There is still a tendency among many Bulgarians, particularly when an outsider points out a shortcoming, to relapse into a regressive fatalism, a fatalism expressed most often in phrases such as "Five hundreds years of Ottoman rule..." This is an unhelpful attitude. It is using the past to escape from the present and more so from the future. Furthermore, the Bulgarians are not alone in having suffered long centuries of foreign domination. That domination was without doubt at times extremely repressive but the Bulgarian nation, the Bulgarian church, and the Bulgarian language survived. When the Ottomans departed from Bulgaria the Bulgarians still spoke Bulgarian and Bulgarian manufacturing flourished as a supplier to the Ottoman army; when British rule ended in southern Ireland the Irish language was almost dead and Irish industry had been stifled to prevent competition with British manufacturers. Past oppression is inevitably a part of national consciousness and respect for those who suffered is a proper sentiment, but that oppression should not be used as an excuse for present failings or for lack of commitment to rectifying them.
Richard Crampton, A Short History of Bulgaria, Cambridge University Press, 1997-2005
70 years ago, on 10 March 1943, Bulgaria's pro-Nazi government decided to defy Berlin and halt the deportation of Bulgaria's 50.000 Jews. This was down to the actions of one man - Dimitar Peshev. Just two years later he faced Communist justice and found himself on trial for his life. His niece Kaluda Kiradjieva remembers