Daily Israel Report

Netanyahu to Receive Historic Letter That Saved 50,000 Jews

Netanyahu to receive copy of historic letter written by Dimitar Peshev, who is credited with rescuing 50,000 Bulgarian Jews during Holocaust
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 5/3/2012, 7:08 PM

Remembering the Holocaust
Remembering the Holocaust
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will receive a copy of a historic letter written by Dimitar Peshev, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Bulgaria and Minister of Justice during World War II, who is credited with rescuing approximately 50,000 Bulgarian Jews during the Holocaust.

The letter will be handed to Netanyahu by Petar Paunov, Mayor of Peshev's hometown of Kyustendil in Bulgaria, according to the Russian-language Darik Radio.

While the news website does not mention details regarding the document in question, it is likely to be the letter dated March 17, 1943, signed by the Peshev as well as 43 Members of the Parliament, which was sent to Prime Minister, Bogdan Filov, stating opposition to plans to deport the Bulgarian Jews.

Peshev did not originally object to the institution of the anti-Jewish legislation entitled, “Law for the Defense of the Nation” and disregarded rumors of Jewish deportations until he called in several high-ranking government officials who confirmed the reports.

"This is a document which shows the strength of the Bulgarian spirit and the humanity of our attitudes," Petar Paunov said.

The Mayor of Kyustendil will represent Bulgaria at the 28th annual Mayor's conference that is to take place between May 6 and May 10, 2012 in Tel Aviv. The event is sponsored by the American Council for World Jewry, Israel's Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Union of Local Authorities.