In 2018 Bulgaria marked the 75th anniversary of the rescue of the Bulgarian Jews from sending them to the Nazi death camps.
This anniversary, although happy for us, has a bitter taste because at the same time more than 11,000 Jews from the lands in neighboring Greece, Serbia and Macedonia, which were administratively ruled by the Bulgarian Tsar and government, were exterminated in those camps. The Greek, Serbian and Macedonian Jews were the first to be sacrificed with the assistance of the Bulgarian ruling administration, and in this way we, the Bulgarian Jews, received a deferral, which contributed to our salvation.
The Bulgarian Jews were saved, but many of them had loved ones, relatives and friends in Aegean Thrace, Macedonia and Serbia who were irretrievably lost for them, and thus this tragedy for the entire Jewish people, for the whole humanity, turned also into a personal tragedy for many of us.
At the Council of Jewish Women in Bulgaria we, the next generations of survivors, do not want to forget those innocent victims of the Holocaust. That is why the Council of Jewish Women in Bulgaria, with the assistance of the Bulgarian Government, organized and made Remembrance Trips to the assembly points for their deportation to the Nazi camps.
The trips were financed with our personal funds. At our destinations we met representatives of the Jewish community, learned new facts about the life of the communities in the past, during the Second World War and at present, visited Jewish places, laid wreaths at the memorials, and together with the local Jewish communities enjoyed Shabbat dinners or Havdalah ceremonies. There were trips to Serbia in April, to Thessaloniki in Northern Greece in May, to Macedonia in October, and to sites around Bulgaria and to Macedonia in November.
On March, 10th – Holocaust Remembrance Day in Bulgaria – we laid wreaths at the Monument of Gratitude for the rescue of the Bulgarian Jews. Also in March, the Board members of the Council of Jewish Women were invited and took part in the visit of the Government Delegation to Skopje, where the Bulgarian Prime Minister, the Macedonian Prime Minister and representatives of the local Jewish community met to commemorate for the first time together the Holocaust victims for whom the Bulgarian government at that time is also to blame.