Sofia (Jun. 15)
The public prosecutor, M. Goljueboff, in delivering his closing speech to the court in the trial of the antisemitic terrorist Kalpatchieff, one on the leaders of the antisemitic Radna Zastita Organisation, Radon Radeff, the Secretary of the Organisation, and Toma Stoyanoff, who are accused of having kidnapped a number of Jews and plotted to kidnap also the President of the Central Consistory of the Bulgarian Jews, Colonel Tadjer, and the President of the Bulgarian section of the Jewish Agency, M. Chaim Farchi, demanded the death sentence for kalpatchieff and heavy terms of imprisonment for the other two accused.
The trial has been going on for a fortnight.
The public prosecutor delivered a long exposition in which he traced the history of antisemitism, especially in Bulgaria.
The Jews Lived in Bulgaria before the Bulgars came here, he said, and for 500 years both Jews and Bulgars groaned under Turkish rule, and as fellow-sufferers were fast friends.
From the beginning of Bulgarian rule in the year 679, till the middle of the 14th. century there was no organised persecution of Jews in Bulgaria, he stated, although it was common in the west. In the 14th. century, we had a Jewess, Sarah, on the throne of the Bulgarian kings, who ruled under the name of Queen Theodora. It was under her Government that the Jews of Bulgaria were for the first and only time subjected to mass persecution. In 1352 a conference was held under the presidency of this Jewish Queen’s husband, King Ivan Alexander, which condemned Jews and heretics, and from that year we have no information about the Jewish community, which had till then lived in the capital, Wieliko Tirnovo.
In 1396 began our subjection to the Turks. Bulgars and Jews alike suffered under Turkish rule, and their own relations were of the friendliest.
Unfortunately, after the Bulgarian liberation, our people were incited by accusations of ritual murder against the Jews. That happened in 1884 and 1885 in Sofia, and in 1890 in Bratza, but Dr. Stoiloff, who was afterwards Prime Minister of Bulgaria, appeared on behalf of the Jews, and secured their acquittal. There were other antisemitic persecutions in our country, the most notorious at Tatar Pazardjik in 1895; at Lom in 1903, and at Kuestondil and Dupnitza in 1904.
In 1925 there was an attempt made by antisemites to exploit the trial of the Jewish Communist, Friedmann, by trying to turn it into a movement against the whole of Bulgarian Jewry, but they did not succeed.
On the whole, one may say, the public prosecutor claimed that relations between Jews and Bulgars have been less strained than in other countries.
The public prosecutor spoke of deeds of heroism performed by Jews who had fought for Bulgaria in her various wares of liberation.
Antisemitism is a plant which is foreign to our soil, he said. Antisemitism is the product of ignorance and barbarism.
He went on to quote from Dubnov’s “History of the Jews”, to show how Jews had lived in Bulgaria as loyal citizens. He also quoted from the notorious Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, pointing out absurdities and contradictions, and he submitted the opinions of famous authorities who had proved the protocols to be a forgery.
The Jewish sports club, Maccabee, which Kalpatchieff and his associates had accused of treasonable activities, was an organisation of young Jews who engaged in no other activity than sport and physical culture. It had existed for 30 years, and it had never come under the notice of the authorities except for performances of athletic prowess.
The public prosecutor spoke for two days.
Advocate Menachem Fayoneff, who is appearing for the families of the kidnapped Jews, then spoke. The Counsel for Kalpatchieff and the other two prisoners still have to speak, and the verdict is not expected for several days.