Bulgaria’s National Assembly adopted a formal declaration on May 8 2015 on the 70th anniversary of the surrender by Nazi Germany in World War 2, with the declaration hotly disputed by some minority parties.
The declaration was tabled by the foreign policy committee, after earlier attempts by nationalist and socialist parties sought parliamentary endorsement of their respective declarations.
As adopted by the National Assembly, the text noted the 70th anniversary of Nazi Germany’s surrender and the May 9 1950 declaration by Robert Schuman – a key founding document in the history of the European Union – and emphasised the place of these two events “paving the way towards the establishment of a community of solidarity and understanding among the nations of Europe”.
The declaration affirmed that one of major goals of European unification was the averting of military conflicts and crimes against humanity, recognised the determination to protect the peace and avoid new division of the nations in Europe, and recalled the contribution of the Bulgarian nation for the rescuing of the Jewish community in Bulgaria.
The National Assembly paid its respects to the memory of those who had died and the victims of World War 2 and acknowledged the states that had gained the victory over Nazi Germany, the declaration said.
In debate, changes to the wording were demanded by MPs from the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party, socialist minority breakaway ABC and far-right ultra-nationalists Ataka.
ABC wanted the addition of recognition of resistance movements in Bulgaria and Europe, with the BSP similarly demanding a reference to honouring the anti-fascist resistance in Bulgaria.
Ataka’s Dessislav Chukulov wanted the inclusion of a reference to the “dual role” of the then United States, England, France, and to condemn the resurgence of Nazism in any form of intolerance towards Orthodoxy, desecration of monuments, and the refusal of Bulgarian head of state President Rossen Plevneliev to participate in the May 9 celebrations in Moscow.
Chukulov wanted condemnation of the refusal by Plevneliev as an “insult to the memory of millions of victims of World War 2”.
Radan Kanev, co-leader of the centre-right coalition Reformist Bloc parliamentary group, said that when the socialists wanted the Bulgarian Parliament to praise the Red Army, he would refuse unless there was a reference to the Katyn Forest Massacre (the 1940 mass killing of Polish officers and intelligentsia by the Soviets), and definitely would refuse if such a declaration did not mention the “sadistic silent monitoring” for three months by the Red Army of the defeat of the Warsaw Uprising – “the most shameful point of the Red Army among many shameful points”.
The BSP MPs should go get their money from the Russian embassy, Kanev said.
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)