On January 25, 2023, a presentation of the publication "For Visitors to the Jewish Quarter in Sofia" - a guidebook prepared by Ivanka Gezenko, an expert at the State Agency Archives - took place in the Regional History Museum - Sofia. The publication was prepared as part of the program of the State Institute for Culture at the Minister of Foreign Affairs under the initiative "Strategic cooperation between Bulgaria and Norway in support of Bulgaria's international commitments to combat anti-Semitism and the preservation of Jewish heritage". The guidebook is available in English and Bulgarian.
The event was opened by the host and director of Regional History Museum - Sofia, Prof. Veneta Hadjiyska, who emphasized the role and place of the museum in the so-called triangle of tolerance in the city. The director of the State Institute for Culture, Mrs. Snezhana Joveva, outlined the main highlights of the Institute's activities under the initiative and expressed gratitude for the responsiveness and cooperation of the partner institutions on the projects related to cultural heritage.
The chairman of the State Agency "Archives", Prof. Mihail Gruev, spoke about the importance of preserved memory for expanding knowledge about the tolerant coexistence of communities in our history. That is the explanation for the fact that in a critical situation when humane values were put to the test during the Second World War, a large part of the Bulgarian society categorically stood on the just side.
The author of the guide, Ms. Ivanka Gezenko, presented her research in detail. The detailed study of the history of buildings and public spaces, related to the fate of the people who lived in them, allows us to look in a new way at the traces of the past in the urban environment and the attitudes and values that they model. The chosen route outlines the boundaries of the Jewish quarter in Sofia and adds personal and everyday connections in the historical line of events.
The director of the Regional History Museum - Sofia, Prof. Veneta Hadjiyska and experts from the State Institute for Culture presented the work on the upcoming exhibition in the museum, which will present materials from the Bulgarian archives and museum collections related to the history, traditions and culture of the Jewish community.
The event at the Museum was dedicated to International Holocaust Remembrance Day and ended with a group photo with the caption #WeRemember.