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Resolution 1096


Communist Terror
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Condemning communism - the Bulgarian example

by Professor Plamen S. Tzvetkov, Ph.D

What befell Bulgaria in September 1944

by Professor Plamen S. Tzvetkov, Ph.D (history)

On September 5th, 1944, Stalin declared war on Bulgaria under the pretext that the Bulgarian government had been providing shelter to nazi armies. In actual fact, the last German troops had left Bulgaria by August 1944, during the term of Prime Minister Ivan Bagryanov, whose government had explicitly declared neutrality and had decreed that any German units that refused to leave the country were to be disarmed by force. It was that same government that had repealed all anti-Semitic legislation in Bulgaria and declared an amnesty for the communist guerrillas and terrorists. For its part, the new government, formed on September 2nd by the then parliamentary opposition and initially headed by Konstantin Muraviev, promptly declared war on Germany and entered into separate negotiations for armistice with the US and Britain.

The declaration of war by Stalin on Bulgaria was quickly followed by an all-out invasion of Bulgaria by the Red Army, launched on September 8th, 1944. In such conditions, a gang of communists acting on instructions from Moscow and aided by some army officers that had allowed themselves to be won over for the communist cause, stormed the building of the War Ministry and proclaimed themselves to be the new government of Bulgaria. This was an act similar to what Quisling had done in Norway back in 1940, yet no one condemned the event as a coup d'etat. Significantly, unlike the Soviet citizens and members of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) Georgi Dimitrov, Vassil Kolarov and Vulko Chervenkov, who did not arrive in Bulgaria until a year later, Quisling had never been a German citizen, neither had he ever joined the National-Socialist Workers' Party.

To this day, the Bulgarian communists maintain that at least Stalin should be given credit for liberating Europe from 'fascism'. In fact, what the Red Army did was replace the nazi-installed occupation regimes in Eastern Europe with a much more abhorrent variety of totalitarianism. Moreover, in the cases of Bulgaria and Romania, there were no nazi-installed occupation regimes in the first place; in fact, these countries were ruled by sovereign governments, brutally swept aside by Stalin's stooges to clear the way for the Soviet onslaught.

The events of early September 1944 marked a culmination in the centuries-old aspirations of the Russian Empire to crush Bulgaria on its way to seizing Constantinople and the Straits. It was in pursuit of that goal that, in the 18th and 19th century, Russia waged a long series of wars on the Ottoman Empire, as a result of which Bulgaria came within a hair's breath of being swallowed whole in 1878. Only the intervention of the European Powers spared us the plight of becoming a Russian province; instead, by force of the San Stefano Peace Treaty, Bulgaria was forced into indefinite occupation. Russia's sinister interest in the Bulgarian lands as a mere 'annoying obstacle' on its way to the Straits was highlighted yet again during talks between Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov and his nazi counterpart Ribbentrop and with Hitler in November of 1940. It was that Russian reluctance to reorient its expansionist appetites from Central Europe and the Balkans towards the Persian Gulf and India that brought to an abrupt end the Soviet-Nazi Pact of August 24th, 1939, and the Treaty of Friendship and Borders of September 28th of the same year. Of course, the main reason why the clash between communist Russia and nazi Germany was inevitable was that both Stalin and Hitler were set on conquering the world, and since there was only one world to conquer, one of them was bound to destroy the other.

Translation from Bulgarian by Boyan Damyanov

Plamen Simeonov Tzvetkov was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1951. Since 1994 he has been a lecturer with the New Bulgarian University. In 1999 he presented a doctoral thesis and was awarded a Doctorate in History (D.Litt./D.Sc.). Until the year 2001 Dr. Tzvetkov was employed at the Institute of History of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, and since February of 2002 is a Full Professor of Modern and Recent World History at the New Bulgarian University.
Prof. Tzvetkov’s academic interests largely cover the political and diplomatic history of Bulgaria, the Balkans, Europe and the world at large during the 20th century, as well as the early history of the Bulgarian people, more specifically the issue of the origin of Bulgarians.
Prof Plamen Tzvetkov has published more than 10 monographs, over 50 research papers and articles and well over 300 essays. Special mention is due to a major monograph A History of the Balkans: A Regional Overview from a Bulgarian Perspective, in two volumes, published in San Fransisco, USA, by The Edwin Mellen Press (1993), and his participation, in collaboration with Stéphane Courtois, Joachim Gauck, Alexandre Iakovlev, Martin Malia, Mart Laar, Diniou Charlanov, Lioubomir Ognianov, Romulus Rusan, Erhart Neubert, Ilios Yannakakis, Philippe Baillet, in a group effort titled Du passé faisons table rase! Histoire et mémoire du communisme en Europe [Let’s Make Tabula Rasa from the Past! History and Memory of Communism in Europe] (Paris, Robert Laffont, 2002), to which he contributed the article “Après Staline, Todor Jivkov!” [“After Stalin, Todor Zhivkov!”], essentially representing a view of European History from a Balkan perspective.
Prof. Tzvetkov has also authored a series of books on the smaller and medium-sized players in European politics on the eve of World War II, as well as a monograph bearing the somewhat defiant title, Are Bulgarians Slavs?
Married, with three children – a daughter and two sons.

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