Draft resolution

Resolution 1096


Communist Terror
National Agencies
Internet Sources

Sources > Articles

On Camps and Memory
by Edvin Sugarev

The Things I Know About the People's Tribunal in 1944-1945
by Peter Semerdjiev

What befell Bulgaria in September 1944
by Professor Plamen S. Tzvetkov, Ph.D

The Pogrom over the Writers after 9 September 1944 – Moral and Culturological Aspects
by Tzveta Trifonova
Literary historian and critic

Bulgarian doctors and students of medicine - victims of the communist terror of 1944-1989

Persecutions of ethnic minorities from 1944 until 1989

Condemning communism - the Bulgarian example
by Professor Plamen S. Tzvetkov, Ph.D

About Anticommunism
by Edvin Sugarev

The Crimes during the Communist Regime and the Attempts at Their Investigation after 10 November 1989

Hristo Hristov


No detailed comprehensive investigation, systematisation and analysis of the communist regime have been conducted in Bulgaria to this day. Professional historians have not subjected that 45-year period in the country to an in-depth analysis. Unlike other former socialist countries, no institute or office was established in Bulgaria to investigate and document the crimes of communism. The acute political debate on the issue continues to this day, but they have not contributed in any way to the study of that past. The crimes committed during communist rule in Bulgaria are not extensively known not only to the Bulgarian public, but they remain unknown to the global community as well. This statement is supported by the fact that the Black Book of Communism, which investigates the crimes of world communism (published in 1997), devotes only 2-3 pages out of 700 to Bulgaria.

The revelations made after 10 November 1989 were the work of individual researchers and investigating journalists. The aim of the present study is to cover in most general terms the crimes of Bulgarian communism and to look at the lines of their investigation by the judiciary authorities in Bulgaria, undertaken after 10 November 1989. The content of the paper is constructed on the basis of statistical data in different publications (in the section on the activities of the so-called "People's Tribunal") and on research in the archive of the Ministry of the Interior (the former State Security), the General Directorate of Archives of the Council of Ministers - the Central State Archive and the Central [Communist] Party Archive, as well as in the archives of the Supreme Court of Cassation.

Statement of facts

The crimes of communism can be grouped in several categories.

The first category comprises crimes against the individual: murders without court and sentence, "wet jobs", illegal detention and forced extortion of confessions.

The second category deals with court and administrative repressions: retributions through judiciary authorities, deportations, withdrawal of the right of free movement of people in the country and abroad, violation of the right to religious denomination and crimes against the national and racial equality.

The third category is connected with financial and environmental crimes, notably the establishing of black funds of the communist party, export of national capital through foreign trade companies, benefits under the system of the privileges for the nomenklatura, as well as special bonuses and remuneration for the so-called "rightful claimants", as well as covering up of facts connected with environmental pollution resulting in damaged health status of the population. This group should also include the smuggling of the so-called "special production" (weapons, ammunition, explosives), narcotics and dual-use commodities, hidden behind the party euphemism of "transit trade" - elevated in 1978 to the position of official state policy.

The fourth category consists of crimes connected with national treason, of the type of the attempt to turn Bulgaria into the sixteenth republic of the USSR, participation in military interventions and state terrorism, notably the gratuitous assistance offered to leftist terrorist regimes, as well as to individuals proclaimed as international terrorists.

Separately it is also possible to investigate certain documentary crimes perpetrated in the late 1989 and early 1990 with the aim of covering up earlier crimes of the regime, notably the destroying of the secret service files, which had deep consequences for the country's development and for the political processes in Bulgaria after the changes.

Murders without court and sentence

The crimes of the new communist regime started immediately after the coup on 9 September 1944. Special groups were formed at the Ministry of the Interior to seek, arrest and execute representatives of the former rule, who had been identified as "enemies of the people." One of these groups was headed by Mircho Spassov, a party activist who was one of Todor Zhivkov's closest associates, who subsequently became notorious for his work in the Ministry of the Interior as the person who organised and was responsible for the concentration camps near Lovech and Skravena, and as the carrier of corruption and organiser of channels for smuggling and illegal spending of millions of levs at the Cultural Heritage Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the 1970s, headed by Todor Zhivkov's daughter Lyudmila Zhivkova. 1

Several tens of thousands of people were killed without trial or sentence after 9 September 1944. According to some sources, the figure is between 30 and 40 thousand. Other publications close to the communist regime, like the book From the Ninth to the Tenth, compiled by Dimiter Ivanov, the last head of the Sixth Department of the Sixth Division of the former State Security, that figure has been substantially reduced to 20,000. During that period nearly 2,000 people were pronounced missing and were never found.

The so-called "People's Tribunal"

The murders during the first months of the "people's rule" were given a legitimate form with the Ordinance-Law issued in October 1944 on the establishing of a People's Tribunal to try fascist crimes. Criminal charges were brought against leading figures of the monarchy and against the persons responsible for the crimes perpetrated against the Bulgarian nation between 1 January 1941 and 9 September 1944. The so-called People's Tribunal started functioning on 19 November 1944 and completed its activities at the end of April 1945. The subjective character of its decisions was predetermined already with the mechanism used for recruiting the judges. They were appointed by the regional committees of the Fatherland Front and by the Minister of Justice. The sixty regional and district panels of the Tribunal and the two supreme panels in Sofia ruled on different charges against a total of 21,024 people. A total of 10,897 sentences were pronounced in 131 trials. The death sentence was pronounced against 2,730 persons, among them the Regents, Prince Kiril - the brother of King Boris III, most of the cabinet ministers and Members of Parliament in the period after 1941; 1,305 people were given life sentences; 4,348 people received prison sentences of one to twenty years; 808 - suspended sentences. More than 200 factories were confiscated, as well as a lot of other property - real estate and valuable objects. 2

After the changes, most of the sentences of the so-called People's Tribunal were rescinded by the Supreme Court in the 1993-1998 period. It is characteristic that the Court ruled on individual claims for reviewing of the sentences, filed by the sentenced individuals or their descendants, without examining the substance of the acts issued, and they were repealed on the grounds of violations of procedure, committed already when the sentences were passed.

Judiciary and administrative repressions

A number of political trials were organised in Bulgaria outside the activities of the People's Tribunal in the 1946-1953 period, through which the communist regime dealt with the opposition and conducted purges in the army, in the Church and among the intellectuals. The political trials were conducted after the Soviet model, whereby the prosecution and the investigation extorted confessions after inhuman tortures: depriving the detainees of sleep, systematic beatings, burning of sensitive parts of the body, etc. The activities of the investigating bodies were organised and placed under the direct supervision of the Soviet advisers, who were directly subordinated to Stalin's right arm, Lavrentiy P. Beria, the head of the communist secret police (NKVD) and other intelligence and police bodies in the USSR from 1938 until he was executed in 1953.

The State Security was the principal weapon of the Bulgarian Communist Party for defeating the forces of the opposition. The fight against the adversaries of the "people's rule" after 9 September 1944 was assigned to Section A of the State Security in the Directorate of the People's Militia. Its main task was to identify, trace, arrest and investigate "enemy elements." In 1947, Section A became Department I of the State Security Directorate. It fought against the counterrevolutionary elements in the political parties forming the Fatherland Front (without the Bulgarian Communist Party - BCP) and in the opposition parties, above all the Nikola Petkov Bulgarian Agrarian People's Union, as well as against dissolved organisations like the youth organisation Brannik, former policemen and army officers. The third direction of their vigilance focused on the anti-party activities among the youth, intellectuals, the clergy and the state apparatus. In 1952, Department I was transformed into Directorate III of the State Security, which was preserved until 1963. It continued to persecute the same pool of adversaries who had already been given the name of "former people." 3

The leader of the opposition Nikola Petkov became the victim of judiciary arbitrariness. In June 1947, he was stripped of his immunity as Member of Parliament, then he was arrested in August and was sentenced to death, after which he was hanged on 23 September. Other partners of the Fatherland Front also received severe sentences, notably the agrarian Dimiter Gichev, the social democrat Kosta Loulchev, and others. Trials were organised in 1947 against a number of army officers, known as the Neutral Officer and Military Alliance trials, in which nearly 80 senior officers were sentenced. More than 3,500 army officers were fired on charges of supporting the old regime.

After placing the Orthodox Church under its control, the Bulgarian Communist Party directed its repressions against the Roman Catholics. In 1952, a total of 54 priests were sentenced in a series of five trials on charges of spying. Four clergymen, among whom Bishop Evgeniy Bossilkov, were sentenced to death and executed.

