The Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria “Shalom” has expressed its strong condemnation and opposition to the holding of the Lukov March on the streets of capital city Sofia.
The Lukov March honours a pro-Nazi general who headed the fascist and antisemitic Union of Bulgarian National Legions in the early 1940s. The torchlight evening march has been held annually in Sofia since 2003.
Shalom expressed thanks to Sofia mayor Yordanka Fandukova for again issuing an order forbidding the holding of the neo-Nazi procession.
In spite of that, for the 16th consecutive year, the Lukov March would be “a gathering place for members of neo-Nazi groups around the world calling for ethnic and racial cleansing, inciting hatred for the Other”.
In Sofia, international criminal nationalism would again be on the march, which would undoubtedly instil hatred and intolerance, until recently alien to Bulgarian society, said the declaration, issued on February 21, the eve of the Lukov March.
For the Bulgarian Jewish community, the event is in complete contradiction with the centuries-old peaceful coexistence of representatives of different ethnicities and religions in Bulgaria, Shalom said.
All attempts to portray racist and xenophobic ideas from the Second World War, while calling the Lukov March a peaceful and patriotic procession are an affront to the values that the true national heroes of Bulgaria conveyed.
“We believe that any person with a vigilant civil conscience, who wants to live in a democratic society that respects human rights and does not exclude entire groups or individuals, must take sides.
“We call on the Bulgarian institutions to take steps to uphold the law and to prevent xenophobic propaganda and escalation of tensions,” Shalom said.
It underlined that along with Shalom, many of its partner organisations, civic associations and institutions stood against the Lukov March.