Thursday, November 14, 2013

Street in Washington DC Named After the Savior of Bulgarian Jews

Yesterday a street in Washington DC was named After Dimitar Peshev. 

Dimitar Peshev was a Bulgarian MP in the years before and during the WW2. On the 7th of March 1943 a friend of his informed him that the Government had reached an agreement with the Germans and therefore the secret deportation of the Jewish minority was settled for the following day. The trains were ready in the stations. The following night the Jews were to be arrested and taken on the wagons to leave for Poland.

Peshev wasted no time. He rushed into Parliament, gathered a few other members, and bursted into the office of the Minister of the Interior. After a dramatic argument, Peshev forced him to withdraw the order of the Jews deportation. He then personally called all the prefect's offices to make sure that the counterorder was actually obeyed.

He wrote down a letter of protest and collected the signatures of about forty members of Parliament to plead the Government and the King not to commit such a dreadful crime that would have disgraced Bulgaria for ever.

The letter reached its aim: his condemnation had a disruptive effect that nobody would have expected. Neither of the 48,000 Bulgarian Jews were sent to concentration camps.

Later, for his anti-communist views he was imprisoned for 15 years. Peshev died in 1973, forgotten by all.