Tsar(King) Boris III - concealed savior of the Bulgarian Jews
On 24 September 1942. German Foreign Ministry made contact the governments of Bulgaria, Hungary and Denmark for the immediate deportation of Jews from these countries
On November 2, 1942 German Ambassador in Bulgaria - Bekerle, wrote to Berlin that has discussed the matter with Prime Minister - Bogdan Filov, who believed the German proposal is "worthy for welcome", only that Bulgaria have needs of the Jewish labor in construction of roads and train lines.
In early 1943, in Bulgaria arrived the emissary of Hitler – Theodor Dannecker , German officer who guides the campaign for the deportation of the French Jews to death camps.
On 2 February 1943 T. Dannecker met with the Minister of Interior - Gabrovsky. The latter, says Dannecker, wants deportation of Bulgarian Jews to be postponed to a later date, because Bulgaria needs for labor.
Dannecker also met with the Commissioner for Jewish Affairs in Bulgaria - Alexander Belev. The both held negotiations, ending with an agreement signed on 22 February 1943. It comes to the emigration of 20,000 Jews from Aegean Thrace (Greece) and Macedonia (Serbia). These are the territories conquered by Germany, but legal not belonging to Bulgaria.
Thick underlining, that in the agreement concluded on February 22 1943, says about deport 20 000 Greek and Serbian Jews. These are the subjects of Greece and Serbia. They are not Bulgarian citizens!
On 2 March 1943, the Council of Ministers, with Decree № 127 "confirmed" the Agreement.
Several days later, it is clear that the number of Jews in Greece and Macedonia is around 11,000, the "quota" of 20 000 are proved unrealizable.
Then, Commissioner for Jewish Affairs – Al. Belev decided to "completing" the "quota". And made forgery!
Shows visia from the Agreement:
With the exodus of most first 20,000 Jews from the new Bulgarian lands Thrace and Macedonia
After confirmation by the Council of Ministers in the new bulgarien lands Thrace and Macedonia, 20,000 Jews. "
Belev obliterated with two features (underlined by me) text in the Agreement (these texts are not obliterated in duplicate in German) and thus considered to be able to complete the "quota" of 20 000 Jews and collect the Jews and from "old" boundaries of Bulgaria ie Bulgarian Jews
And with this new agreement Belev started marches across Bulgaria. And when on 8 and 9 March, begin to gather Jews from the "old" boundaries of Bulgaria and rising a social unrest, on March 10 evening action of Belev is repealed.
But, a Decision of the Council of Ministers may be suspended from performing only:
- by order of Mr premier - Bogdan Filov; but on 9 March, he denied meeting with Dimitar Peshev;
- after a vote by the National Assembly. But National Assembly examines
Statement of D. Peshev on 24 March;
- by order of the King, because it is His in the responsibility like Monarch. Bulgaria is a parliamentary monarchy.
10 March 1943. From the diary of Bekerle:
"From Daneker and Wiener learned that Gabrovsky is ordered immediately released all the Jews of Old Bulgaria and the then Commissioner for Jewish Affairs, has resigned . "
A report of 5 April 1943 Bekerle and Adolph Hoffman, a German government adviser - "shturmbanfyurer", police attache at the German legation in Sofia (1943-44) wrote:
"The Minister of Interior has received instruction from the highest place to stop the planned deportation of Jews from the old borders of Bulgaria".
In Bulgaria in 1943, with the "highest place" is characterized only the King, when he has the final say in all important decisions.
13 April 1943 - from the diary of Bogdan Filov:
"In 5 h. after lunch we went to Gabrovsky in K(ing ).... We talked on the Jewish question. K (ing) feel to take them working, in working groups and thus avoid sending the Jews of the old boundaries in Poland. "
The role that plays Dimitar Peshev to rescue of Bulgarian Jews, is invaluable. On March 9, after having Jews of Kyustendil are prepared for a deportation, Peshev wants a meeting with Mr Premier Bogdan Filov, which, however, refused to accept it. Then Peshev meeting place m-nd of the Interior - Gabrovsky, and wants an explanation, and insists to cease preparations for deportation of Jews from Kyustendil.
There is speculation, that after his meeting with Gabrovsky D. Peshev goes private in King Boris III. And that all further action on D. Peshev are organized with the knowledge and suggestion of the King.
And should - D. Peshev prepared a statement to Bogdan Filov against emigration of Jews. Under this Statement are signed 42 MPs. The statement was delivered to the National Assembly on March 17.
Tsar Boris III leaves the office the Commissioner for Jewish Affairs - Al. Belev, but takes his the right to submit to government contracts and agreements without his permission. This is a personal custody of Tsar Boris III over Jewish affairs in Bulgaria. But, if the King on 9 March "plays" an undercover to rescue of bulgarian Jews from deportation, after two months later He is alone...
After the deportation of Greek and Macedonian Jews German government directs its efforts to solve the "Jewish question" and the Bulgarian Jews.
