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Far-Right Marches In Bulgaria To Honor Pro-Nazi General

Nationalist marchers honor General Lukov in 2016.
Nationalist marchers honor General Lukov in 2016.

Hundreds of far-right Bulgarian nationalists marched through the capital, Sofia, in a torch-lit procession to honor a Bulgarian pro-Nazi general from the World War II era.

The march on February 16 took place despite opposition from many of the country's political parties and Jewish groups.

The demonstration, known as the Lukov March, was staged by the far-right Bulgarian National Union.

Marchers praised General Hristo Lukov, who supported Germany during World War II and was killed by an antifascist resistance movement on February 13, 1943.

Lukov was Bulgaria's war minister from 1935 to 1938 and led the pro-Nazi Germany Union of Bulgarian Legions from 1932 until his death.

The procession went ahead after a court overturned the Sofia municipality's ban for a second year in a row.

Prior to the march, hundreds of people participated in a counterprotest under the slogan "No Nazis on the streets." No incidents were reported between the rival groups.

Jewish groups, including the World Jewish Congress (WJC), had called for the march to be suspended.

"It is absolutely abhorrent that in 2019 in Europe, the very place in which the Nazis attempted to wipe out the entire population of Jewish men, women, and children, far-rightists continue to parade unfettered through the streets with swastikas, SS symbols, and messages of hatred for Jews and other minorities," WJC Executive Vice President Robert Singer said.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and dpa

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