When? Opening at 7pm on 20 June 2018
Where? Bulgarian Cultural Institute,
188 Queen’s Gate, London SW7 5HL
Free registration for the event HERE
Bulgaria, one of Europe’s least known lands, famously did not deport about 48,000 Jews during the Second World War. In 1943, before it had emerged that Nazi Germany would be losing the war, the Kingdom of Bulgaria, a German satellite, failed to do what was expected of it – despite all the plans, the array of barges and the waiting cattle cars. Who is to take the credit for the unprecedented rescue: the Communist Party, the Orthodox Church, the king, a bunch of forthright MPs who openly opposed the planned deportations, or the power of Bulgaria’s civil society?
These questions generate other questions. If the Bulgarians were so good to their Jews during the war, why were there so few Jews left in the Bulgaria of the Warsaw Pact? What happened to their heritage, a remnant of at least 18 centuries of Jewish presence in these lands?
The Jewish Bulgaria exhibition uses the art of photography to answer, in visual form, some of these questions. It shows disused synagogues and abandoned cemeteries throughout modern Bulgaria, but also focuses on the current life and practices of that country’s tiny Jewish community.
The Jewish Bulgaria exhibition is a journey through both territory and time, illuminating the backgrounds while guiding through the topography. It is a poignant reminder of a long disappeared culture, but also an evocative pointer to the future.
The Jewish Bulgaria exhibition is organised by the Free Speech Foundation and the Bulgarian Cultural Institute in London, with the generous support of the America for Bulgaria Foundation.
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