Sofia (София): The Jewish Consistory of Bulgaria (Kонсистория на евреитe въ България), 1945. First edition. Softcover. Small quarto. 200pp. Tan paper wrappers, with black lettering on the front cover.
This scarce Bulgarian publication, is comprised of a series of documents collected and assembled by Bulgarian-Jewish political figure Natan Grinberg (1903-1988), which provide evidence on the deportation of Jews from Thrace, Macedonia, and Pirot, to death camps, now known as the Dannecker-Belev Agreement. These three areas were annexed by Bulgaria in 1941, from Greece, and parts of Yugoslavia (now parts of Serbia and most of North Macedonia), with the assistance of Nazi Germany, with whom they were allied. Unlike Jews in Bulgaria proper, the Jews in these areas where not considered Bulgarian citizens and were ultimately given over to the Germans, per their 1943 request to be supplied with "20,000 Jewish captives". It is considered the only known agreement of its kind to have been official recorded, and agreed upon in this way, between the Nazis and governments of client or puppet states, during the war. Ultimately more than 11,000 Jews from these areas were handed over to the Nazis by Bulgarian authorities, where they were subsequently transported to Auschwitz and Trebrinka. Nearly all were killed. These actions were overseen by the leader of the anti-semitic Commissariat for Jewish Affairs in Bulgaria, Alexander Belev (1898-1944), and the head Nazi official in Bulgaria, SS-captain Theodor Dannecker (1913-1945).
These documents where assembled shortly after the war, likely to preemptively provide evidence for prosecutors of People's Court, in charging individuals collaborating with the Nazis and fascists. It is an extremely early document of its kind to provide documents as evidence of the Holocaust directly following the war, and is of foundational importance for the study of the Holocaust in Bulgaria, and these areas. In the years since, these documents have not been widely publicized, as they tarnish the image of a country thought of as being comparatively merciful to its Jewish population during this infamous period.
The material here includes text from more than 40 official Bulgarian governmental documents from the period, including correspondence and numerical tables, discussing all aspects of the operation, including the logistics and finances. The first text page contains introductory statements from the founder of the post-war Jewish Consistory of Bulgaria, Isaac Elizar Française. The final pages contain a facsimile reproduction of the typed 1943 document requesting for the transfer of 20,000 Jews, showing the signatures of Theodor Dannecker and Belev, six captioned b/w photographic reproductions and a table of contents.
Text in Bulgarian.
Wrappers rebacked with new spine and back cover. Front cover, with some stains, and a tear at the top right corner. Period ink stamp on the front cover. A light stain to the title page until page 15. Pages throughout age toned, with some light creasing at the top corners. Wrappers in good, interior in very good condition overall. Protected in modern mylar. g to vg. Item #52255
A facsimile edition was finally published in 2015.