Sunday, 25 Feb 2018 - 10 of Adar, 5778

Will Bulgarian authorities ban neo-nazi march in honor of anti-Semitic leader ?

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SOFIA— Will Bulgaria’s government ban an annual neo-Nazi march in Sofia in honor of Hristo Lukov, a notorious Bulgarian anti-Semite whose movement helped the Nazis send more than 11,300 Jews to their deaths in Treblinka ?

The march is scheduled for February 13.

Extremists from across Europe are expected to flock to Sofia and Nazi symbols put on display in the heart of the Bulgarian capital.Marchers in dark clothing shout vile slogans while parading through the city with torches.

On Friday, World Jewish Congress (WJC) CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer  met with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and handed him a petition signed by 175,000 people worldwide requesting that the Bulgarian government issue an administrative ban on the march

“I told Prime Minister Borisov that in our opinion, the Lukov March is not only against the Jews, but above all is directed against the Bulgarian people and its heard earned democracy,’’ Singer said.

 Borisov declared: “The Lukov March is the work of an entirely marginal group and will not affect the relationships between people that were built over the centuries.”

“Prime Minister Borisov,” added Robert Singer, “is a great friend, and we deeply appreciate his heart-warming support for Israel and the Jewish people.”

On Friday, World Jewish Congress (WJC) CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer met with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and handed him a petition signed by 175,000 people worldwide requesting that the Bulgarian government issue an administrative ban on the march.

The annual neo-Nazi march in Sofia has been held since 2003, with dark-clad demonstrators mounting a torch-lit parade in honor of Hristo

Lukov, leader of the Union of Bulgarian National Legions. Lukov was a major backer of the introduction of anti-Semitic laws.He supported the deportation of 11,343 Jews from Bulgarian-controlled territories to their deaths in Treblinka.

The WJC petition calls on the government to use administrative action to enforce a ban on the march, which continues to occur each year despite efforts to sanction it.

“Now, in the 21st century, when intolerance including anti-Semitism is again on the rise in Europe, this continent and its countries and capitals cannot afford displays that echo those disastrous times. […] Administrative action against the Lukov March must go further than the mere announcement of withdrawal of permission for the event, while in effect allowing it to proceed. There must be no room on the streets of a European capital for a parade that worships a man and an age that represented this most sinister part of our history. In the context of Bulgarian and of European history, permitting the Lukov March would be an abomination,” the text of the WJC petition reads.

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