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"Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid" - Ronald Reagan, 1981
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« Отговор #1 -: Април 26, 2010, 19:42 »

BULGARIA had more cause than any other of the Balkan countries to be grateful to Nazi
Germany, because of the considerable territorial aggrandizement she received at the expense of
Rumania, Yugoslavia, and Greece. And yet Bulgaria was not grateful, neither her government nor
her people were soft enough to make a policy of "ruthless toughness" workable. This showed not
only on the Jewish question. The Bulgarian monarchy had no reason to be worried about the
native Fascist movement, the Ratnizi, because it was numerically small and politically without
influence, and the Parliament remained a highly respected body, which worked smoothly with the
King. Hence, they dared refuse to declare war on Russia and never even sent a token
expeditionary force of `volunteers" to the Eastern front. But most surprising of all, in the belt of
mixed populations where anti-Semitism was rampant among all ethnic groups and had become
official governmental policy long before Hitler's arrival, the Bulgarians had no "understanding of
the Jewish problem" whatever. It is true that the Bulgarian Army had agreed to have all the Jews -
they numbered about fifteen thousand - deported from the newly annexed territories, which were
under military government and whose population was anti-Semitic; but it is doubtful that they
knew what "resettlement in the East" actually signified. Somewhat earlier, in January, 1941, the
government had also agreed to introduce some anti-Jewish legislation, but that, from the Nazi
viewpoint, was simply ridiculous: some six thousand able-bodied men were mobilized for work; all
baptized Jews, regardless of the date of their conversion, were exempted, with the result that an
epidemic of conversions broke out; five thousand more Jews - out of a total of approximately fifty
thousand - received special privileges; and for Jewish physicians and businessmen a numerus
clausus was introduced that was rather high, since it was based on the percentage of Jews in the
cities, rather than in the country at large. When these measures had been put into effect,
Bulgarian government officials declared publicly that things were now stabilized to everybody's
satisfaction. Clearly, the Nazis would not only have to enlighten them about the requirements for
a "solution of the Jewish problem," but also to teach them that legal stability and a totalitarian
movement could not be reconciled
The German authorities must have had some suspicion of the difficulties that lay ahead. In
January, 1942, Eichmann wrote a letter to the Foreign Office in which he declared that "sufficient
possibilities exist for the reception of Jews from Bulgaria"; he proposed that the Bulgarian
government be approached, and assured the Foreign Office that the police attaché in Sofia would
"take care of the technical implementation of the deportation." (This police attaché seems not to
have been very enthusiastic about his work either, for shortly thereafter Eichmann sent one of his
own men, Theodor Dannecker, from Paris to Sofia as "adviser.") It is quite interesting to note that
this letter ran directly contrary to the notification Eichmann had sent to Serbia only a few months
earlier, stating that no facilities for the reception of Jews were yet available and that even Jews
from the Reich could not be deported. The high priority given to the task of making Bulgaria
judenrein can be explained only by Berlin's having received accurate information that great speed
was necessary then in order to achieve anything at all. Well, the Bulgarians were approached by
the German embassy, but not until about six months later did they take the first step in the
direction of "radical" measures - the introduction of the Jewish badge. For the Nazis, even this
turned out to be a great disappointment. In the first place, as they dutifully reported, the badge
was only a "very little star"; second, most Jews simply did not wear it; and, third, those who did
wear it received "so many manifestations of sympathy from the misled population that they
actually are proud of their sign" - as Walter Schellenberg, Chief of Counterintelligence in the
R.S.H.A., wrote in an S.D. report transmitted to the Foreign Office in November, 1942.
Whereupon the Bulgarian government revoked the decree. Under great German pressure, the
Bulgarian government finally decided to expel all Jews from Sofia to rural areas, but this measure
was definitely not what the Germans demanded, since it dispersed the Jews instead of
concentrating them.
This expulsion actually marked an important turning point in the whole situation, because the
population of Sofia tried to stop Jews from going to the railroad station and subsequently
demonstrated before the King's palace. The Germans were under the illusion that King Boris was
primarily responsible for keeping Bulgaria's Jews safe, and it is reasonably certain that German
Intelligence agents murdered him. But neither the death of the monarch nor the arrival of
Dannecker, early in 1943, changed the situation in the slightest, because both Parliament and the
population remained clearly on the side of the Jews. Dannecker succeeded in arriving at an
agreement with the Bulgarian Commissar for Jewish Affairs to deport six thousand "leading Jews"
to Treblinka, but none of these Jews ever left the country. The agreement itself is noteworthy
because it shows that the Nazis had no hope of enlisting the Jewish leadership for their own
purposes. The Chief Rabbi of Sofia was unavailable, having been hidden by Metropolitan
Stephan of Sofia, who had declared publicly that "God had determined the Jewish fate, and men
had no right to torture Jews, and to persecute them" (Hilberg) - which was considerably more
than the Vatican had ever done. Finally, the same thing happened in Bulgaria as was to happen
in Denmark a few months later - the local German officials became unsure of themselves and
were no longer reliable. This was true of both the police attaché, a member of the S.S., who was
supposed to round up and arrest the Jews, and the German Ambassador in Sofia, Adolf
Beckerle, who in June, 1943, had advised the Foreign Office that the situation was hopeless,
because "the Bulgarians had lived for too long with peoples like Armenians, Greeks, and Gypsies
to appreciate the Jewish problem" - which, of course, was sheer nonsense, since the same could
be said mutatis mutandis for all countries of Eastern and Southeastern Europe. It was Beckerle
too who informed the R.S.H.A., in a clearly irritated tone, that nothing more could be done. And
the result was that not a single Bulgarian Jew had been deported or had died an unnatural death
when, in August, 1944, with the approach of the Red Army, the anti-Jewish laws were revoked
I know of no attempt to explain the conduct of the Bulgarian people, which is unique in the belt of
mixed populations. But one is reminded of Georgi Dimitrov, a Bulgarian Communist who
happened to be in Germany when the Nazis came to power, and whom they chose to accuse of
the Reichstagsbrand, the mysterious fire in the Berlin Parliament of February 27, 1933. He was
tried by the German Supreme Court and confronted with Göring, whom he questioned as though
he were in charge of the proceedings; and it was thanks to him that all those accused, except van
der Lubbe, had to be acquitted. His conduct was such that it won him the admiration of the whole
world, Germany not excluded. "There is one man left in Germany," people used to say, "and he is
a Bulgarian."

H. Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem
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« Отговор #2 -: Април 27, 2010, 08:30 »

I feel a swell of pride in my chest  Ухилен
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