The artistic, creative and academic intellectuals, as well as all unions of creative artists, were placed under total control. The ideological division in the State Security system (Sixth Division), created in 1967 subject to the decision of the Politburo of the BCP's Central Committee, was charged to be responsible for them. Its priorities comprised the "fight against ideological subversion, counterrevolutionary, nationalistic and other counter-state acts in the country, as well as the fight against the various clandestine organisations and groups, terror, the traitors of the fatherland, and the ideological degradation among the intelligentsia and the youth." 4 In the early 1970s, the intellectuals were already under total control. One of the reports of the ideological directorate in 1972 points out: "At present the State Security bodies are engaged in intelligence and operational work to discover and curb the subversive activities amidst the circles of the Bulgarian artistic, creative and academic intelligentsia, numbering: about 9,500 people in the unions of creative artists and in the cultural institutes; about 5,300 people in the Radio and Television Committee, in the Press Committee, the Union of Bulgarian Journalists and other propaganda institutes; 6,700 people in the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and its subdivisions, and 4,250 people in the health care sector." 5

The trials were successfully used for retributions against "the enemy with a party membership card." The trial against Deputy Prime Minister Traycho Kostov and against eleven of his supporters marked the beginning of a large-scale campaign of persecutions in the communist party ranks, which continued until Stalin's death in 1953. The purges affected the State Security and its apparatus as well. A total of 5,108 staff members were fired until 1956, thus practically substituting the entire staff. 6 The fate of the first head of the counterintelligence and of the investigation after 9 September 1944, Stefan Bogdanov, was extremely indicative. He was also arrested in 1949 on Vulko Chervenkov's orders and was accused of complicity in Traycho Kostov's plot. Bogdanov, who had special merits as NKVD agent in the late 1930s and who had created a Soviet-type intelligence network in the cities of Sofia, Plovdiv and Varna, was subjected to cruel tortures by his recent subordinates. In a letter to Chervenkov, Bogdanov described the monstrous inquisition to which he had been subjected by the investigators "alchemists" and indicated that the police terror could not even begin to compare in brutality and cruelty with the "present horror." Beaten up, held standing for days and nights in succession and awake for weeks, the investigation demanded from him to admit that he had bugged the telephones of the Soviet Embassy and the telephones of Georgi Dimitrov and Vassil Kolarov. In order to put an end to the unbearable pain, the former counterintelligence head "confessed" that he had received orders from Traycho Kostov to arrest Vassil Kolarov and Vulko Chervenkov. Stefan Bogdanov wrote later in his memoirs that were published after the changes in Bulgaria: "All illegal murders and 'liquidations' of 'class enemies' were made on the personal orders of Anton Yugov [Minister of the Interior at that time - author's note] through his docile assistant Roussi Hristozov. Somewhere in his instructions for bloody terror he also gave as arguments the personal instructions by Georgi Dimitrov… The State Security System was entirely subordinated to Beria's Soviet advisers… The biggest atrocities in the State Security system were the Soviet security experts attached to every department." 7 More than 22,000 people passed through the detention centres and prisons for the 1949-1956 period. The displaced and deported families after 9 September 1944 were 7,025, their members numbering nearly 25,000 people. 8

The Concentration Camps and the Labour-Correctional Communities

The second principal task that the Bulgarian Communist Party assigned to the State Security was to organise the deportation of the persons posing a threat to the communist regime in concentration camps and labour-correctional communities. The illegal arrests were endorsed by a decision of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Workers' Party (Communists) of 17 December 1944, giving permission to the State Security to detain every person believed to be a fascist or with reactionary ideology, irrespective of his party affiliation. Communist concentration and labour camps were created after 9 September 1944 without special permissions. The first camp was created near the town of Sandanski - at the Sveti Vrach railway station in January 1945 and existed until March of the same year. 9 Then the camp was transferred to the town of Stanke Dimitrov (present-day Doupnitsa), where it functioned until September 1945. Another camp was created from March 1947 until 1948 near the Rossitsa Dam (present-day Stamboliyski Dam). From October 1945 until the end of 1946, members of the White Guard were sent to the Koutsiyan mine in Pernik. The Koutsiyan camp was divided in two in 1948, because a large number of agrarians supporting Nikola Petkov were brought there, and a part of the camp inmates were moved near the village of Bogdanov Dol, Pernik district, and another part - in the village of Nikolaevo near Kazanluk until July 1949. A camp was also built in the village of Nozharevo near Silistra from the beginning of 1947 until the middle of 1952. A camp for women was created in one of the monasteries near the town of Veliko Turnovo, which was transferred in 1947 to the village of Bosna near Toutrakan on the Danube. A labour camp only for persons with criminal convictions near the village of Boshoulya, Pazardjik district, existed between 1945 and 1949.

Documents have been preserved in the archives of the Ministry of the Interior about the existence of a secret place for detention of people from the State Security system near Pazardjik, designated as Camp "S", i.e., secret. It operated in the 1947-1949 period and was used initially for recruiting different individuals from the ethnic minorities for the needs of counterintelligence, but soon after the camp was created, all kinds of people began to be sent there. Several thousand people passed through Camp "S". When it was closed, most of its inmates were transferred to the Belene labour-correctional community on the island bearing the same name in the Danube, and life imprisonment without trial or sentence was imposed on six members of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organisation (IMRO), who survived initially, the motivation for the sanction being that they had witnessed murders in the camp.

In April 1949, the Council of Ministers with Vassil Kolarov as Prime Minister gave his consent for the organising of a labour-correctional community on the Belene Island and for its use as the principal detention centre for political prisoners. After it was established, all political adversaries of the communist party were gathered there. The number of its inmates exceeded 4,500 in 1949. In 1952, there were 2,323 people in it, 2,248 of whom men and 75 women. Only 144 of them had criminal convictions, with an almost double number of "people spreading malicious rumours and enemy propaganda, for spreading anonymous materials, and different others."

In September 1953, the Politburo of the BCP's Central Committee closed down the Belene labour-correctional community. Between 1 January 1954 and 5 November 1956, there was no deportation to concentration camps for political reasons. After the popular uprising in Hungary in November 1956, Belene again became a political concentration camp, being filled with persons who were considered to be dangerous to the communist rulers. With Protocol B No. 9 of 17 November 1956, the Politburo of the BCP's Central Committee decided to deport all persons posing a threat to society. It reads: "To incarcerate in the Belene labour-correctional community the enemy and criminal elements that pose the highest threat to the country's order and security, who had established permanent residence in Sofia and other bigger cities."

In August 1959, in an interview with foreign journalists, Prime Minister Anton Yugov declared that there were no labour-correctional communities in Bulgaria, although Belene was operating in full swing. In order to prevent negative foreign policy consequences, with a decision of 27 August 1959, the BCP Politburo gave orders for all 276 political inmates and 981 detainees with a criminal record to be released. Only 166 persons qualified as "incorrigible recidivists" remained in the labour-correctional community. During the same meeting, the Ministry of the Interior Georgi Tsankov indicated in a classified report what was to be done with the remaining 166 recidivists. He presented before the Politburo the decision that "with a view to the more correct and more efficient waging of the fight against criminal recidivists and hooligans, it would be expedient to allow now temporarily to the Ministry of the Interior, in individual carefully and precisely assessed cases involving persons who have become intolerable to society on account of their numerous violations of public order and the peace of the citizens, for these persons to be sent to coercive physical labour in certain places like stone quarries and the like." The proposal submitted to the Politburo was that the 166 persons who were not freed from Belene were to remain there and to be subjected to a regime of hard physical labour. Although there was no open decision by the Politburo, the proposal of Interior Minister Tsankov was accepted. The 166 recidivists in question formed the beginning of the labour camp near Lovech. The fate of the persons banished there was decided with Todor Zhivkov's blessing following a conversation with Minister Tsankov. This transpired from the transcripts of the meeting of the Politburo of the BCP of 5 April 1962, when the scandal with the labour camp was already shaking the party, so the Politburo decided to close it down. Georgi Tsankov's statement shows that Zhivkov had been informed about the new camp already back in 1959: "In 1959, we examined the situation in the country and came to the conclusion that we would not be able to keep the camp in Belene. We spoke with Comrade Todor Zhivkov that maybe it would be sensible to close down that camp. If there are people who are incorrigible, they should be sent to the prisons. Belene had remained in existence for an indefinite period of time. The inmates there were a group of 500-600 people. What were we to do with them? Should we let them go and then start chasing them again, or should we isolate them somewhere? Then we decided to open a stone quarry in Lovech, to accommodate these people there and to reform them through hard physical labour."

The Chief Prosecutor's Office discovered that the regime in the camp was extremely hard. From evidence given by surviving camp inmates it was known that the daily norm for the men was 8-20 cubic metres of stones. Everything was done in a run. The food was usually without meat and consisted predominantly of vegetables. The daily bread ration was about 700 grams and was given once, in the evening. Bathing was possible only in the nearby Ossam River. The inmates wore old military uniforms, they were infested by lice and in the barracks the various parasites made sleep impossible. For more than a year there was no medical care whatsoever. The former inmate Neno Hristov from the village of Izvorovo, Stara Zagora district, testifies: "I have never seen suppurating wounds on the bodies of people in which there were worms. The only thing that could be done was to ask people near you to urinate over the wounds so that they may heal, there were no other remedies …"

The expert medical examination appointed in July 1990 by the Prosecution of the Armed Forces concluded: "The inmates did not have the possibility to talk among themselves, to maintain contacts with the world outside the quarry, to file claims and complaints, to preserve their personal dignity and self-esteem as human beings. Already upon admission to the camp, as well as throughout the entire time spent there, most of them were severely beaten up, in most cases without any reason, with bludgeons and rubber hoses … The living conditions bore a definite sign of unjustified sadism …"

No orders in writing were issued concerning the regime in the camp. All supervisors in the camp stated in their depositions that they acted exclusively on the oral instructions of the Deputy Minister of the Interior Mircho Spassov. Of the 1,501 persons who passed through the concentration camp in Lovech, 155 were victims of the terror there, of whom death certificates have been found for 147. The people who were sent there were predominantly individuals who told political jokes, former agrarian Members of Parliament, as well as 16-18-year-old boys for various criminal offences or hooliganism. The camp was closed down by the BCP's Central Committee in 1962, after two inmates managed to escape from the stone quarry near Lovech, but were caught at the border and revealed before the investigation the petrifying story of the murders in the Lovech labour group. The investigation alerted the Central Committee, which formed a commission of inquiry into the case, and that commission confirmed the facts about the murders committed. The commission proposed the organiser of that camp Mircho Spassov to be sanctioned with the party punishment of "reprimand." In the classified transcript of the meeting, Zhivkov defended him: "He is a disciplined man. This case has devastated him. I spoke to him very sternly and I asked him: 'Are you an idiot to allow such things to happen?' He is a man of gold, very devoted, but he was a bit spontaneous. Let's give him a party punishment."

