Wednesday, 18 January 2017
Communist Rule Print E-mail
On 5 September 1944, the Soviet Army entered Bulgaria and on 9 September the Fatherland Front Government, headed by Kimon Georgiev, came into power. In 1946, after a referendum, Bulgaria was proclaimed a People's Republic. The Queen-Mother, King Simeon ІІ and Princess Maria-Louisa left Bulgaria for Egypt via Turkey (The royal familly was living in exile until the end of 1990’s). According to the pre-arranged agreements between the Great Allied forces by the end of WW II, Bulgaria remained within the zone of strong Soviet dominance.The Bulgarian Communist Party came into power. The political parties outside the communist dominated Fatherland Front were banned, the economic entities, the real estate and the banks were expropriated and then nationalised, the arable land was coercively re-organised into cooperatives. Many dissidents, including members of the BCP, and leaders of the former political parties were executed, imprisoned or displaced during the years of repression under the communist rule. The governing of the state went successively into the hands of communist party leaders like Georgi Dimitrov, Vassil Kolarov, Vulko Chervenkov, Anton Yougov and Todor Zhivkov.

One of the most repugnant crimes of the Stalin-type communist dictatorship on the Balkans after World War II was the brutal repression against ethnic Bulgarians in the newly created Tito’s Yugoslavia. Continuing the old policy of ethnic cleansing, in December 1944, 1000 soldiers and 70 officers were executed in Skopie by the Yugoslav army, because of being Bulgarians. Executions and other repressions of those who determined themselves Bulgarians were carried out at that time in many towns and villages in Macedonia, which became a part of Yugoslavia. For instance, near Veles in the fall of 1944, 53 eminent city intellectuals of Bulgarian origin were slaughtered by the Yugoslav military in one night. According to different sources, the number of the casualties of such atrocities reaches 20 000. Other tens of thousands Macedonian citizens of Bulgarian origin were put in prisons or camps for many years.

In 1955 Bulgaria became a member of the United Nations. Although under a totalitarian regime, after the WW II, especially in 1960’s and 1970’s, Bulgaria experienced significant economic and social development, compared to the pre-war levels. The most salient features were the industrialization and the related development of the energy sector, the expansion of the infrastructure and social services – medical care and education. Significant achievements were made in the fields of culture and science. Bulgaria became a member of the Warsaw Pact and COMECON. Nevertheless, by the middle of the 1980’s the potential of the state-run socialist economy was exhausted and the economic situation started to deteriorate. This further spured public discontent and strengthened the people’s aspiration to democracy and political change. Bulgaria was an example of peacefull transition from the totalitarian rule to democracy and market economy.