The Shalom Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria has condemned the daubing of an anti-Semitic slogan on the Soviet Army monument in Sofia on October 31.
Painted at the base of the monument were the words, in Bulgarian: “100 years Zionist occupation”.
Shalom said that it severely condemns such vandalism and sees the message as deliberate anti-Semitism.
“We are strongly opposed to the representation of the presence of the Soviet Army in Bulgaria as a ‘Zionist occupation’, especially in the context of the extreme ideological differences between the political trends of Bolshevism and Zionism,” the organisation said.
The year 2017 marks the centenary of the October revolution that resulted in a communist regime in Russia. Bulgaria, which in the Second World War was allied to Nazi Germany, was invaded by the Soviet Army in September 1944, an event which the monument in Sofia commemorates.
On November 1, the embassy of Israel in Sofia added its condemnation.
“Zionism is a national movement of Jews to return to their homeland in the lands of their ancient patriarchs and leaders, and the Jewish leaders who for decades have been active in this cause can be compared to the efforts of the Bulgarian Enlighteners we honour today,” the embassy said in a Facebook post.
Bulgaria celebrates the Day of the Enlighteners on November 1, in honour of writers, revolutionaries and spiritual leaders who built up Bulgarian national consciousness and the pursuit of education and scholarship.