The search for criminal liability for the murders in the labour camps started only after 10 November 1989, and covered only the activities of the most recent camps near Lovech and the village of Skravena, because no detailed documentation was found for the other camps. The investigation started in March 1990 by the Prosecution of the Armed Forces following publications in the press. In April 1990, the National Assembly presided over by Stanko Todorov adopted an amendment to the Criminal Code specifically in connection with the crimes committed in Lovech, namely increasing the limitation of the criminal liability for the murder of two or more persons from 20 to 35 years. However, the last communist parliament "omitted" to give retroactive force to that provision and it remained unenforceable. The Military Prosecution discontinued the investigation on the grounds of expired limitation for the crimes committed.

The Prosecution sought other legal options for convicting the former supervisory body of the labour camp and its organiser Mircho Spassov, but these attempts were not crowned with success. The magistrates came to the conclusion that during Zhivkov's rule there were provisions for extinctive prescriptions for crimes against humanity, but not against crimes against humaneness. This subtle legalistic formulation resulted in a discrepancy with the 1966 UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights, which Bulgaria ratified in 1976. The absence of a criminal corpus delicti for crimes against humaneness proved to clash also with a number of other international instruments and conventions on crimes against humanity and tortures, which Bulgaria has ratified. One such amendment would have made reference to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which stipulates that nothing can prevent a person from being convicted for action or inaction which, at the time of its perpetration, constituted a crime according to the general legal norms recognised by all nations.

The next Prosecutor General Martin Gounev renewed the investigation seeking the intervention of the Seventh Grand [Constituent] National Assembly, which he asked to make a determination concerning the limitation. He insisted before the Grand National Assembly on an interpretation of the amendment to Article 80, paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code concerning the increased limitation. The Prosecutor General formulated three hypotheses. The first one was that the amendment was relevant to future crimes. The second hypothesis was that the amendment covered all crimes committed after 1955, and the third that the limitation for crimes of the type committed in the camps could not have been relevant for the period prior to 10 November 1989. The Grand National Assembly gave no interpretation and no answer. Again on the same issue, the Supreme Court deflected the Prosecutor General's request for issuing an interpretative ruling on the case. The refusal of the Supreme Court was motivated with "lack of controversial practice." The investigation was again stopped.

The case was reopened in the spring of 1992, when Ivan Tatarchev became Prosecutor General. He gave orders for all surviving former heads and supervisors of the camp to be arrested and pressed charges against Todor Zhivkov. During the autumn of the same year, however, he dropped the charges against the former Secretary General of the Bulgarian Communist Party. The indictment of the Prosecution of the Armed Forces indicated that evidence of fourteen premeditated murders had been gathered. The defendants in the case were Mircho Spassov, former Deputy Minister of the Interior, and the head of the camp Peter Gogov, accused of malfeasance, the supervisor Nikolay Gazdov, accused of twelve murders, the deputy-head of the camp Tsvyatko Goranov - for six murders (he passed away in his home while he was under house arrest) and the supervisor in the women's camp - for two murders. Before the investigation Spassov admitted: "From today's perspective I judge that it was unreal to send to the camp people who had not been sentenced, but at that time I did not think in this way. We - the Politburo of the BCP's Central Committee and our Ministry - were strongly copying the Soviet comrades and their experience. In 1959, I was the youngest Deputy Minister of the Interior and they gave me the task to be responsible for and to create the camp near Lovech."

On 8 June 1993, a panel of the Military College of the Supreme Court, presided over by Nikolay Chiripov, started hearing the case contained in 48 volumes, stipulating that he would make a ruling on the limitation at the end of the trial. The Prosecutor General Ivan Tatarchev himself pleaded for death sentences for all defendants. One month after the start of the trial, the 82-year-old Mircho Spassov died. In September 1993, the court discovered the existence of a procedural obstacle for continuing the trial (until then, Mircho Spassov's rank of a general at the time when the crimes were committed warranted the case to be tried by the Supreme Court), discontinued the trial and sent the case to the competent Military Tribunal in Pleven.

That same year the case was returned to the Supreme Court again, but during the subsequent six years the hearing of the trial was undermined by the lack of jurors, who are elected by the National Assembly. The inaction of Parliament demonstrated the indifference and lack of interest on the part of various parliamentary majorities during that period. It was only in 1999 that the National Assembly adopted a decision on the electing of jurors. Twenty more months elapsed before the majority of the United Democratic Forces voted on the choice of jurors.

The case was reopened. However, the Supreme Court stopped it again, citing the old persisting problem again in its motives: expired limitation. The majority of the Union of Democratic Forces in 1991-1992 and in 1997-2001 failed to borrow experience from other countries like Germany, where Parliament assumed that there can be no limitation for the crimes committed on the territory of the former German democratic Republic during the communist regime.

The only punishment for Gazdov and Rugzheva was the three years they spent in the detention facilities of the investigation - for as long as the hell near Lovech existed.

The Bulgarian Socialist Party, which is the legal successor of the Bulgarian Communist Party, was satisfied with merely expelling Mircho Spassov from the party as the only sanction. In March 1990, the President of the State Council Peter Mladenov stripped him of his general's rank and withdrew all military and state distinctions awarded to him for the arbitrariness and atrocities committed in the camps in Lovech and Skravena. However, the successors of the communist party have not apologised to the nation for the crimes committed in the camps and in the labour-correction communities under communism.

Not one parliamentary majority in Bulgaria has adopted a radical view so far on the issue of the limitation provided for the gravest crime - murder - and has not proposed its elimination as an anachronism of the Soviet criminal prosecution doctrine, which had been imported into the Bulgarian laws after the imposition of the communist dictatorship.

The "enemy" emigration and the violation of fundamental human rights

During all 45 years of communist regime, the rulers in Bulgaria perceived the emigration as a threat of the emergence of a real opposition abroad. This is why, the documents of the Politburo and of the State Security use the term "enemy" emigration. The concept of "enemy" emigration emerged in the mid-1950s, uniting the "counterrevolutionary elements", the "traitors" and the "defectors abroad." The "enemy" emigration was not impressive in terms of numbers, being much less numerous compared to some other Eastern bloc countries, notably Poland, Czechoslovakia or the German Democratic Republic. Approximately 120,000 persons left East Germany just after the insurgence in 1953, this number becoming 2.7 million people between the end of World War II and the building of the Berlin Wall. 10 The number of the enemies of communist Sofia was much more modest. In a report to the Politburo of 1966, the Chairman of the State Security Committee Angel Solakov indicated that 5,933 individuals had been registered as traitors of the fatherland, as well as 372 defectors. 11 The repressions against the families of the political emigrants consisted in denying them fundamental human rights. Their relatives were not allowed to leave the country and the privacy and inviolability of the correspondence were violated, 12 they were subjected to permanent harassment and torture, and the children of the defectors were labelled as "unreliable" and their chances of obtaining education and of finding jobs were severely restricted. It is important to note that in January 1990, the Politburo headed by Peter Mladenov, Andrey Loukanov and Alexander Lilov adopted a decision for the rehabilitation of the Bulgarian emigrants, but only those who had suffered at the time of the Stalinist terror in the USSR.

"Wet" jobs

Political murders and abductions abroad were part of the methods used by the communist regime to silence critics abroad after dealing with the opposition in the country. The State Security archives from the late 1960s contain documents confirming that the State Security included in its arsenal the liquidation of adversaries through physical murder. Thus, for example, a file was opened in the Sixth Division for operational investigation and counterintelligence work under the code name of "Gestapo Man" against Ivan Dochev, the leader of the Bulgarian National Front and former leader of the Legions. In one of the reports of the Division it was pointed out that "there is a joint plan with the KGB of the USSR, aimed at neutralising the target." 13

In 1978, the Ministry of the Interior headed by Dimiter Stoyanov succeeded in kidnapping from Denmark the 59-year-old Boris Arsov, leader of the emigrants' organisation entitled Union of the Bulgarian Revolutionary Committees. The miraculously preserved file on the operational work against him comprises a plan for his physical annihilation, with detailed instructions to the State Security agent about the ways in which the murder can be committed. 14 The plan for the murder failed, because the agent chosen to do the actual execution failed to do it. As a result, Arsov was kidnapped and after refusing to collaborate with the State Security in Sofia to expose the "enemy" emigration, he was sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment. He was sent to the prison in Pazardjik, where he was found a week later hanged on three neckties, although upon admission all his clothes and personal belonging had been taken from him. In 1992, the Military Prosecution in Plovdiv started an investigation of the case, which has not been concluded to this day.

Four years later, on 7 September, Todor Zhivkov's birthday, a shot was fired with a special pellet containing poison into the leg of the Bulgarian writer Georgi Markov, which resulted in his death. The most outspoken critic of the communist system and of the totalitarian regime in communist Bulgaria died on 11 September, and his assassination linked Bulgaria in the eyes of the Western world for many years as a country committing the terrorist act acts against its dissidents and with the "Bulgarian umbrella."

The investigation of Georgi Markov's murder after 10 November 1989 encountered many difficulties. The first obstacle was the destruction of the writer's files in the Sixth Division and in the First General Division of the State Security, amounting to 16 volumes, in January 1990. Charges were brought for this crime in 1992 against the last head of the intelligence under Zhivkov, General Vladimir Todorov, and the Deputy Minister of the Interior, General Stoyan Savov, who was responsible for the intelligence since 1973. Slavov committed suicide two days before the court trial. A suicide note was discovered in his pocket in which he stated that the State Security had nothing to do with the attempt on the Pope's life, but did not say even one word on the Georgi Markov case. Vladimir Todorov was charged and convicted for having destroyed only a part of the 16-volume dossier of the writer and effectively served a 10-month sentence. That was one of the few sentences pronounced by a court of justice for crimes committed at the time of the communist regime.

