Feature Bulgarian Jews and the 1945 “People’s Courts”

Bulgaria was the first state in post-war Europe to hold trials that specifically focused on war-time crimes against Jews. These trials were part of their larger project of prosecuting alleged “Fascists” in the so-called “people’s courts” across Red Army occupied Eastern Europe. Beginning on March 7, 1945, Bulgaria’s trials pre-dated the Nuremburg Trials and were quite distinct from most “peoples courts” trials in the Bloc, which largely focused on the working class or the Soviet Union itself as the primary victims in the war. In the Bulgarian trials the primary defendants were the employees of the Commissariat for Jewish Affairs, along with a few other notorious public anti-Semites. The transcripts for these trials can be found in the Archives of the Bulgarian Ministry of the Interior (Fond 190), as well as in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Acc. 1997, A.0333. A copy will also soon be housed in the University of Texas, Perry-Castañeda Library.

Feature Testimony of Accused Ivan Mitsiev [view]
Feature Testimony of Accused Todor Kolibarov [view]
Feature Testimony of Accused Slavcho Ionchev [view]
Feature Testimony of Witness Natan Grinberg [view]
Feature Testimony (part two) of Witness Natan [view]
Feature Testimony of Witness Rebeka Benbenisti [view]
Feature Testimony of Witness Eli Eshkenazi [view]