The Optimists

Rated NR 83 minutes 2005

The Bulgarian Jews were the only Jewish population in Europe to almost entirely survive the Holocaust. This documentary focuses on their story and the families who saved them. On 9 March 1943, police arrived at the home of Jacky Comforty's family in Bulgaria. At gunpoint, Jacky's family marched to the deportation center set up at a neighborhood school. The four Comfortys scheduled to depart for Poland that day were among the 8,500 Bulgarian Jews targeted first for extermination. Just a few days before, 11,343 Jews from neighboring Greece and Macedonia had gone to their deaths. On March 10, the Bulgarian Jews were taken to gathering places around Bulgaria to await transport to additional trains. They waited all day. And then, at the end of that day, they were simply sent home. 50,000 Jews lived in Bulgaria. 50,000 people didn't die because Bulgarian Christians and Muslims found ways to protect them from their would-be murderers even in defiance of their own Nazi-allied government.

Film Credits

Director: Jacky Comforty

Writer: Jacky Comforty and Lisa Comforty

Producer: Jacky Comforty and Lisa Comforty

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