In 1993, the investigation on the Markov case found that the agent to whom the "neutralising" of the writer was entrusted lived in Denmark. He was questioned by representatives of Scotland Yard and the Danish police. However, Bulgaria failed to supply the documents requested as evidence of his collaboration with the State Security system so that he could be tried for espionage, and a month after the questioning the agent disappeared. In spite of the public promises of two presidents, Zhelyu Zhelev and Peter Stoyanov, there was no progress on that case. President Zhelev raised several times the issue of the transfer of the KGB documents connected with Bulgaria, including on that case, but that policy was not pursued further by President Peter Stoyanov and now by President Georgi Parvanov. In spite of the public statements of General Oleg Kalugin, former head of counterintelligence in the First General Division of the KGB, that Zhivkov personally asked the KGB for help for liquidating Markov, the former dictator was not charged for this at all.

In 1999, a journalistic investigation discovered numerous archive documents in the archive of the Ministry of the Interior, confirming the prime importance attached to Georgi Markov among the State Security's priorities, as well as documents confirming his murder in London, which were not known to the investigation until then. President Peter Stoyanov conferred to the writer posthumously the highest state order: Stara Planina, 1st degree. In 2000, the Sofia Court of Appeal rejected the demand of the Chief Prosecutor's Office for the case to be stopped on the grounds of limitation and ruled that the period of limitation expired in 2008. After 1999, when the investigator under the case Bogdan Karayotov retired, that case is not among the priorities of the investigation and of the prosecution.

To the "wet" jobs performed by the State Security it is possible also to attribute the murders of the journalist Georgi Zarkin and of the tourist guide Volodya Nakov in the Pazardjik prison in the 1980s. They were tried for expressing open dissatisfaction with the public system, with writing letters to Western embassies and with intentions to leave the country. Their death resulted from severe beating by criminal individuals with long convictions, who were deliberately let into their prison cells by the State Security and whose convictions were subsequently revoked. After the changes in 1989, these murders were investigated by the Military Prosecution in Plovdiv, which brought charges against the prison warden in Pazardjik, Colonel Angel Topkarov, who received a medal from Todor Zhivkov in 1978, but were not brought to an end. Another murder, this time through the courts, was that of the intelligence officer Dimiter Dimitrov, who was shot in the Sofia prison on 7 May 1986. In 1993, the Prosecution of the Armed Forces brought to court Retired General Peter Chergilanov, former head of the Third Division of the State Security (the military counterintelligence), Retired General Kostadin Kotsaliev, former head of the Chief Investigation at the Ministry of the Interior, Colonel Tsvetan Parvanov, former head of the former Department I of the Military Counterintelligence, and Lt. Colonel Simeon Spassov, investigator in the former Chief Investigation. The case against them did not proceed.

The so-called "revival process"

The coercive renaming of the Bulgarian Turks, given the euphemistic name of "revival process", marked one of the most sinister acts of Zhivkov's regime. Mass emigrations of Bulgarian Turks occurred during all years of the communist regime. In the 1950-1951 period, 156,410 Turks left the country, in 1969-1979 - 114,420, and in the summer of 1989 - more than 220,000. The names of the Bulgarian Turks were changed in 1984-1985. The indictment of the Prosecution of the Armed forces of 1993 (74 pages) established the following facts: "At a meeting in the Boyana Residence on 8 May 1984, Zhivkov made a statement with which he supported the draft-decisions of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party, submitted for discussion, in variants for general use and for restricted reading by the highest echelon only. In the open variant Zhivkov proposed all party, state and economic organisations to conduct the party policy vis-a-vis the Bulgarian citizens with Turkish-Arab names, referred to in the document as "Bulgarian Turks, in compliance with the Constitution." This decision also outlined a number of measures for the economic development, patriotic education and admission of young people belonging to that group in the higher educational institutions. However, it did not specify all measures and an additional decision was drafted, endorsed with protocol No. 371/1984 in the book-keeping department of the Central Committee. It outlined a series of measures aimed against the pro-Turkish and pro-Islamic propaganda, against teachers who are "Bulgarian Turks" engaging in nationalistic and other manifestations, for material and social support of marriages between Bulgarians and "Bulgarian Turks." In his statement Zhivkov gave his support for both drafts and indicated that with respect to the ethnic issue the decisions need to be implemented in complete secrecy. He complemented the methods proposed and pointed out in his statement:

1. To work resolutely for ubiquitous and exclusive use of the Bulgarian language. Persons speaking another language, especially Turkish, were not to be served in shops, in public places and in the institutions.

2. Aggressive approach and not a game were needed for the successful resolving of the problem. Certain nationalists with pro-Turkish moods had to be expelled within two hours. The "Bulgarian Turks" feared this most and it had to be used.

In conclusion, Zhivkov added, off the record, that he had reached a one-man decision to change the names of the Bulgarian Turks on his own will, and on his own responsibility. His arguments were his long experience and indisputable prestige as party leader. He declared that the next Secretary General of the BCP's Central Committee would need at least ten years to muster enough courage to resolve this problem menacing the country. The Prime Minister Georgi Atanassov supported him by indicating that the historical moment was ripe to conduct very purposeful additional complex measures to speed up the decisive integration of that population and to complete that process.

Zhivkov's one-man decision had to be implemented through the party apparatus of the Bulgarian Communist Party under the guidance of Prime Minister Georgi Atanassov and of the state repressive bodies under the guidance of the Minister of the Interior Dimiter Stoyanov.

On 10 December 1984, Atanassov and Stoyanov received instructions from Zhivkov. The Ministry of the Interior organised a meeting of the leading figures in the Ministry and gave orders to the heads of the district directorates of the Ministry to undertake the renaming of the Bulgarian citizens with Turkish names in all districts in the country with compact population. The Minister gave orders for all possible measures to be taken to curb all resistance against that process that could lead to excesses discrediting the country before the external world. 15 The indictment reads: "The state leadership of the People's Republic of Bulgaria, in the person of the defendant Zhivkov, chose the following way for resolving the issue of the consolidation of the Bulgarian nation. Without amendments to the legislation, based on the uncontrolled power of the Bulgarian Communist Party apparatus and using illegal repressive measures implemented by the structures of the Ministry of the Interior, under the conditions of information censorship, the name-changing process to be presented in the country and before the international community as a mass spontaneous movement of the Bulgarian citizens with Turkish-Arab names."

The so-called "revival process" was denounced by the BCP itself at the end of December 1989 in an attempt to take the country out of its internationbal isolation after the coercive changes of the names. In 1991, the Prosecution of the Armed Forces brought charges against Dimiter Stoyanov, Todor Zhivkov, Pencho Koubadinski, Georgi Atanassov and Peter Mladenov. The Prosecution introduced the case several times to be heard by the Supreme Court, but it was always returned for additional investigation. The formal pretext given was the need to question several thousand Bulgarian Turks who emigrated and which the State Prosecution claimed to have been victims. The Chief Prosecutor's Office indicated that Turkey failed to comply with the court request for questioning the citizens in question. Georgi Atanassov is the only defendant who is still alive.

The sixteenth republic

During his rule, Todor Zhivkov addressed two secret proposals to the USSR for the admission of Bulgaria as the sixteenth republic of the Soviet empire. The first proposal was sent to Nikita Khrushchev in 1963 and the second - to Leonid Brezhnev ten years later. Khrushchev's refusal was the only reason for Bulgaria not only not to lose its sovereignty, but also not to cease to exist as a sovereign state. "The issue does not concern the Bulgarian people, this is a foreign political issue," was Khrushchev's comment on the proposal whose adoption would have brought more problems than benefits to the Kremlin from an international perspective. 16 The issue of the accession of Bulgaria to the USSR was discussed at a plenum of the BCP's Central Committee on 4 November 1963. Excerpts from the transcript of the meeting reveal the moods within the communist Party's leadership.

Academician Todor Pavlov, Member of the BCP's Central Committee and of its Politburo: "There is no point in holding a referendum on this issue, but we must organise such a campaign, to clarify the whole issues, so that there would be no hesitation among the people's masses and the decision to be accepted unanimously."

Dimo Dichev, Head of the Foreign Policy and International relations Department of the Central Committee of the BCP: "Our communists have never been brought up in any other way except to think that the Soviet Union is our fatherland and that the Soviet Union is our conquest."

Tsola Dragoycheva, Member of the BCP's Central Committee and Chairperson of the National Committee for Bulgarian-Soviet Friendship: "I share once again the enthusiasm and the joy to be working as a communist where the Party sends me, for the transition of our country into the big family of the Soviet Union, so that we can become one of the republics of the Soviet Union."

Radenko Vidinski, Member of the BCP's Central Committee: "Maybe there can hardly be a greater joy for me than to see my people in the great family of the Soviet people. Therefore, I would support the proposal to join the great family of the Soviet peoples this minute not with one hand, not with two, I would support it with five raised hands, if I had them!"

Luchezar Avramov, Candidate-Member of the BCP's Central Committee: "All generations of Bulgarian communists, both our fathers and grandfathers, and we ourselves have cherished in our hearts the dream to turn our country into a particle of the great Soviet Union."

Dimiter Dimov, Candidate-Member of the BCP's Central Committee: "During a conversation with Georgi Dimitrov in Varna, Georgi Dimitrov said that his ideal was Bulgaria to become a member of the family of the Great Soviet Union. With the proposal of the Politburo, presented by Comrade Todor Zhivkov, we are actually beginning to make this dream come true."

