Swastikas and offensive language have been found daubed on a monument in the Bulgarian town of Stara Zagora, the day after April 11, the international day of the liberation of Nazi concentration camps.
The monument, in the city’s Peti Oktombri Park, is to anti-fascist fighters killed between 1923 and 1944, and lists dozens of names from the Stara Zagora area.
The Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria “Shalom” said that it strongly condemned this ugly attack on the memory of millions of Holocaust victims and called for the perpetrators of the act of vandalism to be found and properly punished.
April 11 is the anniversary of the revolt by prisoners in what was one of the first and largest Nazi concentration camps, Buchenwald.
In the eight years of its existence around 240 000 inmates from 30 nationalities passed through the camp – it is estimated that around 56 000 out of them were killed or died from the harsh conditions, according to the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre.
In April 1945, prisoners learnt of the US Army’s advance and rebelled. This saved them from certain death because only a day before, the Nazis had decided to destroy all the concentration camps. Two days later, the US forces’ Third Army, advancing in Thuringia, reached Buchenwald and liberated the camp.
The swastika incident at Stara Zagora is the latest of its kind in Bulgaria. Among recent incidents was one in which, in January 2019, swastikas and an antisemitic slogan were daubed on a monument in Sofia to victims of communism.
(Photos: Hristo Hristov)