A far-right Bulgarian politician has been condemned after he reportedly praised Adolf Hitler and denied the Holocaust in a television interview.
Ultranationalist Bulgarian politician Miroslav Ivanov, a representative of the Bulgarian National Union – New Democracy (BNU-ND) Party who is running for a position in the National Assembly, made the comments in a television interview for Bulgarian broadcaster Nova Televizia ahead of Bulgaria’s upcoming elections.
The BNU-ND is a far-right party that professes to believe in “Bulgarian values,” although it has been stated that many consider them to be neo-Nazis.
Mr Ivanov reportedly made several antisemitic and false claims, which included saying that Nazism wasn’t fascist but was national socialism, arguing that Jews lived happily under Hitler’s regime because they could work freely, and that the gas chambers which were operated by the Nazis were actually used for deworming.
Mr Ivanov also defended a photograph of himself performing a Nazi salute by claiming that it was actually a “Roman salute.”
According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust)” and “Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust” are both examples of antisemitism.
Mr Ivanov and the BNU-ND Party have been condemned by the Bulgarian Jewish group, Shalom. The group has said that they “call on the prosecution to take a stand on this case, based on both Bulgarian legislation and European practices related to the spread of fascist and antisemitic propaganda and Holocaust denial.”