Sunday, April 18, 2010

Posthumous Award for Bulgarian King Who Saved Jews

King Boris III of Bulgaria has received a posthumous award for saving his country's Jews during the Holocaust by refusing to surrender the 50,000 Jews in Bulgaria to the Nazi army despite heavy pressure from Adolf Hitler.

The award was given to his grandson, Toronto banker Hermann Leiningen, and Chabad organized the award ceremony. The award itself was presented by a group of Bulgarian Jews whose lives were saved when the king refused to deport them.


However, his legacy remains somewhat controversial: while he refused to hand Bulgaria's Jews over to Hitler's army, he did allow the deportation of Jews from Thrace and Macedonia, which at that time were under Bulgarian rule. In addition, some historians say the king expressed willingness to deport Jews, but was stopped by the heads of the Independent Orthodox Church.

Leiningen, the king's grandson, told the Canadian Jewish Press that King Boris III had remained firm in his insistence that Bulgaria's Jews not be deported.

Whether or not the church intervened to save Jews as well, “the final decisions had to be made by [the king],” he noted.


Boris III was unable to save the Jews of Thrace and Macedonia because those territories, unlike Bulgaria, were occupied by the German army, Leiningen explained.


King Boris III died in 1943 shortly after a meeting with Hitler. His body was never found.


Leiningen noted that his own father, Prince Karl, had moved to Israel in 1969 and had spent the last two decades of his life there, on a horse ranch in the Galilee. “No one could really figure out” why his father was drawn to Israel, he said. (INN)

Click here for the entire article. Click here for more information about the situation in Bulgaria during the holocaust.

1 comment:

  1. As a Greek Jew I am appalled by such acts that blindly insult the memory of thousands of Greek Jews which were rounded up by bulgarian soldiers, held captive by bulgarian soldiers and shipped to Auschwitz by bulgarian soldiers. We're not talking about indifference but active cooperation, equal in weight with the SS officer rounding up Jews in the Warsaw ghetto.

    Eastern Macedonia and Thrace were under the complete control of Bulgaria and the germans never set foot there. Leiningen is either lying, or completely ignorant when trying to convince that bulgarians never were active perpetrators of the Shoah.

    Here's a video the bulgarians themselves filmed from the deportations http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrzwMW1CA34&feature=player_embedded

    ReplyDelete

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