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 Nevsky cathedral, little boxes and lighters with SS runes and symbols of this kind are being offered. At the book market in the centre of Sofia, Hitler’s Mein Kampf is for sale.

But things are even worse in the Black Sea resort of Slunchev Briag (also known as ‘Sunny Beach’). At souvenir shops, mugs with swastikas 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 swastikas.

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 Slunchev Briag. He also mentioned bottle openers, magnets, swords and chains with swastikas.

Mihailov officially contacted the Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria “Shalom”, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sofia. Now Deputy Foreign Minister Georg Georgiev is on the case.

The ministry asked local authorities to respond, and in accordance with the Penal Code. 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 said. “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  Nessebur municipality, Nikolai 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 Nessebur, regardless of their origin and nationality, was important, Oscar said.

Shalom thanked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for its rapid reaction, and Georgiev for his personal commitment in the matter. Unfortunately, the case in Slunchev 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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