The eastern Europe country of Bulgaria issued a commemorative postage stamp for the Spanish Holocaust hero, Julio Palencia y Tubau. The previous Spanish ambassador to Bulgaria has been dubbed the ‘Spanish Schindler’ for saving hundreds of Jews during the Holocaust.
Taking place at the Sofia Regional History Museum, the occassion was hosted by the Mayor of Sophia, Yordanka Fandukova along with the Deputy Mayor, Todor Chobanov.
President of the Bulgarian Organisation of the Jews Shalom, Alexander Oscar said “the history of the Holocaust, alongside the tragic fate of millions, including more than 11 000 Jews deported from the territories under Bulgarian rule in March 1943, contains the unrecorded history of very good people who have shown humanity and bravery and have accepted the role of rescuers voluntarily. “
The Spanish Ambassador, Julio Palencia y Tubau risked his life in 1943 by sending a secret message to his foreign minister, making him aware of plans to deport Jews from Bulgaria. Without Madrid’s support and deceiving Bulgaria’s Nazi ambassador, by announcing he had permission to send the Jews to Spain, he managed to save hundreds of Spanish nationality Jews from persecution. The Spanish Holocaust hero even went on to adopt two Jewish children.
Nazi Germany and the Bulgarian government (allies with Germany at the time), declared him a person non grata. Palencia was also punished by Madrid on his return to Spain. Now hailed as a hero and honoured with a Bulgarian commemorative postage stamp, the ‘Spanish Schindler’ has been remembered for his heroic actions.