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Washington, D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and the committee’s Ranking Member Eliot L. Engel (D-NY) today sent a letter to the Chairwoman of the National Assembly of Bulgaria urging her to oppose the Lukov March, which is organized by fringe groups to honor a pro-Nazi extremist Hristo Lukov, who supported policies during World War II that lead to the deaths of thousands of Jews.

In the letter, Royce and Engel write: “We urge your government to strongly condemn the march and ensure public safety and adherence to the rule of law by extremist racist groups who want to incite hatred and provoke violence. … There must be no room on the streets of a European capital for a parade that pays tribute to a man who represented the most evil and sinister era in human history.”

Full text of the letter is available below or here:

February 15, 2018

Her Excellency Tsveta Karayancheva
Chairwoman of the National Assembly of Bulgaria
c/o Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria
1621 22nd St, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008

Dear Ms. Chairwoman:

We wish to express our appreciation for Bulgaria’s recent actions to combat anti-Semitism, specifically the adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of anti-Semitism, and the appointment of a National Coordinator on Combatting Anti-Semitism.  These significant steps indicate a commitment by your government to be a leader in combatting the troubling rise in anti-Semitism in Europe.  It is on this basis that we now write to you out of our deep concern regarding the proposed Lukov March that is scheduled to take place in Sofia, Bulgaria on February 17, 2018.

This march was organized by fringe groups in honor of Hristo Lukov, an extremist who embodied Anti-Semitism during the Holocaust. During World War II, Lukov led the Union of Bulgarian National Legions, a pro-Nazi organization that supported policies leading to the deaths of thousands of Jews.

Lukov led an organization that supported the deportation of 11,343 Jews from territories in northern Greece and Yugoslavia, ultimately sentencing these innocent people to their deaths in the Treblinka extermination camp. It is unacceptable to glorify a perpetrator of the most horrific genocide in human history. The Lukov March has occurred in years past, despite being officially banned by municipal authorities and strongly opposed by the Jewish community of Bulgaria, representatives of other countries, and NGOs. We urge your government to strongly condemn the march and ensure public safety and adherence to the rule of law by extremist racist groups who want to incite hatred and provoke violence.

For the first half of 2018, Bulgaria will hold the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union. In this leadership position, EU member states will look to your nation to uphold the value of tolerance and to reject extremism and anti-Semitism.

We therefore ask that you work to uphold your government’s commitment to combat anti-Semitism by opposing the Lukov March. There must be no room on the streets of a European capital for a parade that pays tribute to a man who represented the most evil and sinister era in human history.

Sincerely,

EDWARD R. ROYCE                                                    
Chairman

ELIOT L. ENGEL
Ranking Member    

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