Expulsion of Jews from Sofia Started, Bulgarian Officials Move into Jewish Homes

Disregarding the demonstrations by non-Jews in Sofia protesting the deportation of 25,000 Jews from the city. Bulgarian authorities today reiterated their determination to make the capital of Bulgaria “judenrein” within the next few days and reported that two trains carrying Jewish residents left Sofia yesterday.

A report from Budapest describing the departure of the “Jewish trains” from the Bulgarian capital quoted “authoritative Bulgarian circles” as saying that Jews who are Bulgarian citizens would not be sent abroad. “Only those who tried to evade the statutory regulations will be sent to Poland,” the report added.

The trains with the expelled Jews are proceeding in the direction of Southern Bulgaria, the Nazi news agency DNB said today. A Hungarian news agency, reporting that every Jew is allowed to take thirty kilograms of baggage, but no money, asserted that “from this fact it can be concluded that the Jews will be placed in public buildings in provincial towns until adequate concentration camps are available.”

JEWS FLEE IN PANIC TO ALBANIA; POGROM IN SOFIA REPORTED

Nazi reports reveal that Jews in other parts of Bulgaria, fearful of deportation to Nazi-occupied Poland, are fleeing to Italian-held Albania, and are being helped by non-Jews to cross the Bulgarian-Albanian frontier at Boyanove. Measures have been taken by the Bulgarian authorities to stop Jews from illegally crossing the border, the reports emphasize.

The Nazi newspaper, Grenzbote, published in Slovakia, which reached here today, reports that a pogrom took place in Sofia “carried out by the Branik youth organization and members of other patriotic groups.” Jewish shops were demolished in various parts of the city, the Nazi paper states.

Bulgarian officials have taken over 400 homes vacated by the first contingent of deported Sofia Jews and have moved into them together with their families, information from Bulgaria indicates. The same report reveals that Jewish capital amounting to 50,000,000 levas has been blocked by the authorities in Sofia.

The Italian news agency Stefani today tries to create the impression that the demonstrations in Sofia yesterday were organized by Jews. The agency adds that some of the Jews were injured and that the police had to “protect several of the Jews from the legitimate indignation of many Bulgarian citizens.”

(The New York Times, in a cable from Bern, Switzerland, today reported that the demonstrations in Sofia were carried out by non-Jews. The demonstrations started shortly after 6 o’clock in the morning yesterday, when the first group of 4,000 Jews was being marched off to the station to entrain for the east. The column was blocked by a large throng singing the Bulgarian national anthem and protesting against the “cruel and inhuman measures” taken by the government against the Sofia Jews, the report said.)

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