Auschwitz in Bulgaria

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Thu Aug 31 10:59:44 MDT 2000


By Ivan Angelov, born 1943; International Relations Graduate (1969); Ph.D.
(1975); Associate Professor (1988)

That is the title of an article in the "ART" supplement of the "TRUD" daily
(August 19, p. 15). It informs about the works on a Hollywood movie ("The
Gray Zone", producer Tim Nelson, starring Mira Sorvino, Harvey Keitel,
Steve Buscemi - not sure in the spelling, this is how the names look like
in Bulgarian) that are going on these days some 20 klm from Sofia near the
village of Zhiten. A very true copy of Auschwitz is being built there with
cremation houses, and things like that spread over a territory of 20000 sq. m.

It is difficult to say if the people who participate in the works know that
Bulgaria has been among the very few, if not the only country in Europe,
that has managed somehow to save its Jews during the WWII. No wonder if
they do not have much idea about it.

In the same way, both local and foreign politicians and opinion makers seem
not to notice how Auschwitz is being reproduced here these days when the
life of millions of that country population has been turned into a
humiliating everyday fight for bare survival as a result of the
introduction of a series of inadequate economic measures and policies. The
idea of adjusting the country's economy to the requirements of the "free"
market mechanisms is being realised in such a way that at least a good half
of the 7 million Bulgarians practically are without elementary means for a
civilised existence. As a result of such strategies, that have been and are
constantly praised and supported by the IMF, World Bank and the other
structures abroad, the last decade standard of living in Bulgaria has
decreased several times and the mortality rate is constantly increasing.
Political parties in power and Governments have been changing but no
substantial change has ever occurred in this kind of policies. On the
contrary, the last go on in such a way so as to stiffen even harder the
grip around the throat of the remaining part of the population and to make
their survival chances less and less. It seems that the winter 2000/2001
will be an extremely decisive and critical period in that respect.

During the last decade the Bulgarians have surprisingly survived somehow
with drastically shrunken agriculture and industry. Obviously now they have
to show if they would be able to do it without doctors, dentists and medicine.

Since July 1 the vast majority of the population has been left practically
without functioning health system. The policlinics, developed by several
generations of practitioners in the course of the last century, have been
closed down with the only exception of those working for the high level
governmental persons, Army and police officials - of course! The doctors
have been forced to register as AUTONOMOUS juridical persons, capable of
procuring for themselves consulting rooms, medical apparatus, laboratory
equipment, etc. From time to time some of the media announces that
up-and-doing young men (not necessarily with medical education) have
managed to buy this or that polyclinics' building. Nothing is heard though
where the policlinics' well-equipped laboratories and other medical
equipment have gone to. They have just disappeared... At the same time
media inform quite seriously how much it will be saved when the time
between periodical life-saving haemodialysis for the kidney patients will
be elongated with 6 (six) months! We are told HOW MUCH BETTER things will
be afterwards - perhaps, presumably, when most of the patients will GO WITH
THE WIND... Patients with serious nervous diseases, Parkinson's and the
likes (most of which are in the lowest strata of the population) now have
to make their own choice whether to give practically all they have for
costly imported life-saving drugs or to go on without them...

It is widely known that in Auschwitz the Nazi used to take the golden tooth
crowns and everything else of value out of the people before the final
solution takes place. In this sense, if things here differ, that difference
is only a matter of scale and technology. Both doctors and potential
patients in Bulgaria these days are trapped by a system under which the
first have to introduce unbearably high prices in order to survive, and the
others - to give up voluntarily any medical treatment.. for the very same
purposes! Such a satanic merry-go-round obviously cannot last long and it
is sure to give the clearly sought of results during the coming winter when
the deadly combination of central heating and food prices will present
another choice of the same kind for the majority of the Bulgarians.

A month ago politicians and opinion makers both in Bulgaria and abroad have
been involved in a discussion if Bulgarians could also have saved more than
11000 Jews from Greece and Macedonia in addition to the 57000 Jews from
Bulgaria they have managed to save somehow in WWII.

Neither of them though - either in Bulgaria or abroad! - have taken even
the slightest pains to see how much similarity there is in reality between
the Auschwitz practices and the results of the economic strategies to which
the people of Bulgaria is subjected in the eve of the New Millenium...
Maybe this is so because of the ONE and ONLY very important difference
Bulgaria of nowadays, namely, the cremation and funeral services. In
AUSCHWITZ they were free of charge, while in BULGARIA their prices are
getting also unbearable for the majority of the population!... Obviously
this takes place in the view of the expected WINTER BOOM in this business
which promises to turn into the only one dynamically developing branch of
the economy.

At the same time, this may create certain undesirable sanitary and hygienic
COLLATORIAL PROBLEMS for those, working hard to reach the MACROECONOMIC
it is high time for all in charge of it, both globally and locally, to
grasp that, and to take measures that minor difference and contradiction
with the WWII prototype - AUSCHWITZ - to be abolished.

It goes without saying it, of course, that if the economic reform in
Bulgaria is carried out for purposes different from those of AUSCHWITZ'
ones, some very different things should be started - and the sooner, the

We understand that all this may sound quite absurd to lots of people. The
tragedy is that it is true. In previous days AUSCHWITZ stories also were
difficult to believe. Hardly anybody questions them now.

The same is the case with one of AUSCHWITZ new versions, this time
somewhere in Eastern Europe...

Louis Proyect

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