The first ever English-language guide to Jewish heritage in Bulgaria. Designed as a "journey through both time and territory." Contains introductory chapters on early Jewish history in the Balkans, life in the Ottoman Empire (1393-1878), Jewish going-ons in independent Bulgaria (1878-1944), Jewish decline under Communism (1944-1989), and Jewish life post-1989. A special section deals with the famous rescue of the Bulgarian Jews from the Holocaust "paid off" by Jews in Aegean Thrace, Vardar Macedonia and Pirot who were deported to Nazi-occupied Poland. Richly illustrated with superb photography, this book focuses on what remains of the Jewish presence in Bulgaria now: synagogues, old cemeteries, remnants of Jewish neighbourhoods in Sofia, Plovdiv, Vidin, Ruse, Varna, Burgas, Yambol, Samokov, Dupnitsa, Kyustendil, Gotse Delchev and elsewhere. With practical information how to reach even the lesser, off-the-beaten track sites, addresses, telephone numbers and contact details of Jewish communities. A must for anyone interested in Jewish heritage in Eastern Europe in general and Bulgaria in particular.
"A Guide to Jewish Bulgaria" fills an important and all-too-frequently neglected niche in Bulgarian history.
Elizabeth Kostova, International best-selling author of "The Historian" and "The Swan Thieves"
North Carolina, USA
In a country that has been populated by Jews for many centuries and that prides itself on having saved its Jews from the Holocaust, there is surprisingly little Jewish heritage beyond the very obvious. What remains - a disused synagogue here, an old, neglected cemetery or the ruin of a building there - is sometimes extremely difficult to find. Unless you know exactly where to look. This superbly researched, written and photographed book is a must for everyone interested in Jewish heritage in Eastern Europe in general and Bulgaria in particular.
Samuel Finzi, Theatre and film actor, Berlin
Bulgaria did not turn over its Jews in World War II but afterwards, when they left for Israel, it did nothing to preserve their heritage, synagogues and cemeteries. This informative, well-documented and above all very impressive book does much to rectify this. It is not a requiem for the Bulgarian Jews, but rather a historical and artistic testimonial to the remnants of the Bulgarian Jews' comprehensive contribution to the country that once was their motherland.
Dr Baruch Hazan, University professor, University of Haifa and the Ben Gurion University of the Negev Tel Aviv
Elegant and eloquent, this book is a fascinating journey through one of the least known lands in Europe. Wonderful throughout!
Dr Milena Borden, University professor, University of Reading, London
A must book for the Jewish traveller in Bulgaria. I have visited my birth country a dozen times in the past 40 years. Invariably Jewish tourists ask me "Is there a handbook in English that will help give me the background I need to further understand and enjoy my visit there more fully?" It is my belief that Ms Trankova and Mr Georgieff have presented us with a very practical "Guide to Jewish Bulgaria." Congratulations to the writers! Enjoy your visit!
Rabbi Haim Asa, Orange County, California, USA