NEW YORK – The World Jewish Congress condemns in the strongest possible terms the neo-Nazi Lukov March set for Feb. 25, 2023, in Sofia, Bulgaria, and calls on local and national officials to ban this event, as they did in 2021.
The annual gathering of neo-Nazis from across Europe, first held in 2003, features a torchlit parade honoring Hristo Lukov, who until his assassination in 1943 was the well-known leader of the fascist Union of Bulgarian National Legions. That organization supported the deportation of 11,343 Jews from Bulgarian-occupied territory to the Treblinka death camp.
In 2021, Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, together with local law enforcement, took an unequivocal stand against this virulent display of intolerance by refusing to allow the march to take place.
“Such gatherings, and all other manifestations and rhetoric that promote and venerate racism, antisemitism and xenophobia, must be condemned and prevented from spreading their virulent messages of hatred and bigotry,” WJC President Ronald S. Lauder said at that time.
The World Jewish Congress joins its affiliate, the Organization of Jews in Bulgaria – Shalom, in opposing this glorification of hatred, which is inconsistent with the best of Bulgaria’s traditions and has no place in modern-day Europe.
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