Massimo Magistrati on the Deportation of Bulgarian Jews in 1943

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What has been reported in the press of neutral countries, namely that the Bulgarian Government is said to be negotiating at the same time with Germany and with Great Britain concerning the removal from Bulgaria of significant groups of press of Israelites, is true.

Germany has offered to transfer the Bulgarian Jewish groups to the ghettoes in Poland and has asked the Bulgarian government to pay the sum of five-hundred marks per person for transport costs and in exchange for property seized locally. Bulgarians have resisted this request

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and for the time being nothing has been decided as yet on the financial question. However, the departures of Jews for Poland have already begun, albeit limited to the Jewish groups living in the new Bulgarian territories, Thrace and Macedonia, where there are Jewish communities that have been estimated at approx. twenty-thousand individuals. As for the Jews in the ancient Bulgarian territory nothing definite has been decided, because reportedly the Bulgarian government is opposing a marked resistance.

With Great Britain there have been negotiations through the Swiss Government about dispatching to Palestine four-thousand adult Bulgarian Jews and four-thousand Jewish children. But the Reich has stepped in and in a certain sense has “vetoed” this departure, judging, as usual, that it is dangerous to transfer to an enemy territory

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such decidedly anti-German elements. In the end, apparently, the Bulgarian Government has resumed these negotiations despite that “veto”, limiting them to the four-thousand children who would be accompanied by no more than five-hundred adults. This negotiation as well, however, seems to encounter problems of a financial nature.

Magistrati

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In March 1919, Benito Mussolini founded a movement called “Fasci di combattimento”, which became the Partito Nazionale Fascista (PNF) in November 1921. On 28 October 1922 he organised the “March on Rome”, following which King Vittorio Emanuele III of Savoy invited him to form a new government. Mussolini transformed the government into a dictatorship and then into a totalitarian state. After Italy left the League of Nations in 1937, the “Rome-Berlin Axis”, proclaimed in 1936, developed into a clo...

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