The Bulgarian Cabinet announced on March 7 that it had approved a grant of 15 000 euro to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation of Poland.
The goal of the foundation is to preserve the historical heritage of the Auschwitz and Birkenau former concentration camps in Poland, the Bulgarian government information service said.
The funds will be provided via the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry budget for 2018.
The government statement noted that in 2018, Bulgaria marks the 75th anniversary of the rescue of the Bulgarian Jews from being sent to the death camps of the Holocaust.
“The fight against today’s manifestations of xenophobia and anti-Semitism is one of the priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union,” the statement said.
“With our support to the Foundation, our country will join 37 other countries including Germany, Poland, France, Austria, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Luxembourg, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Monaco, Portugal and Slovakia.”
The contributions to the Foundation will provide 120 million euro to create a fund that will be used to support the maintenance of the buildings of former Nazi concentration camps as well as the preservation of the possessions that had belonged to their victims.
In 2017, Bulgaria became one of the first EU member states to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of anti-Semitism, while the government appointed Deputy Foreign Minister Georg Georgiev as national co-ordinator of the fight against anti-Semitism.
The country hopes that in the course of 2018, it will become a full member of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.
In March 2018, and throughout the course of this year, there are several events in Bulgaria commemorating the rescue of the Bulgarian Jews and the deportation of 11 343 Jews from the “new lands” in northern Greece and Yugoslavia that during the Second World War were under Bulgarian administration. The Jews deported from the “new lands” to Treblinka were murdered there.
On March 9, there will be the annual wreath-laying ceremony at the monument of gratitude near Bulgaria’s Parliament building, as well as a formal event in the National Assembly itself.