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ADL Celebrates 100 years of U.S. - Bulgarian Relations And 60th Anniversary of Heroic Decision to Save Jews from the Holocaust
October 14, 2003

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today celebrated the 100th anniversary of U.S. diplomatic relations with Bulgaria and the 60th anniversary of Bulgaria's courageous stand against Adolf Hitler's Final Solution, which spared the Bulgarian Jewish community from deportation to concentration camps and certain death at the hands of the Nazis.

In a meeting with high-ranking Bulgarian government officials, Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director pledged to continue to advocate strongly on behalf of Bulgaria, which he described as an important ally of the U.S. in the war against terrorism and a "shining light" of democracy and freedom. Bulgaria, which was invited to join NATO in November 2002, has pledged 500 troops for a possible NATO international division for peacekeeping in Iraq.

Mr. Foxman presented copies of the book Beyond Hitler's Grasp: The Heroic Rescue of Bulgaria's Jews (2001) by Michael Bar-Zohar, in both English and Bulgarian, to Dr. Ognyan Gerdjikov, Speaker of the Bulgarian National Assembly, during the meeting at the League's National Headquarters in New York City. The meeting also included remarks by Elena Poptodorova, the Bulgarian Ambassador to the U.S.

The book describes how the Bulgarian people, the Orthodox church and King Boris III courageously resisted Nazi efforts to have Jews deported to the death camps, saving the nation's 48,000 Jews. The League has had the book translated into Bulgarian, Mr. Foxman said, "so that your children and grandchildren can learn about this wonderful story of courage and compassion."

ADL officials pledged to actively advocate on behalf of Bulgaria in Washington, D.C. "We are honored to support Bulgaria as a valued ally in expanding freedom around the world," Mr. Foxman said.
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