This Yom Hashoah, we will be commemorating a little known moment in Holocaust history, namely the 70th Anniversary of the Rescue of the Bulgarian Jews. Her Excellency Elena B. Poptodorova's keynote address will explore the complexities of that moment when ordinary individuals stood against the political and social systems in Bulgaria, when average persons achieved extraordinary ends.
Her Excellency Elena B. Poptodorova serves as Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria to the United States of America, having presented her Letters of Credence to President Barak Obama in August 2010. She received her BA and MA degrees from Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia and has engaged in a variety of additional graduate programs at Bulgarian, British and Italian universities. Assumption College in Worcester, MA named her Doctor Honoris Causa. The ambassador is a founding members and current member of the Boards of Bulgaria nongovernmental organizations, among them The Atlantic Clun of Bulgaria, The Centre for Regional and Geopolitical Research and The Bulgarian Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, which she currently chairs.
The evening of the VHM's commemoration service will likewise mark the official opening of an exhibition of paintings by local Holocaust survivor, Margot Dreyfuss Blank.