Bulgarian ministry reacts to sale of Hitler mugs in ‘Sunny Beach’

Written by on September 28, 2017 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Bulgarian ministry reacts to sale of Hitler mugs in ‘Sunny Beach’

The sale of products with swastikas, other Nazi emblems and the face of Adolf Hitler continues in Bulgaria. On the antique market close to Sofia’s Aleksandar Nevski Cathedral, little boxes and lighters with SS runes and symbols of this kind are being offered. At the book market in the center of Sofia, Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” is for sale.

But things are even worse in the Black Sea resort of Slanchev Briag (also known as ‘Sunny Beach’ or ‘Sonnenstrand’). At souvenir shops, mugs with sawstikas and the likeness of Hitler are being sold, along with t-shirts saying “Adolf Hipster”, with a sketch of the former dictator’s face, as well as swords with sawastikas.

At Germany’s Düsseldorf Airport, penal proceedings were initiated against at least one German tourist this summer, who brought home 13 Hitler mugs from Bulgaria, while symbols of fascist organisations are forbidden in all of Europe.

Now an Israeli tourist contacted Bulgaria’s Ambassador to Israel, Dimitar Mihailov, and sent him photos, including the one above, of products of this kind in souvenir shops located in Slanchev Briag. He also mentioned bottle openers, magnets, swords and chains with Swastikas.

Ambassador Mihailov officially contacted Shalom about the matter, the largest Jewish organisation in Bulgaria, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sofia. Now Deputy Foreign Minister Georgi Georgiev is on the case.

The ministry instructed the local authorities to become active, saying they expected measures in due time, and in accordance with the penal code. Deputy Minister Georgiev said: “We are looking at manifestations of racial, religious and ethnic intolerance, including anti-Semitism.” Such a serious provocation and violation would be penalised, using all the possibilites the law provided, Georgiev stated. “I stress that the mere existence and dissemination of such objects (…) undermine Bulgaria’s authority and harm its otherwise positive image among foreign nationals who choose our country for their journeys.”

The President of Shalom, Dr. Alexander Oscar, immediately sent a letter to the Mayor of the Municipality of Nessebar, Nicolai Dimitrov, informing him about the issue and expressing confidence that he will be a responsible partner who will make sure the items in question disappear from those shop shelves. A hospitable and tolerant environment for the residents and guests of the Municipality of Nessebar, regardless of their origin and nationality, was important, Oscar wrote.

Shalom thanked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for its rapid reaction, and Georgi Georgiev for his personal committment in the matter. Unfortunately, the case in Slanchev Briag was not isolated, Shalom said. “But we are convinced that, if the competent institutions and civil society unite efforts in the fight against anti-Semitism and the language of hatred, the results will soon be visible to all.”

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About the Author

Imanuel Marcus is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe. He is German and lives in Sofia. Contact: imanuelmarcus (at) gmail.com