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But then if we compare Bulgaria and Poland, in spite of Katyn, the Red-Army-supported Bulgarian Communists achieved a more thorough elite elimination after the end of WWII than in Poland.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 02:17:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Please note that "3 regents, 8 royal advisors, 22 former cabinet ministers, 67 MPs and 47 army officers" did not constitute "the elite of the nation"

More importantly the whole linked comment is distorted and ahistorical. In 1945 the communists did not rule Bulgaria; the country was ruled by the antifascist Fatherland Front, a broad coalition dominated by the Communists, and not unlike every liberated country in Europe. Even more importantly, Bulgaria was an Axis ally actively involved in the war, the Holocaust, and the looting of the occupied Greece and Macedonia. The political life of the country since the beginning of the 1930s was single-handedly managed by the king who suspended the Constitution; every subsequent parliament and government ministers were personally hand-picked by the palace. Therefore it is not exactly suprising that after the FF took power there were prosecutions of the former elite.

by Ivo on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 04:42:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's special, however, that the trial and the executions took a single day, and at the end a doctor who volunteered to confirm the deaths was executed (without trial), too. I read somewhere the claim that the whole action happened on direct orders from Moscow, but I wish there would be an English-language source quoting original sources on this.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 05:31:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Please bear in mind that from the 1990 on countless millions poured in Bulgaria from various NGO to finance anti-communist literature with the ultimate aim to sully the past and discredit any left/social project. In contrast to the country economy in general this industry of rewriting the history boomed. I often come across of pseudo-historical accounts in the Bulgarian press with such lurid minutiae details that verge on the impossible. Such detailed first account narratives rarely exist even for much more recent events.
by Ivo on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 02:49:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Btw, I never intended to compare Poland and Bulgaria - they are very different countries indeed. I just cited Bulgaria because (1) it was another member of the Eastern block; and (2), I am well familiar with it's recent history.
by Ivo on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 04:48:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To lament the post-1944 trials and executions in Bulgaria is akin to lament the executions and violence in post-1943 Italy... Bulgaria had the strongest anti-fascist resistance of all German allies.
by Ivo on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 05:04:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wasn't lamenting, my point was that (if these executions were on Stalin's orders) there was some quite heavy Soviet influence on Bulgarian sovereignty early on and, unlike in Poland, it left no right-wing forces of significance that could maintain a widely held sense of national victimhood. (And the executions were several months after the Fatherland Front took over.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 05:41:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, this is a vast subject and a source of endless discussion. Suffice to point out, however, that contrary to the simplistic propaganda cliché Stalin wasn't the kind of micromanaging maniac as is often caricaturally portrayed. In the grand scheme of things what make you think that he personally engaged with the fate of some disgraced insignificant political figures from a former small German satellite? I find the notion highly improbable, and there is not a single shred of evidence to imply that. Since 1941 there was armed anti-fascist  resistance in Bulgaria, and by 1944 it is estimated that those actively engaged in it were in the realm of 20000; no need to tell, thousands were killed either in combat or by rapid military tribunals (the fact that the communist party was illegal for several years goes without saying). Taking the whole context into account there was no need for external pressure on the People's Tribunal - from one side it could be said that it continued to perpetuate the violence that marred the Bulgarian society; from the other it served justice to some of the people who actively brought Bulgaria into the war. It is not an accident that during the first part of the 20th century Bulgaria was infamous as the "Prussia on the Balkans" due to it's aggressiveness and militarism.
by Ivo on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 02:37:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is surely a difference of a couple of orders of magnitude between this purge and Katyn, which was closer to a Khmer Rouge-style elimination of an entire social class.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 03:13:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, no. The quoted event constituted the elimination of the top, within a purge with at least 20,000 killed summarily or executed. Katyn was similar in numbers in a much larger country, but it was heavily focused on army and police officers and a significant part of the elite escaped into emigration. Such purges were executed in all other Soviet-occupied countries and earlier in the Soviet Union itself, what the Khmer Rouge did was more extreme.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 02:46:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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