Sofia Echo


Jewish School in Sofia daubed with anti-Semitic graffiti

Author: The Sofia Echo Staff Date: Thu, Mar 25 2010 8 Comments, 3304 Views
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Anti-Semitic graffiti was daubed on the walls of Sofia’s Dimcho Debelyanov School, commonly known as the Jewish School, just a few days before the start of Passover.
The incident, in which spray-paint was used to draw a Star of David equated with a Nazi swastika, was condemned by the school’s director Vessela Paldumova as an act of psychological aggression not just against Israel but also against the children at the school.
Asked by Bulgarian National Television whether the incident was not just hooliganism, Paldumova said that behind all hooliganism lay a motive.
The management of the Jewish School has informed law enforcement authorities and called for the perpetrators to be caught and punished.
The incident follows other anti-Semitic incidents in Bulgaria.
As noted in the US state department annual report on human rights, Bulgarian Jewish organisation Shalom said that anti-Semitism was not widespread, but there had been increasing reports of anti-Semitic incidents prior to the July 5 2009 national parliamentary elections.
On June 24 2009, vandals broke a memorial slab in Blagoevgrad, in the southwest of Bulgaria, before its unveiling.  The memorial was dedicated to Jews from Aegean Thrace who died in the Auschwitz concentration camp.
On July 13 2009, several Molotov cocktails were thrown at the former synagogue and the Jewish school in the coastal city of Bourgas.
In 2008 a Jewish cemetery in Shoumen was desecrated; the youths were caught and ordered by the court to attend an educational programme. In January, anti-Semitic slogans, including "Juden Verboten" (Jews forbidden), were painted on the Holocaust memorial in Plovdiv.
Jewish organisations expressed concern over the lack of public reaction to these incidents from the government and the lack of successful prosecutions.
After the incident at the school – which several years back was the target of a Molotov cocktail – World ORT, which supports the school, wrote to Bulgaria’s Education Ministry saying that Bulgaria justifiably was proud of its "friendly and protective" relations with the Jewish community, the Jewish Telegraph Agency reported on March 25 2010.
"World ORT trusts that this outstanding tradition will be translated into constructive efforts to ensure that the ugly upsurge in anti-Semitism seen in so many parts of the world does not manifest itself in your beautiful country," the letter said, according to the JTA report.
Shalom said that the vandalism at the school had taken place shortly before Passover and the Christian Easter, at a time when all people should open their hearts to the good, but the vandals had sown hate which verges on terrorism.
"We appeal to citizens and to civil society to react definitely against such acts and to remember that whoever sows hate reaps storms tomorrow," Shalom said.

  • Intolerance rapidly rising in Europe, Bulgarian Jewish organisation Shalom says
  • January 27, Holocaust Remembrance Day, observed
  • UN-backed conference raises awareness of evils of anti-Semitism
  • Polish prisoners on front lines in fight against anti-Semitism
  • Jewish youths in Sofia will remove xenophobic graffiti
  • UN turns to social media to raise awareness about Holocaust
  • US annual State Department report notes some improvement but also failings in Bulgaria
  • Bulgaria commemorates end of Holocaust, prevention of deportations
  • Borissov in talks with Netanyahu during visit to Israel
  • Sofia Synagogue celebrating 100th anniversary
    • Anonymous
      Samuil Rating:
      #8 03, 57, Tue, Nov 02 2010

      Star of David = Swastika, grafiti? Obviously not done by Nazis, this was an act done by Muslims, pretty obvious.

    • Anonymous
      ivaylo chatov Rating:
      #7 14, 13, Fri, Mar 26 2010

      i think this is reportable precisely because anti-semitism is so uncommon and unbulgarian. there is not enough on the facts to speculate on a perpetrator, be he a neo-nazi, a prepubescent teenager trying to be cool, or a moslem fundamentalist. at any rate, this is the job of the police.
      what is sad is simply seeing the inaction and the general apathy. guiliani curbed crime in new york by applying the "broken window" theory of crime prevention - that stopping, and being seen as stopping, lesser crimes has a deterrent effect on greater, more serious offences.

    • Anonymous
      Epaminondas Rating:
      #6 12, 39, Fri, Mar 26 2010

      Sad news which should not be trivialised....

    • AnonymousBGThu, Mar 25 2010

      This comment has been removed by the moderator because it contained

    • Anonymous
      Valley Ray Rating:
      #4 21, 00, Thu, Mar 25 2010

      Why is this news? They spray paint buildings in the U.S. and in England. That's where the problems are. Bulgaria is a great place except all of the problems caused by foriengers.

    • Anonymous
      What's new Rating:
      #3 20, 58, Thu, Mar 25 2010

      Every building in Sofia has graffiti. My building got some new spray paint put on by some vandals today.

    • Anonymous
      cc Rating:
      #2 18, 12, Thu, Mar 25 2010

      how do you know who done this crime? could have been arabs, could have been the schools own students seeking propaganda attention, what about Haredi in ISrael spitting on Christians?
      are they equivalent of skinheads?

    • Anonymous
      of course Rating:
      #1 17, 22, Thu, Mar 25 2010

      Bolen Liderov and his muppets are at it again.

      try explaining to a bulgarian "nazi skinhead" that genetically, bulgarians have nothing to do with the aryan race.

      well done Ataka. you belong to the zoo

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