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To Remember

Tanya Stefanova Popova-Decheva, Sevlievo


This project was developed by Tanya Stefanova Popova-Decheva in Sevlievo. The first stage of the project consisted of a series of lectures on the Holocaust for students of 8th, 9th and 10th grade. The lessons learned were presented in a public event on March 10, the Day of the salvation of Bulgarian Jews and the commemoration of the Holocaust victims. In the auditorium of our school, the event organizers, students from 9th grade, prepared a report and a presentation for the event and the audience watched a documentary about the tragedy experienced by the Jews during the Holocaust. The project culminated with innovative activities that showed an impressive civic attitude from our students.


The second part of the project was a music program at the Dimitar Dimov Drama Theater in Kardzhali where, in honor of the 74th anniversary of the Salvation of Bulgarian Jews during the Second World War, the Day of Tolerance and Interethnic Support was held. Our students prepared three performances: The hymn of the Republic of Bulgaria, a Bulgarian folk song, and the Jewish song “Horchat hai caliptus.” I, Tanya Popova, read a poem dedicated to Assia Raberman, a Holocaust survivor I met in Blegoevgrad, in front of the audience.


The third event was the closing session, a literary and musical program titled “The Light That Saves Us”. With the help of socio-drama, several moments related to Jewish life were presented – Passover and Hanukkah holidays, as well as important historical events and personalities. History and legend, myth and song were interwoven to make the dialogue between cultures, people and time possible.


The second part of the program was a theatre performance with a scenario based on Bar-Zohar’s book, Beyond Hitler’s Grasp. Students expressed our common pursuit of light and courage in the name of life.


During this time, some of our students also focused on participating in Alef’s competition of essays about the life and work of Shimon Peres.


In the next school year we will do research on the contribution of Jewish people to Bulgarian and world literature and science, as well as their contribution to the humanitarian cause. The videos from our events can be watched here:


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)