Todor Zhivkov, First Secretary of the BCP's Central Committee and Chairman of the Council of Ministers: "The Political Bureau believes that after this plenum there should be no talking in any form to anyone anywhere. Let us not forget that the great Bulgarian chauvinism is very deeply rooted in some circles and in some people in our country. I am not talking about the former people. I have in mind members of the Party, especially among the intelligentsia and among some youth circles. We must bear that in mind. We shall not make a short-lived merger overnight, we shall do it once and for all, which will set an example for all countries. This is why we must be prepared." 17

On this occasion, the first democratically elected President of Bulgaria Dr. Zhelyu Zhelev noted in his memoirs: "How cynical the attitude of the upper crust of the Bulgarian Communist Party to the state sovereignty of the Republic of Bulgaria was can be seen from a statement by Todor Zhivkov of 13 July 1963 in the Georgi Kirkov Hall of the Party House: 'The people understand sovereignty as having food and as living well. This is what sovereignty means - happiness and well-being for the people. We are working for the people, not for the form.'" 18

After Khrushchev deflected the decision of the Politburo of the Central Committee, in July 1973, when Leonid Brezhnev was in power in the USSR, the higher party leadership of the Bulgarian Communist Party discussed the adoption of a document entitled "Principal Trends for the Development of the All-Round Cooperation with the USSR during the Stage of the Building of a Developed Socialist Society in the People's Republic of Bulgaria." That document provided for total Sovietisation of the country. The transcript of the plenum shows how the communist party upper crust received the formulations proposed by Zhivkov.

Milko Tarabanov, Member of the BCP's Central Committee and Permanent Representative of Bulgaria to the UN: "This proposal is a turning point in the historical path of the Bulgarian people, it marks a new era in the historical development, creates new exceptional opportunities for the rapid building of a developed socialist society in the country. The generations to come will be proud of that deed, they will be grateful to us, especially to the First Secretary of the BCP, Comrade Todor Zhivkov. Even if Comrade Todor Zhivkov had done nothing else except the proposing and the argumentation of that document, his name would have remained in the most recent history of the Bulgarian people, together with the names of the men who are the most deserving: Dimiter Blagoev and Georgi Dimitrov. He will go into history together with the creators of the Bulgarian State."

Dimo Dichev, Member of the BCP's Central Committee and Chairman of the Union of the Active Fighters against Fascism and Capitalism: "In the past, the communists did not think of creating separate nationalistic states. It was not possible to think then that we would not be a sixteenth or seventeenth state."

Georgi Djagarov, Deputy-President of the State Council and Member of the BCP's Central Committee: "It is hardly necessary for me, too, to stress that with this report Comrade Todor Zhivkov gave yet another proof of the qualities that we have known for a long time, for which we respect him and love him as a wise and farsighted leader of Bulgaria, those qualities that won him the reputation of one of the most outstanding figures."

Boris Velchev, Member of the Politburo and Secretary of the BCP's Central Committee: "The unanimous approval and the support for the 'Principal Trends' by the Central Committee, expressed with stormy applause, are a clear manifestation of the great joy and legitimate pride that are moving us at the moment. Each and every one of us is deeply aware that a historic deed has been done for the future of our socialist fatherland - the People's Republic of Bulgaria."

Similar statement were also expressed by Dimiter Zhoulev, Member of the BCP's Central Committee and Ambassador of Bulgaria to Moscow, Konstantin Tellalov, Member of the BCP's Central Committee and Head of the International Relations Department, Kostadin Gyaourov, President of the Central Council of the Bulgarian Trade Unions, Peter Dyulgerov, First Secretary of the District Committee of the BCP in Blagoevgrad, Georgi Traykov, First Deputy-President of the State Council and Secretary General of the Bulgarian Agrarian People's Union, Dimiter Stoyanov, Candidate-Member of the BCP's Central Committee and Minister of the Interior, General Ivan Vrachev, Member of the BCP's Central Committee and President of the Committee of Tourism, as well as all others - without exception - who spoke. 19

Todor Zhivkov, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the BCP and President of the State Council: "Obviously it is not expedient to publish the document that was presented before the present plenum of the Central Committee. It would not be expedient likewise to present it in this form before the entire party. Such a document should not fall into the hands of the Western enemy headquarters, because they would be harping about that for two years." 20

During Brezhnev's visit to Bulgaria in September 1973, Zhivkov negotiated the integration of Bulgaria with the USSR in all trends and in all spheres of the public and political life to be kept secret. "We agreed with the Soviet comrades not to disclose broadly either the document adopted by the July Plenum, or our joint agreement with the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to act in this direction."

The integration with the USSR was a prime policy of Zhivkov after Brezhnev's death as well in 1982 until the coming to power of Mikhail Gorbachev, who was not so benevolently disposed to the Bulgarian communist dictator as his predecessors in the Kremlin.

In 1992, after Ivan Tatarchev assumed his position of Prosecutor General, he declared in his first interview that he would seek criminal liability for national treason from the responsible party leaders for their attempts to turn Bulgaria into the sixteenth Soviet Republic, as well as for the coercion exercised over the Bulgarians in the Pirin Macedonia to renounce their Bulgarian nationality."21 Until the end of his term in office, however, he did not do it.

The military intervention in Czechoslovakia

In 1968, the regime in Sofia was among the most active supporters in the military invasion of sovereign Czechoslovakia. The decision to take part in the military intervention after the Prague Spring was adopted by the Council of Ministers, whose Chairman, i.e., Prime Minister, was Todor Zhivkov, with top secret Decree No. 30 of the Council of Ministers of 20 August 1968 with the motive "for providing military assistance to the Czechoslovak Communist Party and to the Czechoslovak people." Bulgaria participated in the invasion with two tank regiments that were placed under the command of the Soviet General Staff long before the actual invasion. The criminal policy of Zhivkov's government was condemned 22 years later. On 23 August 1990, the Seventh Grand National Assembly adopted a special declaration in which the Bulgarian participation in the occupation was defined as an "inadmissible act of interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state" and offered its "profound regret for the participation of the Bulgarian troops in that campaign." In 1992, the Prosecution of the Armed Forces started an investigation, which was subsequently dropped without bringing charges against officials.

State terrorism

In the 1960s and 1970s, Bulgaria applied the policy imposed by Moscow of export of revolution to Third World countries by gratuitously assisting various leftist terrorist regimes with special production (arms, ammunition and technology). Subject to secret decisions of the Politburo and of the BCP's Central Committee, the following "aid" was granted:

To the National-Liberation Movement in Algeria (Central Archive of the BCP - f. 1B, op. 64, a.u. 282 - Protocol No. 6/9 March 1961 of the Politburo of the BCP's Central Committee);

To Cuba (Central Archive of the BCP - f. 1B, op. 64, a.u. 291 - Decision No. 15/2 December 1961 of the Politburo of the BCP's Central Committee for gratuitous supply of 35,000 carbines and for granting credit amounting to USD 1.5 million);

To Syria (Central Archive of the BCP - f. 1B, op. 64, a.u. 294 - Protocol No. 2/25 January 1962 of the Politburo of the BCP's Central Committee for providing assistance to the National Liberation Movement and for supply of special military goods);

To the Republic of Yemen (Central Archive of the BCP - f. 1B, op. 64, a.u. 310 - Decision No. 5/10 June 1963 of the Politburo of the BCP's Central Committee for gratuitous supply of military goods according to a list);

To the Congolese National-Liberation Movement (Central Archive of the BCP - f. 1B, op. 64, a.u. 337 - Protocol No. 12/19 August 1965 of the Politburo of the BCP's Central Committee for training in Bulgaria, material assistance and training of young people from the CNLM);

To Zimbabwe (Central Archive of the BCP - f. 1B, op. 64, a.u. 338 - Decision No. 13/19 August 1965 of the Politburo of the BCP's Central Committee for special training, material assistance and equipment for youths from the African National Union in Zimbabwe);

To Venezuela (Central Archive of the BCP - f. 1B, op. 64, a.u. 341 - Decision No. 16/12 November 1965 of the Politburo of the BCP's Central Committee for supplying special goods to the Central Committee of the Venezuelan Communist Party for USD 300,000);

To Cuba (Central Archive of the BCP - f. 1B, op. 64, a.u. 352 - Decision No. 8/8 June 1966 of the Politburo of the BCP's Central Committee for receiving 30 Cuban officials to be trained in counterintelligence matters);

To Guatemala (Central Archive of the BCP - f. 1B, op. 64, a.u. 336 - Decision No. 7/7 October 1967 of the Politburo of the BCP's Central Committee for providing assistance in the form of weapons and money amounting to USD 5,000 to the Guatemalan Party of Labour);

To Angola (Central Archive of the BCP - f. 1B, op. 64, a.u. 372 - Decision No. 4/15 April 1968 of the Politburo of the BCP's Central Committee for gratuitous aid in the form of weapons, food and training amounting to BGL 88,317 to the National Movement for the Liberation of Angola);

To Zimbabwe (Central Archive of the BCP - f. 1B, op. 64, a.u. 375 - Decision No. 7/24 June 1968 of the Politburo of the BCP's Central Committee for gratuitous supply of ammunitions estimated at BGL 98,960 to the Union of the African People of Zimbabwe);

To Mozambique (Central Archive of the BCP - f. 1B, op. 64, a.u. 380 - Decision No. 12/28 December 1968 of the Politburo of the BCP's Central Committee for gratuitous supply of ammunitions and arms estimated at BGL 449,369 for the Mozambique Liberation Front);

To Laos (Central Archive of the BCP - f. 1B, op. 64, a.u. 386 - Decision No. 5/27 October 1969 of the Secretariat of the BCP's Central Committee for gratuitous aid in the form of supply of ammunitions and arms to the Laotian People's Party);

To the Lebanon (Central Archive of the BCP - f. 1B, op. 64, a.u. 388 - Decision No. 7/1 November 1969 of the Politburo of the BCP's Central Committee for granting a one-time financial aid amounting to USD 20,000 and arms to the Lebanese Communist Party);

To Laos (Central Archive of the BCP - f. 1B, op. 64, a.u. 392 - Decision No. 3/3 June 1970 of the Secretariat of the BCP's Central Committee for gratuitous supply of arms and medicines to the Laotian People's Party);

To Angola (Central Archive of the BCP - f. 1B, op. 64, a.u. 396 - Decision No. 7/11 November 1970 of the Politburo of the BCP's Central Committee for gratuitous aid amounting to BGL 142,200 to the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola);

To Iraq, Jordan, Syria and the Lebanon (Central Archive of the BCP - f. 1B, op. 64, a.u. 398 - Decision No. 9/12 December 1970 of the Politburo of the BCP's Central Committee for gratuitous supply of weapons, ammunition and medicines amounting to BGL 194,000 to the Guerrilla Forces military organisation to the Iraqi, Jordanian, Syrian and Lebanese communist parties.

