Bulgaria Bows to Victims of Communism
Bulgaria is marking Friday for the third time the official Day of Gratitude and Homage to the Victims of the Communist Regime.
The date February 1 was chosen because on this day, in 1945, the so-called People's Tribunal sentenced to death 3 regents, 67 members of the parliament, 22 ministers, 40 generals and colonels of the royal army and a number of other public figures. The sentences have been executed on that same day.
The cabinet's decision was made under the proposal of two former Bulgarian Presidents – Zhelyu Zhelev (1990-1997) and Petar Stoyanov (1997-2002).
"This day will not only honor the victims, it will give us a starting point for a better understanding of the events of our recent history, without which it is impossible to progress as a democratic and dignified European country," Zhelev and Stoyanov wrote in their letter to Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov.
Solemn masses will be served in several cities across the country.
In 2012, President, Rosen Plevneliev, became the first ever Head of State to take part in the ceremony with military salutes, when he laid a wreath at the memorial of the victims of the Communist regime.
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In response to sa-sha,
The Wehrmacht attacked Serbia from BG soil in April 1941. Wehrmacht forces attacked Greece from Bulgaria in April 1941 as well. All this is well documented.
Despite Bulgaria's remarkable protection of most Jews inside Bulgaria, Jews in occupied Macedonia (esp. the large Jewish community in Bitola) and Thrace were taken by the BG forces and sent on north to their death at the hands of the German allies in 1943.
All this of course needs more research, many questions remain unresolved, some of those involved are still alive.
The Bulgarian embassies in Paris and perhaps even Berlin were issuing visas to help Jews get out of Europe, a too little known story. To what extent such aid to Jews was being provided at the BG embassy in Nazi Berlin remains poorly researched. The book Загадката "Доктор Смедовски" (Sofia 1999) raises important questions about the role of Dr. Asen Smedovski as 1st Secretary at the BG embassy in Berlin 1939-1943, his expulsion from Germany and mysterious death in Sofia in 1944.
All this is part of that complex legacy of BG ties with and opposition to German fascism. It is clear that Bulgarians were not enemies of the Russians in their terrible ordeal during WW II. Yet that ordeal was still underway when the People's Tribunal was held in early 1945 here.
Vulcho, ENDLESS thanks for "The commemorations in Volgograd/ Stalingrad marking the 2 Feb. 1943 victory over the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS divisions comes today"! The Stalingrad Battle was THE KEY BATTLE of WWII with the following complete defeat of Hitler and salvation of Europe from Fascist Yoke. Are You in a current, Novinite?
But "Bulgaria was a key ally of the 3rd Reich" is far from the truth, Vulcho. Japan, Italy, Spain, Romania, Turkey are in the List of History.
Bulgarian PEOPLE was NEVER against Russians.
Great Day, Great Victory, Eternal Memory to ALL fallen Russians.
The anti-fascist ‘People’s Tribunal' 1944-1945 sentenced many key figures in the Bulgarian fascist government and its military allied to Hitler to death. In this report, ’ fascism' is not mentioned. Why?
How this socialist tribunal operated is of course open to probing historical research and critique. But Bulgaria was a key ally of the 3rd Reich. Allied troops were still pushing toward Germany in very bitter battle when this tribunal convened. Thiat context should be borne in mind. The Western Allies began their Nuremberg Tribunal 7 months later, 30 November 1945. Many German fascists were sentenced in the IMT to death.
The commemorations in Volgograd/Stalingrad marking the 2 Feb. 1943 victory over the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS divisions comes today, and is in strong contrast with yesterday's commemoration here. 45 million civilians died in WW II, and Bulgaria was on the wrong side. The 'People's Tribunal' was part of that dark history.