August 24, 1943: King Boris III of Bulgaria was summoned to Berlin, where Hitler personally subjected him to a harsh browbeating on his vacillation when it came to deporting Jews to the death camps.
Recent historiography created by the modern-day Bulgarian government has portrayed Tsar Boris III as a savior of the Jews during World War II. This is a false assertion. Bulgaria was an ally of Nazi Germany throughout the war. The true hero who saved the 48,000 Bulgarian Jews from certain death in Treblinka was Dimitur Peshev, a high-ranking Bulgarian government official who had ties to the Kiustendil Bulgarian Jewish community – most notably my grandfather Yaakov Baruch – who persuaded him to see that there were orders for deportation being carried out without his knowledge. Peshev halted these orders at the 11th hour as Jews throughout Bulgaria were awaiting deportation in train stations after having spent days in makeshift quarters with no food, beds or bathroom facilities.
The true history of Peshev’s heroism is described in Gabriele Nissim’s book “The Man Who Stopped Hitler”, translated from the Italian into English by my father Israel Borouchoff.
Postage stamp portraying Tsar Boris III of Bulgaria:
Tsar Boris III and Hitler meeting in Berlin, Germany: