The Prime Ministers of Bulgaria and the State of Israel Boyko Borissov and Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled a monument dedicated to the salvation of Bulgarian Jews from death camps in 1943.
"This monument has its twin in Sofia. Today a historical justice has been restored. This is not the result of an eccentric idea. The instalation of two identical monuments in the capitals of Bulgaria and the State of Israel has a profound meaning. Namely, that our two countries, our two peoples, both recognize the historic fact of the salvation of all 48,000 Bulgarian Jews and respect the memory of their rescuers," said the Bulgarian Prime Minister at the unveiling ceremony of the monument. He pointed out that this act was impossible in the times of the most fierce Nazi attempts to destroy the Jewish population, but thanks to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, the conscience and courage of prominent Bulgarian politicians and public figures, and the Bulgarian citizens who openly and unequivocally opposed the deportation of 48,000 Bulgarian Jews, the salvation took place.
"Today, the second and third generation of Bulgarian Jews, citizens of Israel and Bulgaria, are the bridge of friendship and support that make the relations between our two states unique and cordial," Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said, adding that today in the State of Israel there are more than 100,000 Jews resident, who are descendants of those 48,000 Bulgarian Jews.
Boyko Borissov concluded his speech by expressing the conviction that work should continue on the friendship of the two nations, and called on the Bulgarian Jews living in Israel when they quarrel or argue on something, as this is a trait of the Bulgarian character - to come to the monument to reconcile. There is nothing better for us than ourselves, as brothers, said the Bulgarian Prime Minister.
In his speech, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emphasized that Jews never forget their true friends. He pointed out that in those dark times only the Bulgarian and Danish people stood up for them. He was therefore categorical that Jews would never forget the brave act of the Bulgarians who lied down on the rails and thus prevented the trains from departing for the camps.
The monument dedicated to the salvation of Bulgarian Jews in 1943 is the work of architect Momchil Tsvetkov. It is identical to the monument installed in 2016 near the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria and symbolizes the recognition of the historic fact of the salvation of all 48,000 Bulgarian Jews, as well as pays tribute to the memory of their rescuers.