Wiesenthal Center supports proposed Macedonian law banning institutions which promote Nazism or Fascism

October 11, 2022

Jerusalem – The Simon Wiesenthal Center today issued a statement supporting legislation sponsored late last week by Rashela Mizrachi, a member of the Macedonian Parliament, which would ban any cultural institutions which promote Nazism or fascism. The proposed bill is scheduled to be voted on tomorrow in parliament.

The background to the proposed legislation is the recent establishment in Macedonia of two Bulgarian cultural centers, named for Bulgarian Nazi collaborators, one in Bitola this past April, named for Ivan Michaelov, and a second one this week in Ohrid, named for Czar Boris III, both of whom supported Bulgaria's alliance with Nazi Germany.

According to the Center's Director of Eastern European Affairs, Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff: "Although Bulgarian Jewry was saved from deportation to Nazi death camps, thanks to the efforts of sympathetic Bulgarian officials and church leaders, such as Deputy Speaker of the Parliament Dimitri Peshev, and prominent clergy, such as Metropolitans Stefan and Cyril, the Bulgarians who annexed Macedonia, deported over 7,000 Jews, practically the entire Macedonian Jewish community to Treblinka, where every single Jewish deportee, including more than 2,000 children, were murdered.

The current Bulgarian government, like many other former Communist regimes in Eastern Europe has rewritten the narrative of the Holocaust, to erase its active participation in Holocaust crimes, and has built these two so-called "cultural centers" to rewrite history and erase their crimes."

For additional information please contact the Israel Office of the Wiesenthal Center: Tel: 972-2-563-1274 or Tel: 972-50-721-4156, follow the Center on Facebook, or @simonwiesenthal and @EZuroff for news updates sent directly to your Twitter feed.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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