In the 1970s, the Politburo and the Secretariat of the BCP's Central Committee offered gratuitous aid in the form of weapons to the guerrilla revolutionary movements in countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Central and Latin America.

In 1992, the Chief Prosecutor's Office instituted Case No. 3, known as the trial for the secret aims aid at a total value of BGL 240 million. In that case, 22 foreign members of the Secretariat of the BCP's Central Committee were brought to justice as defendants, among whom the former Prime Minister Andrey Loukanov and the former leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party Alexander Lilov. Loukanov was even arrested and spent several months in custody in the detention facility of the investigation in Razvigor Street. The Chief Prosecutor's Office brought charges against Zhivkov for gratuitous arms aid amounting to BGL 17 million, Grigor Stoichkov - for 142 million, Choudomir Alexandrov - 83 million, Kiril Zarev - 100 million, Georgi Yordnov - 74 million, Yordan Yotov - 18 million, Gorgi Karamanev - 131 million, Ognyan Doynov - 20 million (in absentia), Alexander Lilov - 36 million, and others. 22 The case was terminated at the end of the 1990s, and Loukanov charged Bulgaria and won posthumously in Strasbourg, where he filed a case.

The archives of the Ministry of the Interior contain evidence that Sofia officially tolerated some international terrorists during the communist regime, among them the No. 1 terrorist of the past century Carlos Ramirez Sanchez, better known as Carlos the Jackal. In 2003, upon the request of the Dnevnik daily newspaper, the Ministry of the Interior declassified partially the case of the operational work known by the name of "Lynxes", conducted by the Second Chief Division of the State Security (Counterintelligence) against the Jackal and members of his Global Revolution terrorist organisation. The secret archive materials revealed that Carlos the Jackal, accompanied by some of his close associates, was allowed to stay in Bulgaria on many occasions with the tacit consent of the communist regime, although he was carrying weapons and explosives in his luggage for his terrorist acts in the West.23 The party archives revealed that different decisions of the Politburo and Secretariat of the BCP's Central Committee compelled the Ministry of the Interior to train groups and individuals to wage guerrilla war and to conduct sabotage actions from countries in the Middle East, the Arab world, as well as from Latin America.

Economic crimes

After the changes, several investigations of economic crimes were undertaken during the communist regime. Already during the second government of Andrey Loukanov, the Chief Prosecutor's Office instituted case No. 4/1990, known as the trial related to the economic catastrophe. Several trials came out of it:

Moscow Fund - against Todor Zhivkov, who was accused of appropriating BGL 22,500,000 in convertible currency. For 30 years - from 1957 until 1987 - this money were made available on his own instructions to the Ambassador of the USSR in Bulgaria, who in turn sent it into the account of a special fund in Moscow to assist the international communist movement.24 The indictment against Zhivkov was submitted to the court in March 1993, but the case was not heard.

Black Fund - with a secret decision of 26 March 1968 of the Council of Ministers with Todor Zhivkov as Prime Minister, funds began to be allocated for the higher communist party and state leadership in violation of the state budget. They were not taxed or accounted for in any way. Subject to a government decision, "representative money" was made available to the following posts: Chairman of the Council of Ministers - BGL 15,000, Chairman of the Presidium of the National Assembly - BGL - 15,000, First Deputy-Chairman of the Council of Ministers - BGL 8,000, Deputy-Chairman, Member of the BCP's Politburo - BGL 7,000, Deputy-Chairman of the Council of Ministers - BGL 4,000, cabinet minister, Member of the BCP's Politburo - BGL 7,000, cabinet minister, Candidate-Member of BCP's Politburo - BGL 5,000, cabinet minister, Member of the Bureau of the Council of Ministers - BGL 4,500, cabinet minister - BGL 3,500. For the sake of comparison, the average annual salary for 1968 was BGL 1,366, for farm labourers - BGL 887. 25

An instruction of the Council of Ministers No. 341 of 1972 reads: "The unutilised funds in foreign and in Bulgarian currency from the budget institutions for the import of special property by the end of the respective fiscal year to be blocked under a special account with the Bulgarian National Bank under the name of the Ministry of Finance, Special Department.

This was only one of the items under which the "Black Fund" was filled with unaccounted for money. The Chief Prosecutor's Office questioned the former Minister of Finance Belcho Belchev, but did not bring charged on the case.

The illegal financing of the BCP: In 1992, the Minister of Finance Ivan Kostov filed a claim in court on behalf of the Ministry of Finance against the Bulgarian Socialist Party as the legal successor of the Bulgarian Communist Party. The claims of the State are for BGL 2.2 billion and for USD 704,000, made available to the communist party out of the state budget for the 1952-1990 period. 26 The resources were allocated with secret decisions. During the 1952-1990 period, the millions for the BCP were disguised under the code name "Enlightenment-A" and the resources allocated to the pro-communist agrarian party - as "Enlightenment-B." They were withdrawn only on the basis of oral instructions. 27

The case of the "orphans": The Supreme Court sentenced the former Prime Minister of Bulgaria Georgi Atanassov to 10 years imprisonment and the Minister of Economy and Planning Stoyan Ovcharov to 9 years for illegal allocation of BGL 210,000 to communist party activists for completion of their houses. Ovcharov served a part of his sentence, Atanassov was pardoned by President Zhelev on health grounds.

Case No. 1: The Chief Prosecutor's Office sought criminal liability against Todor Zhivkov on Case No. 1/1990. Both he and his former Head of Cabinet and former Politburo Member Milko Balev were accused of exceeding their prerogatives with the aim of personal enrichment. The indictment of the Chief Prosecutor's Office specifies the sums given for food and the representative money allocated annually to the higher party nomenklatura, the Western cars bought by the Fifth Division of the State Security (Safety and Security Directorate), as well as 125 flats distributed on Todor Zhivkov's personal instructions to 114 persons. The unauthorised expenses for the 24-hour protection of his son Vladimir Zhivkov and of his grandson Todor Slavkov are also indicated. The documents under the case demonstrate that more than BGL 1,000,000 - money of the State - was spent for the family's lavish life in the 1985-1989 period only. Milko Balev was accused of having received BGL 39,000 without legal grounds when he published Zhivkov's collected works. The dictator was sentenced to seven years imprisonment, Balev - to two. In 1995, the General Assembly of the Criminal Colleges revoked the sentence with the motivation that Zhivkov could not be tried and sentenced in his capacity of Head of State.

The Prosecution made unsuccessful attempts to identify the exported financial capitals through the overseas companies - an operation conducted by the intelligence in the last years of Zhivkov's rule. The attempts of Philip Dimitrov's government in this direction were unsuccessful. According to prosecutors who participated in the investigation of the financial flows of the foreign trade companies, these capitals amounted to nearly USD 20 billion, which is twice more than the foreign debt of Bulgaria inherited from the communist rule. Legal proceedings were in progress at the Sofia City Prosecutor's Office in the 1990s against several companies with foreign trade activities for various financial violations, but without being tried in court, among them against officials from Expomed, Balkan Holidays - Rent-a-Car, the Balkan Bulgarian Airlines, the Vinimpex representative office in Warsaw, Infosport, Paton, Inco, and others.

Other economic crimes are connected with smuggling elevated to the rank of state policy with highly classified decision No. 148/31 July 1978 of the Bureau of the Council of Ministers. It adopted the decision the hidden transit trade to be performed only by the state-owned company Kintex. It is written in the document that "Kintex had the right to establish representative offices of foreign companies for covering up and for servicing the transit activities" and that the Ministry of the Interior had the obligation "to assist the activities connected with the transit with its own specific means." In 1991, Dimiter Popov's government adopted a report on the activities of the State Security, an essential part of which was devoted to the organising of transit trade in commodities, drugs and weapons. However, the Prosecution did not undertake an investigation on that report, apart from a partial investigation of smuggling of Captagon to the Middle East, on which no charges were brought against concrete defendants.

The Chernobyl trial: One of the few effective sentences in Bulgaria after 10 November 1989 was pronounced under the so-called Chernobyl case. The former Deputy Prime Minister Grigor Stoichkov and the former Chief Sanitary Inspector Chavdar Shindarov were tried and convicted in 1993. The two defendants were sentenced to two years in prison for failing to comply with the radiation protection norms, thus subjecting the population of Bulgaria to danger after the disaster in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1986. At the end of 1990, the Chief Prosecutor's Office also instituted Case 3/1990, which acquired public image as the trial for the ecological catastrophe. It investigated a total of 37 large companies in various spheres of the economy, which resulted in environmental pollution. More than 120 volumes were collected on the case, but it did not reach the courtroom and no charges were brought against concrete officials.

