(JTA) — Bulgaria’s parliament for the first time expressed regret for the deportation of 11,000 Jews to their deaths during the Holocaust.
The resolution Friday by Bulgaria’s parliament was issued ahead of the 70th anniversary of the start of deportations from areas controlled by Bulgaria, which was an ally of Nazi Germany during World War II.
The text read: “Beyond dispute,11,343 Jews were deported from northern Greece and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. We denounce this criminal act, undertaken by Hitler’s command, and express our regret for the fact that the local Bulgarian administration had not been in a position to stop this act."
The text also lauded Bulgarian authorities for having "refused the deportation of over 48,000 Jews, Bulgarian citizens, to the death camps" — a historical event that is a source of pride to many Bulgarians.
Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev and his Israeli counterpart, Shimon Peres, opened an exhibition Wednesday of archival materials called "Tough choices that make a difference: The fate of the Bulgarian Jews," at the European Parliament in Brussels.