Malcom Hoenlein, co-chairman of the American Jewish organizations requests admittance of errors made in the past
Bulgaria should confess the deportation of the Macedonian Jews who were exterminated in the German concentration camps during the Second World War. This was stated by the Co-chairman of the Conference for the Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations, Malcom Hoenlein, one of the most influential Jews in the USA.
In an interview given for “Standard” (journal published in Sofia), when asked about whether the Bulgarian people were proud of saving their 50.000 Jews from the death camps, he responded: “We acknowledge and are thankful to the people of Bulgaria, the Bulgarian church. We consider that all this should be known, but the deportation of the other Jews and their tragic fate should also be admitted”. According to the well known American Jew, the stains from the history cannot be erased by denial or minimizing the things and causing confusion. “The best way is to approach facts openly and honestly and admit errors made in the past”, says Hoenlein.
As to the role of Tsar Boris the Third in the deportation of the Jews from Macedonia, Thrace and part of Serbia that were occupied by Bulgaria and whether Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Bourg and Gotha , who is son of Boris III, should apologize for the deeds of his father related to the tragic fate of 12.000 Jews, Malcom Hoenlein says: “This is a theme that is yet to be considered. The Bulgarian ambassador at UN talked about this issue very openly and the people accepted what he said”. I consider that Prime Minister Saxe-Bourg and Gotha should decide himself how he will act regarding this issue. However, in my opinion, the only way to create an attitude toward the historic truth is to face it, learn a lesson from history and admit the truth in order not to allow such events to happen in future”.
When asked about his comment on the removal of the memorial plaque of Tsar Boris from the Memorial Forest in Israel in 2000, he said: “I am not an expert in this issue. However, I consider that, among the arguments, there are facts which bring to light the truth about what happened”
The memorial plague of Tsar Boris in the Memorial Forest in Israel was placed on the initiative of Bulgarian Jews – emigrants in the USA. Upon being familiarized with this, the Jewish Community from Macedonia immediately took an initiative for removal of the plaque considering that the Bulgarian tsar did not deserve it. Quite the reverse, he was head of the Bulgarian state that sent the Macedonian Jews and the Jews from the other occupied territories in the Balkan to the notorious camp Treblinka and is the most responsible for their genocide. It was not even thanks to him that the Bulgarian Jews were not sent to the concentration camps. This is mostly credited to the Vice-president of the then Bulgarian parliament – Peshev, who initiated a campaign for their saving, then the Bulgarian church, and, certainly, the Bulgarian people who supported the Jews all the time.
Source: “Utrinski vesnik”, February 11, 2005