Destruction of secret files

That was one of the last crimes of the communist regime, the aim of the communist party leadership and of the higher officials of the Ministry of the Interior being to cover up the traces of crimes committed in earlier decades, as well as to obliterate the evidence of the apparatus of agents of the State Security. Parallel power centres with influence on the political processes in Bulgaria were subsequently established precisely through it.

The secret operation aimed at destroying the secret files started before 29 January 1990 (on the eve of the 14th Congress of the Bulgarian Communist Party), when the Minister of the Interior General Atanas Semerdjiev endorsed a report filed by the Deputy Minister of the Interior General Stoyan Savov, giving the green light to the campaign. Already in the beginning of the month, General Semerdjiev received alarming signals from many sources in the Ministry of the Interior about the heavy documentary heritage and about the fear that these materials that were discrediting to the earlier rulers might fall into the hands of the opposition. With a secret telegram of 18 January 1990, the head of the District Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior in the town of Haskovo, Colonel Krassimir Samandjiev, wrote to Minister Semerdjiev: "Comrade Minister, the positive changes that took place in the country's political and public life after 10 November 1989 necessitate the Ministry's leadership to re-evaluate the existing normative basis, orders from the command, circular letters, instructions, etc. Their further use and compliance with them in the practical work may discredit the bodies of the Ministry of the Interior before the sharper political sensitivity of the population. A number of command documents subject to special registration contain instructions which, taking into account the current situation, are illegal, unauthorised and discrediting. This requires their urgent revoking, withdrawal and destruction."28 The cited secret telegram lists nearly 30 documents that need to be destroyed, among them: Instruction I-36 of 14 March 1984 on the counterintelligence work of the structures of the Ministry of the Interior with respect to Bulgarian citizens abroad and the procedure for the issuing of passports; Circular Letter I-96 of 31 May 1984 on improving the work on the Bulgarian emigration in compliance with Decision "B" 17 of the Politburo of the BCP's Central Committee and the Minister's order I-107 of 1978; Circular Letter I-88 of 28 May 1984 on improving the mass musical environment and on establishing a unified leadership and management in the sphere of art for entertainment; campaign I-190 of 3 January 1984 on the work of the State Security structures to protect the youth against the enemy's ideological subversion and the activities of enemy elements in the country; Circular Letter I-28 of 14 February 1985 on further work on the national awareness of the coercively Mohammedanised Bulgarians; Circular Letter I-196 of 7 August 1985 on further work on the revival process; Circular Letter I-20 of 19 February 1986 on the discontinuation of the issuing of documents to persons with restored names for starting work in the border area; Minister's Order I-26 of 25 May 1989 on the establishing of a Central Operational Group on the revival process; Circular Letter I-2/1989 on applying more humane considerations to Bulgarian Muslims; Circular Letter I-38 of 19 March 1987 on studying the new conscript soldiers and on their distribution in the armed forces of the People's Republic of Bulgaria.

At a meeting of leadership of the Ministry of the Interior on 24 January 1990, in the presence of the KGB head in Bulgaria, General Vladilen Fyodorov, a decision was reached to form a working group to review the archives of the Ministry and to propose a mechanism for its clearing. The reported on that item on the agenda was the First Deputy-Minister of the Interior at that time, General Lyuben Gotsev, officer from the First General Division of the State Security, who had worked for ten years in the United Nations under diplomatic cover, as well as in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It was reported at that meeting that the review for the past 40 years revealed the existence of 942 active normative and secondary regulations, 700 of which were judged to be suitable for immediate destruction. 29

Five days later, Minister Semerdjiev signed the order that served as the ground for the most exhaustive operation to purge the secret files under the communist regime. As a result of that campaign, the following quantities of secret materials were destroyed:

- Files of agents (data on recruitment) - 32,113 out of 77,353 (41.5%) were destroyed;

- Operational files of agents (information by agents) - 34,591 out of 46,172 (75 %) were destroyed;

- Operational files on objects of interest - 28,518 out of 94,554 (30 %) were destroyed;

- Operational correspondence - 24,317 out of 105,784 (23 %) were destroyed;

- Files of the holders of houses for covert meetings - 9,029 out of 9.991 (90 %) were destroyed;
- Informers (category of agent) - 4,016 out of 4,920 (81.6 %) were destroyed;

- Total from all depositories (archive units) - 134,102 out of 331,995 (40.3 %) were destroyed.30

These archive materials do not include the operational files for the 1985-1989 period, which were destroyed locally by the State Security structures.

A separate process to destroy files was in progress at the First General Division of the State Security (Intelligence). It had started a month earlier after Deputy-Minister General Stoyan Savov endorsed a top secret order Reg. No. 2570 of 8 January 1990 issued by General Vladimir Todorov, Head of the First General Division of the State Security, for the archives to be combed. At least 20,000 files were destroyed as a result of that order a week before the National Assembly rescinded on 15 January 1990 Article 1 of the Constitution on the leading role of the Bulgarian Communist Party. The documents were burned in the furnaces of the Lenin Metallurgical Works (present-day Stomana) in the town of Pernik near Sofia31. No investigation was instituted on the purge of documents in the intelligence sector. Investigation started in 1992 for destruction of the files in the Ministry of the Interior against the former Minister of the Interior General Atanas Semerdjiev and against General Nanka Serkedjieva, former Head of the State Security Archives. In April 2002, the Supreme Court of Cassation found them guilty and sentenced Semerdjiev to 4.5 years in prison and Serkedjieva to two years, being found guilty of the destruction of approximately 100,000 files on their orders. With a decision of 13 August 2003, a five-member Supreme Court of Cassation revoked the sentence and returned the case for further investigation, which has not been completed yet.

The influence of the former State Security agents and of individual former high-ranking officials in the system on the political processes in the country can be seen from the reports of the Commission on the Secret Files, which operated in 2001-2002. It is clear from them that there were State Security agents or staff members in all Bulgarian governments after 10 November 1989. The government of the Union of Democratic Forces in 1991-1992 and the government of the United Democratic Forces in 1997-2001 made no exception to that rule.32

The extent to which the State Security system is attracted by power is suggested by the fact that if all State Security agents and staff members registered as candidates for the elections had been hypothetically elected in 2001, they would have had absolute majority in the Thirty-Ninth National Assembly. The Commission on the Secret Files found then that 170 among the candidates were full-time or part-time collaborators of the State Security or to the former Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff.33 It is not in the least surprising that the Bulgarian Socialist Party, which succeeded the BCP, has the highest number of State Security representatives among its Members of Parliament. When the Commission on the Secret Files was closed down in 2002 by the parliamentary majority of the National Movement Simeon II, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms and the Bulgarian Socialist Party, more than 400 undisclosed names of full-time and part-time agents and collaborators of the State Security among the judges, prosecutors, investigating magistrates, diplomats and journalists remained in its operational archives.34


Reasons for the lack of criminal conviction for the crimes of communism

1. Lack of sufficient legal mechanisms and human resources

This reason should be attributed to the unresolved case with the limitation, which resulted in the failure to elect jurors, as well as the absence of an efficient judiciary system and sufficiently qualified specialists for resolving criminal cases that are difficult to try. Practice has shown that after 1999, when Nikola Filchev was elected Prosecutor General, the cases investigating the crimes of communism are not a priority for the state prosecution.

2. Political and short-term reasons

These reasons comprise the lack of sufficient political will in all parliamentary majorities that governed the country after the changes in Bulgaria for a consistent seeking of criminal liability. Another characteristic feature is the long delay with which the courts of justice reach a decision, sometimes reaching several years, depending on which party is in power at the moment. The attempts to use some of the trials for propaganda purposes during election campaigns also had a negative impact on the course of some of the cases.

There exists yet another fundamental reason for the non-condemnation of communism in Bulgaria. It consists in the failure to adopt and to enforce promptly a package of decommunisation lustration laws, as was the case in other former socialist countries, notably Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary. In 1991-1992, the Union of Democratic Forces passed only a few laws containing lustration provisions. A case in point is Paragraph 9 of the Transitional and Final Provisions of the Banking and Credit Act, which prohibited the appointing of persons who had held high ranks in the communist nomenklatura in the past fifteen years in senior positions in the credit institutions. In 1992, the Law on the Temporary Introduction of Certain Additional Requirements to the Members of the Management Bodies of the Academic and Research Institutions, and the Higher Attestation Board, was adopted and became known as the "Panev Act" by the name of the Member of Parliament, Georgi Panev, who submitted its draft. It restricted the access of communist nomenklatura individuals and State Security agents and collaborators to the academic, faculty and scientific councils, and to the governing bodies of the universities and the Higher Attestation Board for an initial period of five years. The law was repealed by the Bulgarian Socialist Party in March 1995.

In 1992, the then President of Bulgaria Zhelyu Zhelev declared his position against the draft legislation on decommunisation proposed by the Union of Democratic Forces, after his conflict with Prime Minister Philip Dimitrov had already become a fact. The draft legislation provided for restrictions in the access to managerial positions in the executive bodies of companies with more than 30 per cent state participation, in the state media and in organisations supported out of the national budgets for individuals from the following spheres: full-time employees and part-time collaborators of the State Security, secretaries of grass-root organisations of the Bulgarian Communist Party, high-ranking appointees in the apparatus of the Central Committee of the BCP, the Fartherland Front Organisation, the Dimitrov's Young Communist League and the Bulgarian Agrarian People's Union, participants in the process of coercive changing of the names of the ethnic Turks in Bulgaria, teaching staff at the Academy for Social Sciences and Social Management, in the schools and training centres of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and in the KGB training centres. At that time Zhelev declared: "The national reconciliation and the success of the economic reform constitute the real decommunisation for me."

