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Position of OJB “SHALOM” on the occasion of the conduct of “Lukovmarch”

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After years in which the Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria “Shalom” has published protest declarations against the so-called “Lukovmarch”, declarations supported by a number of foreign embassies and institutions, non-governmental organizations in the country and Jewish organizations abroad, yet again on February 18, 2017 the rally will be conducted in the streets of Sofia. This we regard as unacceptable.

During World War II, the patron of the demonstration general Hristo Lukov, led one of the most radical organizations in Bulgaria – the Union of the Bulgarian National Legions. This organization preached outlined racism and anti-Semitism, declaring the creation of a “Legionnaires ‘Bulgaria’ in a New Order of National Socialism”. We must not allow today a procession of torches to ignite hatred towards those different from us. Let us teach our children that in multifaceted Europe “the others are the ones next to us”.

We believe that the law enforcement institutions in the face of the Chief prosecution, the
Ministry of the Interior, the State agency for national security and the Municipal Council
will take the necessary measures to maintain the public order and to ban this demonstration.
Because it is a daring challenge to the democratic traditions of the Bulgarian society,
apparent abuse of the memory of the Holocaust victims and denial of the humiliation and
suffering of Bulgarian Jews during the implementation of anti-Jewish laws in the Kingdom of
Bulgaria in the period 1941 – 1944.

The attempts in recent years to turn the personality of General Hristo Lukov into hero and more, to bring him in line with the personality of Vasil Levski, rewrite the history of Bulgaria in the years of the Second World War and desecrate the ideals and sacrifice of the Apostle. We call on everyone not to remain indifferent before the suppression of human values, not to overlook people who denounce a given ethnic group, gender or different vision, not to allow
the names of the Great men and women in our history to be used for raising cruelty on a pedestal.

On February 19th, when we get together at the foot of the monument of Vasil Levski on the occasion of the 144th anniversary since his hanging, in the minute of silence, let us remember the words of the man before whom we all bow:
“Bulgarians, Turks, Jews, etc. will be equal in every respect, whether in faith or in nationality,
either in civil terms, or in anything else. All will fall under a single law, which will be
developed with the majority vote of all nationalities.”

Sofia, February 15th 2017