Bulgaria’s deputy Prime Minister, Valery Simeonov, has come under fire after allegedly admitting he took spoof photos on a visit to Buchenwald, a Nazi concentration camp, in the 1970s.
“Who knows what kind of gag photos we took there…can anyone say ‘Now, submit your resignation and go back to the village’?” Mr Simeonov was quoted as saying by local newspaper Sega.
Mr Simeonov reportedly recalled how he had “horsed around” during the trip to the death camp.
Mr Simeonov, the deputy leader of the nationalist alliance Union of Patriots — part of the governing coalition — denied saying these words and threatened to sue Sega for libel, but the daily stood by its story.
Another Union of Patiots MP, Pavel Tenev, was forced to resign from his post of deputy minister when a photo of himself giving a Hitler salute to Nazi mannequins in a Sofia museum went viral.
Mr Simeonov reportedly brushed aside Mr Tenev’s actions as “harmless buffoonery” but his alleged comments were strongly criticised by the Bulgarian Jewish organisation Shalom.
“We are witnessing an ugly manifestation of disrespect toward the millions murdered,” said Alexander Oscar, the President of Shalom.