|Jewish women speaking to Bulgarian officials before deportation.|
Kudos go to Shelomo Alfassa who, by carefully combing through archives and historical records, has finally documented the dirty secret of Bulgaria: 13,000 Ladino-Speaking Jews deported to Nazi death camps.
There was full knowledge of this horrible act, yet Bulgaria had the chutzpah to stand before our Congress and testify that they never deported Jews. Shame on them for the deportation, and double shame on them for the lies!
Did they think this truth was so well buried, these victims so completely silenced that it would never come out?
Can the deaths of 13,000 be cleansed from history without anyone noticing??
Members of my dear husband's family were likely among those deported from Macedonia.
I have wept over the pictures of his relatives in the holocaust archives--many who looked so much like my husband, his sisters, and our children that I am still haunted by their eyes, their gentle smiles, and the way they stand in their pictures: a young man dressed fashionably leaning against a table and looking into the camera, an old man dressed in traditional clothes posed with his books, a young woman demure and quiet with her hands folded in her lap, two beautiful toddlers dressed in white with their dark eyes shining.
I think of them, in the quiet times in my day, and I wonder what horrors they went through at the end of their lives--Were the children cruelly separated from their parents? Was that young woman raped? Was the young man tortured, or killed trying to defend his family? Did the old man live to see his library burned and his family scattered, or was he spared those horrible moments?
They died in Treblinka. Now I know why.
Bulgaria--it is time to admit what you did.
On March 1, 2011, the International Committee for Bulgarian Holocaust-Era Truth, in cooperation with the Association of Friends of Greek Jewry, National Association of Jewish Child Holocaust Survivors, Kahal Kedosha Janina, The Sephardic Temple and the International Sephardic Leadership Council, will hold a public program in New York, which will call on the government of Bulgaria to halt their continued whitewashing of history.
Please visit alfassa.com/bulgaria.html for more information.