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The Holocaust and the Salvation of the Bulgarian Jews

Dimitar Dimov, Kardzhali


This project was developed by Dimitar Dimov in Kardzhali. An essay competition was announced on the topic of the Holocaust and the rescuing of the Jews in Bulgaria. Students submitted their papers and the history club at the secondary school Petko Rachov Slaveykov interviewed the contestants. A formal invitation was sent to the town community to take a part in an event called “Days of Holocaust and the rescuing of the Jewish people in Bulgaria.” The participants in the competition were 22 students with 10 teachers from 10 different schools who presented 17 essays and 4 presentations


Before the big event, a photo exhibition was organized at Petko Rachov Slaveykov by students who researched the history of the Jewish community in Kardzhali. In relation to the International Women’s day, the head teachers discussed with their students the role of Jewish women and their contribution to the development of humanity. The best essays and presentations were showcased on the school television.

On March 10, the Day of the rescuing of the Jewish people in Bulgaria was officially celebrated. A pilgrimage was held at the flagstone where the synagogue used to be in Kardzhali and flowers were laid. At the Dimitar Dimov theatre, the winners of the essay competition were awarded and the best essays were presented in front of the community of Kardzhali.



Student reflection: This conference is a great opportunity for us, the students from this small town, to show what we are capable of. And we did it in a wonderful way. We showed our respect to the destiny of the great Jewish people. And we proved that we will never forget the bravery that our people showed during those hard years.

Teacher’s reflection: The participation of so many young people proves that the project was successful. Their interest was provoked and the things they wrote and presented to the community of Kardzhali showed the necessity of this type of projects. The topic itself is close to the spirit of Bulgarian people and this type of provocation of the mind and “competition” of opinions turns out to be the needed base for building up civic attitudes among young people.


For the next school year, the plan is to meet with representatives of the Jewish community and to visit the synagogues in Sofia and Plovdiv. We are going to contact Jewish organizations and institutions in Bulgaria to obtain more materials and information to prepare students to participate in organized initiatives and competitions about the Holocaust and the rescuing of the Jewish people in Bulgaria.


For more information about The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights (TOLI), please contact

TOLI is located at 58 East 79th Street in Manhattan. (get directions)