late 1930s and during the Second World War he was a great supporter of the Axis powers, particularly Nazi Germany; he is known to have voiced demands that Bulgaria's legislation be made more antisemitic and closer to that of Hitler's Nazi Germany.

                Lukov was the the leader of the right extremist Union of Bulgarian National Legions, which many Bulgarian historians deem the only real fascist organization in Bulgaria during World War II. Lukov was murdered by communist insurgents in 1943.

                February 18, 2012

                I think i wont be able to comprehend these Bulgarian fascists. They hate to be called as "slavic people". They praise their mythical proto-Bulgar identity from Afghan mountains. They hate all their neighbors, Turks at most but they carry Turkic runic damga/symbols from Bulgar era. They shave their heads and support nazi ideology. Also supporting their Balkan wars generals despite the fact that they have been abused by Russia during that war, who pointlessly sent them to go Istanbul. And carrying the giant posters of WW-2 generals while it`s a fact that they have been abused by Germans that time?


                • Kurd!
                  Junior Member
                  • Feb 2012
                  • 9

                  Intelligent search from Bing makes it easier to quickly find what you’re looking for and rewards you.
                  Last edited by Kurd!; 02-27-2012, 09:14 AM.


                  • makedonche
                    Senior Member
                    • Oct 2008
                    • 3242

                    Your point being?
                    On Delchev's sarcophagus you can read the following inscription: "We swear the future generations to bury these sacred bones in the capital of Independent Macedonia. August 1923 Illinden"


                    • Soldier of Macedon
                      Senior Member
                      • Sep 2008
                      • 13675

                      Kurd, you would serve your people and cause much better if you actually articulated on the point you were trying to make.
                      In the name of the blood and the sun, the dagger and the gun, Christ protect this soldier, a lion and a Macedonian.


                      • Kurd!
                        Junior Member
                        • Feb 2012
                        • 9

                        Sorry english not good.

                        watch desturbing.

                        How Turkish Ununiformed Policemen Break Arm of a Kurdish Child in Turkey.. - YouTube


                        • Kurd!
                          Junior Member
                          • Feb 2012
                          • 9

                          hayvan türk polisi - YouTube


                          • Risto the Great
                            Senior Member
                            • Sep 2008
                            • 15660

                            Kurd, are you normal? If I come on a Kurd forum and post irrelevant Youtube links about Greek brutality against Macedonians, they would think I was mental. Which is what I think about you. I am interested in the Kurdish perspective, but you are not helping in the least. Keep posting irrelevant replies to threads and you will be banned.
                            Risto the Great
                            "Holding my breath for the revolution."

                            Hey, I wrote a bestseller. Check it out: www.ren-shen.com


                            • Kurd!
                              Junior Member
                              • Feb 2012
                              • 9

                              sorry ok not agan


                              • Onur
                                Senior Member
                                • Apr 2010
                                • 2389

                                Risto, he is a Greek.

                                I checked his previous msgs, wondering what the hell is up for. It looks like he tried to write in broken english at first and attacked you (wonder why?!) in his first msg by saying;
                                Originally posted by Kurd! View Post
                                This was from Risto Why you erase. Why you not want truth. Turks raping killing young Kurdish girls today. This is not free forum. Shame on you.
                                Now it looks like he doesn't bother trying to write broken english anymore. Already, if his english knowledge is not enough to write few proper sentences, then how come he can read threads here for a year? Also it`s strange that Mr. Kurd appeared on here just one day after i returned here after 3 months break.

                                You know what Risto, this Kurd is no other than Voltron the Greek. He was here before with Ottoman nickname, toying with all of us by logging in with two different accounts and on two different browsers open at the same time, using proxy servers. And it looks like as soon as he saw that i am back here, he created this username Kurd.

                                But because other admins here are more involved with arguing with their fellow Macedonians, attacking them for no reason, so i don't think they notice such stuff here anyway.

                                just my 2 cents!
                                Last edited by Onur; 02-28-2012, 02:50 PM.