WJC salutes Bulgarian authorities for banning Neo-Nazi Lukov March

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) joins its affiliate, the Organization of Jews in Bulgaria – Shalom, in saluting the Bulgarian authorities for their resolute and principled stand against the extremists who again sought to commemorate the toxic legacy of General Hristo Lukov, the leader of the fascist Union of Bulgarian National Legions until his death in 1943, the WJC said in a statement on February 26.

An annual march in memory of Lukov has previously been a rallying point for radical nationalists in Bulgaria and across Europe. The event also has marred Bulgaria’s long history of tolerance, WJC said.

“WJC is gratified that the Bulgarian government and Bulgarian civil society have sent an unequivocal message that antisemitism, racial hatred and all other forms of xenophobia and intolerance have no place in contemporary Bulgaria,” the statement said.

“In so doing, they have set a powerful example, to be emulated by other countries that face similar challenges which have no place in contemporary Europe,” it said.

Earlier, Shalom expressed its sincere appreciation and gratitude to the Bulgarian authorities for their successful efforts which led to the cancellation of Lukov March.

“We thank, first of all, the government of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Interior Minister, as well as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Prosecutor-General of Bulgaria, and the mayor of Sofia, State Agency for National Security, the Bulgarian police and all other law enforcement agencies who contributed to this successful result,” Shalom said.

“The fight against hate speech and xenophobia should be fought persistently and consistently, with the collective efforts of civil society and the state institutions. Only in this way can we be sure that our children will live in a society devoid of prejudice and hatred of those who are different,” the organisation said.

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