In 1997, the coalition partner of the Union of Democratic Forces, the People's Union, submitted in Parliament a bill requiring restricted access to leading positions in Bulgaria. The arguments in favour of that draft legislation were sought in the recommendations of Resolution 1096 of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) of 26 June 1996 on measures for dismantling the heritage of the former communist totalitarian regimes. "I do not think that the law will have a healing effect on Bulgarian society," President Peter Stoyanov declared. "Seven years have passed after 10 November 1989. We cannot constantly look back and we cannot move quickly forward, if we carry the shadows of the past like a load on our backs all the time," he added while he was presenting his arguments against the bill. The then Prime Minister Ivan Kostov declared that he shared the President's views. "Such legislation will affect a very small number of people," he said.

In October 1998, the United Democratic Forces turned again to the lustration by adopting amendments to the Administration Act, banning all persons who had occupied senior positions in the structures of the BCP and in the administration during its rule, as well as full-time staff and collaborators of the State Security, from being appointed to senior positions in the State for a period of five years. The Constitutional Court revoked that provision as anti-constitutional. In May 2000, Parliament adopted the Act Declaring the Criminal Nature of the Communist Regime in Bulgaria, which did not have any legal implications, but tended to be more of a declarative nature.

The parliamentary majority of the United Democratic Forces adopted in 1997 the Access to the Documents of the Former State Security Act. The Constitutional Court (after taking itself out of the list of institutions subject to checking for affiliation) announced its decision that it is anti-constitutional to disclose the names of the so-called "filed" collaborators, for whom only a card with registration for collaboration has been preserved in the State Security Archives. As a result, the Minister of the Interior announced the names of only 23 State Security collaborators out of the initial list containing 97 names. Most of the individuals announced are Members of Parliament from the Movement for Rights and Freedoms and the Bulgarian Socialist Party. Ivan Kostov's government failed to comply with Article 14 of that law, under which "within one year of the coming of the law into force35 the documents of the former State Security shall be submitted to the Central State Archives." In the beginning of 2001, just months before the parliamentary elections, the United Democratic Forces adopted amendments to the Access to the Documents of the Former State Security Act, broadening its scope of enforcement and creating a new Commission on the Secret Files, which became known as the "Andreev Commission" by the name of its Chairman. Then President Peter Stoyanov stated: "Even with the risk of losing 50 potential votes, I shall say that decommunisation is done by changing the mentality of the people, by giving examples, and not by taking out secret files." Several months later Stoyanov lost not only 50 potential votes, he lost the presidential elections. The Commission on the Secret Files was closed down and the law was completely repealed with the votes of the National Movement Simeon II, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, and the Bulgarian Socialist Party in April 2002 to adopt the Classified Information Protection Act (Bulgaria is the only country from the former socialist bloc to remain without such legislation). In November 2003, not one single political force responded to the invitation of the Union of Democratic Forces (which is not in power) for consultations on the drafting of legislation on severing the relations of the public power with officers of the former State Security or from the former Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff.

After Bulgaria joined NATO, all officers who are entitled to have access to national classified information and to information of the Alliance are checked by the State Commission on Security of Information. The Protection of Classified Information Act lacks a concrete provision indicating that former full-time or part-time State Security staff may not have access to classified information.

The tendency transpiring from the facts presented above is that the democratic forces in Bulgaria always insist on the adoption of decommunisation laws when they are in opposition, but they fail to do what is needed when they are in power.

1 Hristov, Hristo, The Secret Trial on the Concentration Camps. Ivan Vazov Publishing House, Sofia, 1999 (in Bulgarian).

2 From the Ninth to the Tenth, compiled by Dimiter Ivanov, Zahariy Stoyanov Publishing House, Sofia, 2004 (in Bulgarian).

3 Archives of the Ministry of the Interior - historical insight into the activities of the State Security System (in Bulgarian).

4 Archives of the Ministry of the Interior, f. 22, op. 1 - historical information about the Sixth Division (in Bulgarian).

5 Archives of the Ministry of the Interior, f. 22, op. 1, a.u. 3 - highly classified information about the Sixth Division of the State Security on the "Operational situation concerning the artistic, creative and academic intelligentsia for the 1970-1972 period" (in Bulgarian).

6 Assenov, Boncho, From the Sixth about the Sixth - and Afterwards, Sofia, 1999 (in Bulgarian).

7 Bogdanov, Stefan, There Are No Two Deaths, but One Is Inevitable, K&M Publishers. Sofia, 1991 (in Bulgarian).

8 Assenov, Boncho, From the Sixth about the Sixth - and Afterwards, Pernik, 1994 (in Bulgarian).

9 Hristov, Hristo, The Secret Trial on the Concentration Camps. Ivan Vazov Publishing House, Sofia, 1999 (in Bulgarian) - used as source for this chapter, as it contains all facts and data on Case No. 4 of 1990 in the Register of the Prosecution of the Armed Forces, established during the investigation of the camps, and the subsequent trial before the Military Panel of the Supreme Court in 1993.

10 Wolf, Markus. Superspy. Troud Publishing House, Sofia, 1998 (in Bulgarian).

11 Central Party Archives, f. 1, op. 64, a.u. 359, Decision B No. 15 of 27 December 1966 of the Politburo of the BCP's Central Committee, on curbing the possibilities of the capitalist intelligence services to engage in subversive activities against the People's Republic of Bulgaria through the enemy emigration (in Bulgarian).

12 Central Party Archives, f. 1, op. 64, a.u. 168, Decision B No. 8 of 14 June 1952 of the Politburo of the BCP's Central Committee, on granting permission to the Ministry of the Interior to inspect the correspondence and the parcels exchanged between traitors of the fatherland who had defected abroad and citizens in the country (in Bulgarian).

13 Archives of the Ministry of the Interior, f. 22, op. 1, a e. 8, Report on the Second Department of the Sixth Division on the work along the lines of the enemy emigration in 1972 (in Bulgarian).

14 Hristov, Hristo, The State Security against the Bulgarian Emigration, Ivan Vazov Publishing House, Sofia, 2000 (in Bulgarian) - a documentary book built on top secret documents from file No. 9867/73 "Terrorists" of the Second General Division of the State Security (Counterintelligence) against B. Arsov and upon other documents from his personal file.

15 Indictment issued by the Prosecution of the Armed Forces under case No. 1/1991 on the renaming of the ethnic Turks in Bulgaria.

16 Traitors and Treasons in Bulgarian History, Bulgarski Pisatel, Sofia, 1993, p. 149 (in Bulgarian).

17 1963 - The Negation of Bulgaria, Ogledalo Publishing House, Sofia, 1994 (in Bulgarian).

18 Zhelev, Zhelyu, In the Big Politics, Troud Publishing House, Sofia, 1998 (in Bulgarian).

19 Zhelev, Zhelyu, In the Big Politics, Troud Publishing House, Sofia, 1998 (in Bulgarian).

20 Traitors and Treasons in Bulgarian History, Bulgarski Pisatel, Sofia, 1993, p. 149 (in Bulgarian).

21 Democracia daily, No. 44, 21 February 1992 - interview with the Prosecutor General Ivan Tatarchev (in Bulgarian).

22 Democracia daily, No. 185, 11 August 1993 and No. 262 of 9 November 1993 (in Bulgarian).

23 Dnevnik daily, Carlos the Jackal liked Sofia as his base, 18 November 2003 (in Bulgarian).

24 Democracia daily, No. 298, 21 December 1993 (in Bulgarian).

25 Democracia daily, No. 152, 27 June 1992 (in Bulgarian).

26 Democracia daily, No. 305, 30 December 1993 (in Bulgarian).

27 Democracia daily, No. 130, 8 June 1992 (in Bulgarian).

28 Archives of the Ministry of the Interior, f. 1, op. 11A, a.u. 887, Secret telegram No. 26/44 to Minister A Semerdjiev by the Head of the District Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior in Haskovo K. Samandjiev (in Bulgarian).

29 Archives of the Ministry of the Interior, f. 1, op. 12, a.u. 970, Secret minutes of a staff meeting of the Ministry of the Interior, 24 January 1990 (in Bulgarian).

30 Information of the Information and Archives Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior for 1994 - the data are summarized for the entire country.

31 Archive of the Supreme Court of Cassation, investigative case No. 3/1991 in the Register of the Prosecution of the Armed Forces against Ret. Gen. Stoyan Savov and Ret. Gen. Vladimir Todorov for the destruction of the files of Georgi Markov.

32 Dnevnik daily, Videnov's Cabinet in the lead in terms of State Security agents, 27 June 2001 (in Bulgarian).

33 Dnevnik daily, 2 June 2001 (in Bulgarian).

34 Dnevnik daily, 15 November 2002 (in Bulgarian).

35 State Gazette, No. 63, 6 August 1997 (in Bulgarian).

Translation into English: Nedyalka Chakalova

The International Condemnation of Totalitarian Communism: the Initiative of the European People's Party. The Bulgarian Perspective.
Excerpts from the reports presented at the Colloquium in Koprivshtitsa (Bulgaria) 24-26 September 2004
Compiled by Vassil Stanilov, Edited by Nadejda Iskrova
Vassil Stanilov Literature Workshop, Sofia 2004

ISBN 954-8248-30-1

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