Great Friend of Bulgaria Ambassador Emmanuel Ziesmann Dies at 74

Obituaries | November 12, 2009, Thursday // 19:34|  views

Emmanuel Ziesmann, Bulgarian-born Israeli diplomat, popularly known as the Great Friend of Bulgaria, has died in Jerusalem, at the age of 74.

Zeismann has been an ardent public speaker and promoter of the facts about the rescue of the some 50 000 Bulgarian Jews from the Nazi death camps during World War II. He has served as chairman of the Israeli-Bulgarian Society for Friendship and Cooperation.

He was born in Bulgaria’s second city, Plovdiv. In 1949, his family emigrated to Israel.

He became a member of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, in 1988 and remained there until 1999.

From 2000 to 2002, Ziesmann was the Israeli Ambassador to Bulgaria. With the Union of Bulgarian Jews, he established the Dimitar Peshev museum-house in Kyustendil. Peshev was the Deputy Chair of the Bulgarian Parliament who was active in the rescue of the Bulgarian Jews in 1943.

He was awarded the Stara Planina medal 1st class, the highest Bulgarian state order, and in 2006, he was given the title of “Honorary Citizen of Jerusalem”.

Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has sent his condolences to Ziesmann’s family, saying that he was deeply shocked by the news, and that "at such moments words are never sufficient to express the feeling of lamented loss".

"In the person of Ambassador Ziesmann, Bulgaria and the Bulgarians have lost a valuable defender of the Bulgarian cause and an irreconcilable fighter against any manifestation of anti-semitism and xenophobia."

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Tags: rescue of Bulgarian Jews, World War II, ambassador, Boyko Borisov, Knesset, Israel, Jerusalem, Stara Planina 1st class, Emmanuel Ziesmann, Dimitar Peshev


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