Blagoevgrad History Museum
Updated: May 17, 2020
The history museum of Blagoevgrad is located in the Varosha district. The museum has few sections, telling the story of the region: Archaeology, Ethnography, Bulgaria from the 15th to the 20th Century, New History, Nature, and Art.
As a history museum, I would expect it to present also the history of the small Jewish community – one of 34 Jewish communities in Bulgaria – who lived in Blagoevgrad until 1948. As an ally of the Nazis, The Bulgarian government canceled all the civic rights of the Jews in February 1941, and the Bulgarian King also decided to deport them to Nazi concentration camps. At the last minute, The Bulgarian Parliament chose to resist, and the deportation postponed several times until the King died, and the government canceled it. After the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, most of Blagoevgrad Jews left the town.
I was saddened to learn that not only the Jewish community is not mentioned in the museum - the museum was built on the ruins of the Jewish Synagogue, which was destroyed by the municipality at the beginning of the 1970s.
Like the synagogue, also the Jewish cemetery and most of the Jewish houses were destroyed.