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Why Two Destinies?

Vesela Hristova, Burgas


This project was developed by Vesela Hristova, in Burgas, based on a book she wrote with her students the year before. Students learned about the fate of Bulgarian Jews and Jews from Macedonia and Aegean Thrace during the Second World War. They worked with archives and photographs from the Yad Vashem website. An open discussion followed on why Bulgarian Jews were saved and why the Jews from Macedonia and Aegean Thrace were not saved.

In the next phase of the project, students participated in four seminars on Tolerance and Society; Stereotypes and Prejudices; Discrimination Against Minorities and Groups; and What We Know About Human Rights and Their Protection. During these seminars the students worked in groups, discussed, made posters, and presented their assignments. They described and summarized their work in a book and reflected on whether we are tolerant today, on how human rights are reflected in everyday life, and on how we live with our prejudices and stereotypes. They also watched and discussed the video A Class Divided: and prepared a dance performance to express their feelings on the issue.


In preparation for the street theater, participants used the materials produced in last year’s project titled Lessons from Past – Action for the Future, based on which they prepared a 15 minute street performance. Through dance and music, they showed the topics of discrimination, violence, rejection, rebellion and human rights.



The project involved a total of about 300 people, students, teachers, parents and other members of the local community. The book written by the students is available to all classes in the high school, as we will use it with next year with another class.


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)