Dimitar Peshev

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Kichka Kiradzieva and Kaludka Kiradzieva
Rome, October 16th 1998

Chairman, Members of Parliament, Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of all Dimitar Peshev's relatives and also in our own name, as his nieces, we want to express our gratitude to the Italian MPs thanks to whose initiative our uncle has been honoured for his role in stopping the deportation of Bulgaria's Jews to extermination camps. In March 1943, as Vice-Chairman of the Bulgarian Parliament, Peshev wrote his now celebrated letter to Filov, the then Prime Minister. This letter, opposed to the handover of the nation's Jews to the Nazis, was signed by 42 deputies from the majority and supported by other MPs too. The letter did much to arouse public opinion, and particularly to involve Bulgarian intellectuals. The success of Peshev's initiative meant that Bulgaria's entire Jewish community was saved.

We also want to offer our infinite and sincere thanks to Gabriele Nissim who devoted three years of hard work and boundless enthusiasm to collecting material and testimonies for his book "L'Uomo che fermò Hitler". Thanks to his insight and talent, this writer has succeeded in reconstructing the story of Peshev the politician and Peshev the activist just as it remains imprinted on our mind and in our memories.

Lastly, we wish to make known our enormous gratitude for the tribute we have received in commemoration of our uncle Dimitar Peshev and his outstanding gesture, which indeed deserves to be remembered beyond the borders of his homeland, Bulgaria.

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