In May 1943 Daneker and Belev agreed plan to the deportation of Bulgarian Jews. Belev again approached with deceit. Prepared two versions of the deportation. Plan A provides for the immediate deportation, such as insistence Daneker. But Belev is aware that the King would hardly approve such a plan, about that prepared and a plan B - the deportation of Jews from large cities to the countryside and then, in his moment, when the king could not resist, to be loaded on steamers River Danube and deported.
Too revealing is, that not Belev, but Mr Gabrovsky, on 20 May, carries these plan like PERSONAL for approval by the King. Evidence that government decisions regarding the Bulgarian Jews without views the King can not be taken!
Tsar Boris III chooses plan B continues to hold the motive - Bulgarian Jews are needed for the construction of roads and railway lines. Only after the King's opinion the matter was submitted for consideration in the Government. On 21 May 1943. Council of Ministers adopted a decree 70th and with Protocol № 74 ranked of the Committee for Jewish Affairs to implement the decree.
From the report of Adolf Hoffman, agreed with Bekerle, to High Imperial management :
"Mr of Interior agreed with the proposal of Belev and was even ready to approve an exodus of Jews to the Eastern lands. He presented the proposals made jurisdiction of Commissioner for Jewish Affairs Belev, such as own to King Boris during his audience on May 20, 1943. BUT the King decided, that it must begin immediately the resettlement of Jews in province, therefore so the plan (A) was abandoned. " (emphasis by me)
In many reports to Berlin, German officials have mentioned the same picture - in the Bulgarian labor camps Bulgarian Jews "laze" most of the time, while Greek prisoners, near by them, working 12 hours.
In a report dated 7 June 1943 of Bekerle to the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the reasons for the failure to solve the Jewish question in Bulgaria mentions:
"statements by Bulgarian Commissioner for Jewish Affairs should not take literally. The Commissioner belongs to one of the opposition groups, that are in most acute opposition to the government and play fake role ... Its measures I often meet with the greatest doubt, since he omitted number of important preconditions".
Bekerle is aware that Belev (and "groups" around him) is not able to "beat" King.
About the role of King Boris III of the "Jewish question" are eloquent and the memories of Rabbi Daniel Zion - the spiritual leader of the Jewish community in Bulgaria during the war years. When start rumors about sending Jews in Germany, Daniel Zion and his secretary A.A. Ansky wrote a letter to the Bulgarian King, in which Daniel Zion pray him in the name of Yeshua does not allow the Bulgarian Jews to be deported to Germany. Rabbi Daniel wrote in his letter that he had a vision about Yeshua, who tells him to warn the king not to hand over Jews to the Nazis. Rabbi Daniel Zion and his secretary managed to convey the letter to the King. The next day, King Boris III went to Germany to meet with Hitler himself. In Germany the King asserts not to send Bulgarian Jews to death camps in Poland and Germany.
Here is an excerpt from the diary of Rabbi Daniel Zion with a quote from his sermon on the Saturday, after his visit to the King:
"Do not be afraid, dear brothers and sisters! Trust in the Holy Rock of our salvation ... Yesterday I was informed that Bishop Stephen has agreed to an immediate meeting to discuss with me, about his conversation with the Bulgarian king. When I went to see Bishop Stephen, he said: "Tell your people, the King has promised, that the Bulgarian Jews not to leave the borders of Bulgaria ...". Explained to the Archbishop, that thousands of Jews waiting for me in the synagogue and expect to hear good news . When I returned to the synagogue, silence reigned in anticipation of the outcome of my meeting with Bishop Stephen. When I entered, my words were: "Yes, my brethren, God heard our prayers ...".
The attitude of King Boris III to the "Jewish question" can be clearly assessed in another aspect.
At the intercession of the International Red Cross the Bulgarian government in January 1943 gives consent to transit to Palestine on 200 Jewish children from Hungary and Romania. On April 1 the Bulgarian legation in Bucharest gives visa to another group - Polish and Romanian citizenship - 73 Jewish children with two adult companions, which is frustrated by the insistence of Germany.
17 February 1943. From the diary of Bogdan Filov: "I reminded to K (ing), that two days ago Bekerle told me, that their government would not be approved, if we deported to Palestine agreed with the British government (through the Swiss legation) 4000 children and 500 adult".
At the discretion of foreign humanitarian organizations, the number of rescued thus non-Bulgarian Jews is over 15 000.
Until the death of the King – 27 august 1943, all international observers in Bulgaria are aware, that the Jewish question in Bulgaria is in the hands of Tsar Boris III.
On March 9, pay tribute to all who contributed in saving the Bulgarian Jews. Only, that the person with the most significant contribution in this historic case - the statesman and the man - Tsar Boris III, continues to be cast down, because of fears, biases and hatred ... Because the communist totalitarian regime 50 years fabricates another story - savior of the Bulgarian Jews was Todor Jivkov. The communist totalitarian regime even nominated President Todor Zhivkov for the Nobel Prize as the savior of the Bulgarian Jews! Their story. And still ...
Tzar(King) Boris III