15 February 2005
American Jewish leaders have praised Bulgaria for saving its Jewish population from the Holocaust. Representatives of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations met with Bulgaria's president, prime minister and foreign minister on Monday and expressed appreciation for the "historic decision" in 1943 by Bulgarian officials "to refuse the Nazi regime's order to deport Bulgaria's Jewry despite the presence of German troops in the country." The refusal saved all 48,000 Jews living in Bulgaria at the time from being deported to death camps. When Israel was established in 1948 about 45,000 of Bulgaria's Jews emigrated there and today about 5,000 remain in Bulgaria, most of whom live in the capital, Sofia.
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