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Rabbi Daniel Zion, (also Tsion, Tzion or Ziyon), (Salonika, 1881 - Jaffa, Israel, 1976), a student of the Kabbalah, was one of the two senior rabbis of Sofia, Bulgaria during the Second World War


The Holocaust in Bulgaria

In May 1943 with Chief Rabbi Dr. Asher Hananel (1895–1964) he helped prevent the 800 Jews of Sofia from being deported and handed over to the Nazis to be sent to the extermination camps by appealing to the Metropolitan bishop of Sofia Metropolitan Stefan the head of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in Sofia. Bishop Stefan appealed to the Tsar, King Boris III of Bulgaria.

On May 24, 1943, he addressed a gathering at a synagogue. He then participated in a mass street demonstration against the anti-Jewish Law for protection of the nation. This law was in effect between 23 January 1941 to 27 November 1944.

Bishop Stefan gave him refuge from the Nazis and on May 26, 1943, he and many demonstrators were arrested by the police. He was then sent to a concentration camp for Jews at Somovit on the bank of the Danube.

On September 9, 1944, he was appointed as one of Sofia's senior rabbis. In 1949 Rabbi Zion emigrated to Jaffa, Israel. His duties were assumed by Asher Hananel. In 1976 he died. He was survived by his son Daniel (born 1921) who in 1947 settled on the Kibbutz Yad Mordechai.


Rabbi Zion was accused of having an interest in Dunovism, a Bulgarian mystical Christian sect led by Peter Deunov. Because of this allegation he was later relieved from his duties as a religious judge.


  • Iz Nov Put,(Sofia, 1941)
  • Pet godini pod fashistki gnet, (Five Years Under Fascist Oppression), (Sofia, 1945)
  • Troiniya put na Noviya Chovek, (Sofia, 1946)


  • American Jewish Year Book‎, (1951), (Volume 52), Pg. 361
  • Annual‎ :Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria "Shalom"(1951, 1970, 1980, 1984 and 1987)
  • Arendt, H. Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, (Viking Press, 1963), Pg. 169
  • Betsalʼel, N. Kabbalah and the Holocaust (Orot, 2001)
  • Boyadjieff, C. Saving the Bulgarian Jews in World War II‎ (Free Bulgaria Centre, 1989)
  • Chary, F.B. The Bulgarian Jews and the Final Solution, 1940-1944 (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1977)
  • Chary, F.B. "Bulgaria," Wyman, D.S. and Rosenzveig, C.H. (eds.), The world reacts to the Holocaust (John Hopkins University Press, 1996)
  • Fein, H. Accounting for Genocide: National Responses and Jewish Victimization during the Holocaust, (Free Press, 1979)
  • Groueff,S. Crown of thorns: The Reign of King Boris III of Bulgaria, 1918-1943 (Madison Books, 1987)
  • Haskell, G.H. From Sofia to Jaffa: The Jews of Bulgaria and Israel,' (Wayne State University Press, 1994.)
  • Koen, A. and Assa, Saving of the Jews in Bulgaria, 1941-1944 (Setemvri, 1977)
  • Rothkirchen, L. Yad Vashem Studies on the European Jewish Catastrophe and Resistance, (Volume 7), (Yad Vashem, 1968)
  • Sachar, H.M. Farewell España: The World of the Sephardim Remembered (Howard Morley, 1994)
  • Steinhouse, C.L. Wily Fox: How King Boris Saved the Jews of Bulgaria From the Clutches of His Axis Ally Adolf Hitler, (AuthorHouse, 2008)




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