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Two Extraordinary Bulgarians Honored as “Righteous Among the Nations”

2013.11.01 Няма коментари

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Two Extraordinary Bulgarians Honored as

“Righteous Among the Nations”

.

SKOKIE, IL – Presented in partnership with the Consulate General of the Republic of Bulgaria in Chicago, the Illinois Holocaust Museum will host a special ceremony honoring the courageous efforts of two extraordinary Bulgarians on November 7. The program will include remarks from keynote speaker Her Excellency Elena Poptodorova, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Bulgaria to the United States.

The program will begin with the unveiling of a special plaque at the Ferro Fountain of the Righteous. This iconic space pays tribute to the righteous few who chose to risk their own safety to stand up for those in peril. The plaque will reflect the heroic deeds of the Bulgarian rescuers, Metropolitan Stephan and Metropolitan Kiril, both of whom were Heads of the Independent Orthodox Church.

Metropolitan Stephan, the Head of the Sofian Church, and in practice, the highest ranking Bulgarian Church official during the Holocaust, spoke out against the persecution of the Jews when the Bulgarian Parliament passed a law which denied the rights of Jews. In September 1942 he infuriated Fascist and Nazi circles by openly preaching against anti-Semitism and publicly declaring that the Bulgarians should consider the Jews as their brothers.

Metropolitan Kiril, the Head of the Church in the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv, vigorously opposed the anti-Jewish policies of the Bulgarian regime, and took active steps against its policy of deporting the Jews of Bulgaria and handing them over to the Germans. In one notable incident, he attempted to stop the deportation of Bulgarian Jews by going to the station and threatening to lie down on the railway track.

Rick Hirschhaut, Illinois Holocaust Museum Executive Director, notes, “We are honored to pay tribute to these leaders of the Church who used their position to stand up for those in peril and whose voices influenced countless others. Their righteous actions will forever remind us that we each have the power to make a difference.”

The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Holocaust by honoring the memories of those who were lost and by teaching universal lessons that combat hatred, prejudice and indifference. The Museum fulfills its mission through the exhibition, preservation and interpretation of its collections and through education programs and initiatives that foster the promotion of human rights and the elimination of genocide. The Museum is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.; Thursday evenings until 8:00 p.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

Learn more at  www.ilholocaustmuseum.org .

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