From Dimitar Peshev's Petition, 17 March 1943
Recent actions taken by the authorities make clear their intentions to institute new measures against persons of Jewish origin. What is the precise nature of these steps? On what basis are they being taken, and what is their purpose and scope?...The right of the state to remove all obstacles that might stand in the way of its policy cannot be contested, as long as its actions do not go beyond what is truly necessary or fall into excesses that qualify as needless cruelty. Yet how else is one to describe measures taken against women, children and the aged – people who are guilty of no crime whatsoever? It is impossible for us to accept that plans have been made to deport these people...Such measures are unacceptable, not only because they - who are still Bulgarian citizens – cannot be expelled from their own country, but also because this course of action would be disastrous, with grave consequences for our country.
Our nation's reputation would be stained forever, its moral and political standing forever compromised....What Bulgarian government would be willing to accept this responsibility?...The use of exceptional and cruel measures, measures that may expose the government and the entire nation to accusations of mass murder, are unwarranted and excessive. The consequences of this policy would be particularly grave for the government, but they would weigh upon the Bulgarian people as well...We cannot share any responsibility for it whosoever. Good government requires basic legal principles, just as life requires air to breathe. The honor of Bulgaria is not just a matter of sentiment; it is also and above all a matter of policy. It is of immense political capital and no one has the right to jeopardize it without good reasons approved by the whole nation.