Bulgarian Jewish organisation slams Vuzrazhdane leader over comparison of green certificate to antisemitic measures

The Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria “Shalom” described as “inappropriate and unacceptable” a comment by Vuzrazhdane party leader Kostadin Kostadinov likening the Covid-19 green certificate system for admission to the Parliament building to Bulgaria’s 1940s laws barring Jews from Parliament.

Kostadinov, whose pro-Kremlin, “anti-vaxxer” party is the smallest in Bulgaria’s Parliament, made the comment on the eve of January 27, International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Kostadinov and other MPs from his party have been refusing to comply with the green certificate system of admission to the Parliament building.

“It is shameful and disgraceful for a Member of Parliament to compare measures introduced to preserve the health of people, with discriminatory measures based on ethnic origin introduced through the Defence of the Nation Act,” Shalom said.

Adopted by Bulgaria in 1941, the Defence of the Nation Act introduced a raft of harsh antisemitic measures, ahead of the country becoming a member of Hitler’s Axis.

“Any such comparison of the present with the difficult years of the Second World War belittles the suffering suffered by the Bulgarian Jews in this dark period of history,” Shalom said.

“On the eve of January 27 – International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we call on Bulgarian politicians and members of the public for humility and respect for the memory of all the innocent victims of a misanthropic ideology,” the organisation said.

Across the world, anti-vaxxer groups repeatedly have drawn comparisons between measures against Covid-19 and antisemitic measures under the Nazi regime, comparisons that have been strongly condemned by international Jewish representative organisations and Holocaust commemoration bodies.

(Photo, via Shalom’s Facebook page, depicts a sign dating from the time of the antisemitic laws in Bulgaria in the 1940s, reading ‘Entry by Jews forbidden’.)

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