On 14 June, the American Ambassador James Warlick, Sofia Deputy Mayor Todor Chobanov and the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria Valentin Georgiev unveiled the new memorial plaque of Assen Kermekchiev (1872-1953) in the Kristal Garden, Sofia. Kermekchiev, also known as Ace Kermek, was an acclaimed doctor and writer as well as the first consular representative of the United States in Bulgaria. He graduated from Robert College in Istanbul which at the time was a popular destination among Bulgarians of means and later went on to study medicine in Paris. In 1912, Kermekchiev was appointed consular representative of the United States and served as such until 1914. At the age of 51, he moved to New York but continued following the events in Bulgaria and writing about Balkan politics in New York Times. Kermekchiev is also the founder of the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria. His memorial plaque marks the 100th anniversary of the consular relations between the two countries.
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