An event in the central Sofia synagogue marked the Night of Broken Windows and the definition of anti-Roma discrimination

Through a brief ceremony in the courtyard of the Central Sofia Synagogue, organized by the Organization of Jews in Bulgaria “Shalom” and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Sofia (Deutsche Botschaft Sofia), celebrated 82 years of Broken Window Night, marking the beginning of the Holocaust, persecution and genocide against the various. The definition of anti-Roma discrimination, adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance – IHRA, was also approved at the ceremony.

Due to safety measures in the face of a covid pandemic, the ceremony was in a narrow format. The event was attended by HE Christoph Eichorn, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bulgaria, HE Muriel Cohen, Ambassador of Switzerland in Bulgaria, Mr. Georg Georgiev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and National Coordinator for Combating Anti-Semitism, Mr. Daniel Mitov, Minister of Foreign Affairs (2014-2017), Mrs. Vered Elron , wife of the Ambassador of the State of Israel in Bulgaria, Deyan Kolev from Center Amalipe, Simeon Vassilev and Dimitar Bogdanov from GLAS Foundation, Mrs. Sofia Cohen, Chairman of the Central Israeli Spiritual Council, Mr. Nikolay Galabov, Chairman of the Friends of Israel in Bulgaria.

“We, the Bulgarian Jews, remember and will never forget the good deeds of the Bulgarian people, but we will never forget that the language of hatred caused the death of millions of innocent people – Jews, Roma, people of different sexual orientations, physical and mental disabilities. The organization of the Jews in Bulgaria “Shalom” will never remain silent about the suffering of innocent people and we will oppose the language of hatred in all its dimensions – anti-Semitism, xenophobia or homophobia, “was part of the speech of the chairman of OJB” Shalom ” Assoc. Prof. Dr. Alec Oscar.

It is extremely important for my country and for me personally to meet and remember. And to stand together against any form of discrimination against others who have been and still are victims of hatred, “said Ambassador Christoph Eichhorn.

The President of the Amalipe Center Deyan Kolev thanked the Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria Shalom and the Embassy of Germany for organizing the celebration of Crystal Night even in troubled covid times, to remember that humanity has had much more difficult years. He thanked the event for paying due attention to the adoption of the definition of anti-Roma discrimination by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. Kolev recalled that more than half a million Roma were killed during the Holocaust as a result of the same anti-human idea of ​​the pure Aryan race, which killed more than six million Jews. For years, the Roma Holocaust has been forgotten by the international community, but is now recognized, including by the European Parliament and the European Commission, and is celebrated on August 2nd. But the memory of these tragic times has never cooled in the memory of the Roma and has become one of the engines for the creation of the modern Roma movement. It is no coincidence that the anthem of the Roma, adopted by the first international Roma congress, refers to the times of the black squadron.

The rise of anti-Roma discrimination and xenophobia in recent years is reminiscent of the 1930s in Germany, and therefore the adoption of the definition of anti-Roma discrimination by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance is an extremely important act. Together, Roma, Jews and all citizens who share European and democratic principles must fight against all forms of anti-Semitism, anti-Roma discrimination, homophobia and so on. Let us make sure that November is not associated with a new crystal night, but with November 16 – the day of tolerance and with the tenth of December – the day of human rights.