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Salvation, Persecution, and the Holocaust in the Kingdom of Bulgaria (1940–1944)

The book Salvation, Persecution, and the Holocaust in the Kingdom of Bulgaria (1940–1944) is the result of more than 20 years of research and is based on documents, testimonies, and letters.

As an inseparable part of the Bulgarian people, the Bulgarian Jews have shared on an equal basis the entire history of their establishment as a nation.

Integrated for centuries in Bulgarian society, the Bulgarian Jews have participated alongside all Bulgarians in the country’s national history. They defended their homeland during the struggles for liberation from Ottoman rule and fought in all the wars in which Bulgaria was protecting its statehood and nationhood.

The contribution of the Jews to Bulgaria’s economic, cultural and intellectual advancement following the Liberation is also considerable. It has been recognized and duly appreciated by Bulgarian society.

A country with a low level of anti-Semitism, Bulgaria has always been a true homeland for the Bulgarian Jews.

The events of 1940 –1944, when under the influence of Nazi ideology the Jews were subjected to persecution, were an ordeal both for the Bulgarian Jewry and for all Bulgarian people.

The historical essays in this book reflect on this dramatic episode in Bulgarian history, when both Jews and Bulgarians went through an experience of great pain.

This book is the result of more than 20 years of research and is based on documents, testimonies, and letters.

  • Was there a Holocaust in Bulgaria?
  • The regulatory basis for the legalization of the persecutions;
  • The role of King Boris III;
  • The women and their written testimonies;
  • Salvation or survival?
  • The contribution of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church to the rescue of the Jews.

Countries are stronger when they can confront difficult parts of their history. No country had an unblemished record during World War II.

Stuart E. Eizenstat,

Special Adviser on Holocaust Issues,

Chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council

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Вие оценявате:Salvation, Persecution, and the Holocaust in the Kingdom of Bulgaria (1940–1944)
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За Автора

Lea Cohen -

Lea Cohen is one of the most successful Bulgarian writers during the last two decades.

She wrote 11 novels, one theatre play and two screenplays.

Her historical novel Raphael (2017, Enthusiast publisher) is telling the story of the prominent perfume’s Jewish industrials in Bulgaria, Arie’s family, and his antisemitic trial in 1942, finished with death penalty. The book has obtained a huge approval by the readers and critics and became a bestseller.  Lea Cohen wrote also a screenplay on the subject, who obtains the support of Claims Conference in New York and also of the Bulgarian Film Fund. In 2019 Raphael was translated into Greek and was presented at The Book Fairs in Salonika and Athens.

 In 2019 Cohen wrote an other historical novel The women of the Cinema Royal (Enthusiast), telling the persecutions of the homosexuals in Bulgaria during thirties of 20 century.

Many of her books were translated into more of 10 languages.

In 2010 Zsolny Verlag, Vienna published in German her novel Das Calderon Imperium. The book was nominated for many national and international prizes, including the European Book prize.

In 2013 the Spanish publishing house Libros del Asteroide translated into Spanish the novel La Estratagema.  The book became in Spain the book of August 2013.

In 2013 her book You Believe. Eight views on the Holocaust in the Balkans was also translated into English and into Macedonian and presented in USHM in Washington, Mémoire de la Shoa in Paris, Holocaust Museum in Skopjie.

The novel The Piano of the Block 31 (2012) was prized by Goethe Institute and translated into more than 10 languages, including Greek, Turkish, Albanian, Romanian, Macedonian, German, English and others.

Lea Cohen is former diplomat, ambassador and prominent cultural figure (she was Director of Sofia Philharmonic and Director of the international festival Sofia Music Weeks). She is the almost only Bulgarian writer, literarily describing the very painful period in the Balkan’s history between 1940-1944 when 12000 Jews from the occupied by Bulgaria territories were deported to the death camps in occupied Poland and others 48000 inside Bulgaria have survived despite persecutions, robbery and humiliations.

In June 2022 her publisher Enthusiast has published her new historical book Rescue, Persecutions and Holocaust in Royal Bulgaria (1940-1944). The book is accompanied by many new documents, founded in different archives (Swiss, Bulgarian, German).

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