Police in the Bulgarian Black Sea summer resort town of Sozopol have shut down a “retro” photo booth that had been offering tourists to have their photographs taken in Nazi SS uniform.
The police confiscated the clothing items at the stall, located in a popular tourist avenue in Sozopol.
The action followed a complaint on August 8 by a foreign tourist who wrote to Bulgaria’s Ministry of Tourism, attaching photos from the stall.
“We were shocked and disturbed and I’m sure this kind of stuff is not good advertising for Sozopol tourism,” the tourist said in the letter to the ministry.
On August 9, the matter was referred by Deputy Minister of Tourism Irena Georgieva to Deputy Foreign Minister Georg Georgiev, who is Bulgaria’s national co-ordinator of the fight against antisemitism, who alerted police Commissioner Zvezdelin Kolev, liaison officer at the Interior Ministry for the security of the Jewish community in Bulgaria.
Along with the shutting down of the photo stall, prosecutors in the Black Sea city of Bourgas have been alerted.
This is the latest incident during a summer tourist season in Bulgaria involving Nazi memorabilia. Previous incidents have included souvenir stalls selling Nazi-linked paraphernalia, such as mugs depicting Adolf Hitler.
Police have responded to complaints about such items, including from foreign tourists, though there have been incidents of stalls resuming sales after authorities have acted. While Bulgaria’s Penal Code outlaws the promotion of anti-democratic ideologies, there have been calls to toughen up the laws and the penalties for breaking them.