RENOWNED BULGARIAN JEWS


JULIUS PINCAS, known in the world as Jules Pascin, is a painter (in water colours too), engraver, an outstanding representative of the Paris School, founded in the beginning of this century. Born in Vidin in 1885, a naturalized American, he put an end to his life, committing suicide in 1930 in the French capital. He worked in Germany, France, England, the United States, travelled across Europe, Central America, North Africa, Palestine. His paintings, executed in fresh, ethereal, delicate colours, depict people from the lower strata of society - street pedlars, dancers, prostitutes, etc. Some of Pascin's works can be found in the Museum of Fine Arts in Paris, in Grenoble, as well as in many private collections around the world.

Jules Pascin, self-portrait

ELIAS CANETTI was born in 1905 in the Bulgarian city of Russe, but, while he was still a young boy, his family emigrated to Austria. This German-language author described his life in Bulgaria in his autobiography entitled "Salvation and Language". In his novels and plays, as well as in his numerous essays and miniatures, the great experimenter and language explorer, using scathing devices and parable forms, displayed the characteristics of mass psychology. Broch and Kafka are his kindred spirits. Elias Canetti was awarded the 1981 Nobel Prize for literature.

Elias Canetti

ISAAC PASSY was born in 1928 in Plovdiv. A talented philosopher and aesthetician, Prof. Passy has contributed immensely to the association of the Bulgarian culture to the peaks of the European philosophical-aesthetic and literary thought (Montaigne, Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Thomas Mann, etc.). Lecturing at the "St. Clement Ohridsky" University in Sofia, a citizen having high moral authority, Isaac Passy is a figure-institution in the Bulgarian intellectual life and a charismatic mentor of several generations of university graduates. His major works: "The Tragic", "The Comic", "Classical German Aesthetics", "On Philosophy and Life", "Thoughts and Thinkers".

Moni Passy

Mathematician SOLOMON PASSY is Prof. Isac Passy's son. He was born in 1956 in Sofia. The traditional pro-European family orientation is perhaps responsible for the fact that Mr. Passy, Jr. is the founder and president of the Atlantic Club in Bulgaria (since 1991). In the Bulgarian press he became something of a legend with his illustrious little "Trabant", in which even Manfred Woerner, the late NATO Secretary General, was given a ride. Solomon Passy was involved in the dissident movement under totalitarianism and was a deputy from the democratic opposition to the Grand National Assembly (1990-1991). 

Valeri Petrov

    VALERI PETROV was born in 1920 in Sofia, where he graduated from the medicine university department. When in the autumn of 1944 Bulgaria declared war on Germany, he became war correspondent. Later he worked as a journalist and editor in the radio and in the popular satirical newspaper "Starshel" (Bulgarian word for hornet), as a diplomat in Italy. Poet, script-writer, playwright and translator, Valeri Petrov is a figure, whose authority is goes beyond the "narrow scope" of cultural life. He is author of magnificent film scenarios, fine love poetry, elegant satirical poems, characterized by an outstanding civic fervour, as well as of poems for children. He has also translated English, Russian and Italian literature into Bulgarian. Bulgaria owes to Valeri Petrov such a capital deed as the translation of all Shakespearean dramas.

Painter GREDI ASSA was born in 1954 in Pleven, and completed his university studies in Turnovo. Now he is professor in the Academy of Fine Arts in Sofia. 
He has displayed his works in Hamburg, Budapest, Vienna, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany and a number of other places. Some critics describe him, not quite correctly, as a "neoexpressionist", although he is too far from the "brutality of the means of expression". Author of exquisite figured compositions and portraits, Gredi Assa is fond of encoded figurativeness and  allegoricalness, and in some of his works we can feel the touch of the zodiacal and the cosmic principles. 
He has also produced some very interesting drawings in India ink. 
A number of his works are kept in  art galleries in Bulgaria, Tel Aviv, 
Aachen, etc. 
He has lived and worked for some time in New York.

Izhak Fintzi

    IZHAK FINTZI was born in 1933 in Sofia, where he graduated from the dramatic art academy. In the following years he played in a number of theatres, both in the capital city and in other places throughout the country, as well as in many feature films. He is winner of the best actor award of the "Golden Prague" TV films festival (1982). His best loved character on the scene is the big Little man - a human being incessantly trampled by Life and the high and mighty, who frequently evokes laughter, but more often the sympathy and compassion of the audience - because of the nobleness, dignity, modesty and selflessness always helping him manage and overcome the vicissitudes of his destiny. Undoubtedly, the unusual popularity of Izhak Fintzi, called by his friends and public by the intimate name of Itzko, is due to the fact that a good number of Bulgarian people identify, consciously or unconsciously, with his characters. 

 


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