King Boris: During these turbulent times, Bulgaria was ruled by a democratic king. Haunted incessantly by the fear of invasion, however, King Boris III walked a fine line of neutrality, pursuing the politics of procrastination.

Metropolitan Kiril of Plovdiv: When the Nazis rounded up the Jews in his city and herded them into a barbed wire enclosure, Metropolitan Kiril marched to the entrance of the enclosure. When the Nazi guards tried to stop them, he laughed at them, pushed aside their guns, and joined the Jews in captivity. Quoting from the Book of Ruth he declared to his Jewish friends, “Whither thou goest, I will go”. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God!”

Commissar Belev: When a Commissariat was formed to handle the “Jewish Question” a fiercely pro-Nazi and anti-Semitic commissar named Alexandar Belev was appointed to mastermind the secret task.

Liliana Panitsa (Lily): Raised in a democratic family of Varna, Bulgaria 27-year-old Lily served as private secretary to the Commissar. Opposed to Fascist ideology, Lily was also devoted to her boss—with whom she had an intimate relationship. Torn between loyalties, she nonetheless leaked information to the Jews.

Dimitar Peshev: Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and Minister of Justice, Peshev had been falsely assured that the New Law would be applied morally. When that was proven to be false, he and the emissaries appealed to the Minister of Interior, who, denying the deportations at first, was forced by Peshev to cancel them.


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