Bulgarian Jewish organisation cautions against inappropriate Holocaust comparisons

An inappropriate Holocaust comparison by a Bulgarian rapper has led to sharp reactions from the Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria “Shalom” and the Bulgarian Medical Association.

In a television interview, rapper Itso Hazarta, a critic of Health Minister Kostadin Angelov over his handling of the Covid-19 crisis and who has called on Angelov to “make every Bulgarian a priority” in vaccinations, said that there had been “a European politician who decided that Jews were not his priority. And although the methods have changed a lot since then, the result is the same”.

Shalom said that 76 years ago, on January 27, the Nazi Auschwitz death camp had been liberated, and in 2005, the United Nations declared that date International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

On the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, “we take the opportunity to call on Bulgarian politicians and public figures to weigh and reflect on their words when talking about the dark years of the Second World War”.

“Any inappropriate comparison of the present with the difficult years of the war downplays the suffering suffered by the victims of the Holocaust. In the context of the pandemic caused by Covid-19, let us all focus on the protection of human life, which is the greatest value,” Shalom said.

The Bulgarian Medical Association said: “It is not correct to draw a comparison, on the national airwaves, of a dark age involving the physical liquidation of six million people and today’s economic difficulties in which the whole world finds itself.

“The deliberate taking of life has nothing to do with the pursuit of its protection. In the context of the greatest crisis since the Second World War, it is unacceptable to have priorities other than health. The only priority is and should be life,” the association said.

The association expressed firm support for Angelov and called for “reasonable speech and constructive dialogue, clearly aware of the need that we, doctors, are required to give timely and clear answers to public questions”.

It said that it was very concerned by the growing tension in society because of the current anti-epidemic measures and their implementation.

“It is ugly and unacceptable to attack the person who made the protection of life a priority, both for the medics and for every Bulgarian citizen,” the association said.

(Photo: Nikolai Karaneschev)

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