Dictionary of East European History since 1945

By Joseph Held | Go to book overview
Save to active project

People's Courts (see People's Courts), under the jurisdiction of the ministry of justice. The courts gave out death sentences freely.

All politicians of the wartime Bulgarian scene who did not leave the country met their deaths by the courts. The leaders of the democratic opposition were given long prison terms. It was officially stated later that the People's Courts had given out 2,138 death sentences and 1,940 long-term prison sentences; however, the actual numbers must have been much higher. This was the bloodiest conquest of power in all of Eastern Europe.

The Fatherland Front was also used to create communist-dominated local governments. Tsola Dragoicheva, a member of the Communist party's Central Committee, was instrumental in this process. The Fatherland Front's local committees effectively eliminated the opposition in the countryside, using the People's Militia for the purpose. The collaborators, Petkov and Chezhmedzhiev, and their followers became the next targets. Their "crime" was that each had an independent power base. Petkov was not only the leader of the left-wing Agrarians (see Agrarian Union), but after the leader of the majority Agrarians was hounded out of the country, Petkov became his successor.

Petkov was, at first, removed from his post in the Fatherland Front. Chezhmedzhiev shared Petkov's fate later. The front was, therefore, "cleansed" of its former leaders except the communists. For the rest of the communist rule of Bulgaria, the Fatherland Front remained an empty shell, used for the purposes of mass mobilization. As a mass organization, the Fatherland Front had 4 million members in 1980, including members of the Agrarian Union, the trade unions, and the Dimitrov Communist Youth Association. It was used to nominate people for the rigged elections that were held every four years and other efforts of social mobilization.


Bibliography

Brown J. F., Bulgaria Under Communist Rule ( New York, 1970); Dellin L. A.D., Bulgaria ( New York, 1956); Mcintyre Robert J., Bulgaria: Politics, Economics and Society ( London-New York, 1988); Skilling Harold, The Governments of Communist Eastern Europe ( New York, 1966).

Foreign Relations. Bulgaria was the most loyal ally of the Soviet Union for during four-and-a-half decades of Communist rule. In foreign policy, its regime kept strictly to the Soviet line even at the expense of sacrificing Bulgarian national interests. When discussing the refusal of the Bulgarian communist leaders to avail themselves of opportunities of gaining some measure of independence, several reasons must be considered. First of all, these leaders were devoted communists who honestly believed that the interests of the Soviet Union were the same as those of Bulgaria. In addition, there was a historical tradition of friendship between the two peoples. Common religion, and common cultural characteristics added to the historical traditions. Furthermore, by being the most loyal ally, Bulgaria received plenty of rewards.

Unlike Albania or Romania, Bulgaria was the recipient of Soviet economic help

-107-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Dictionary of East European History since 1945
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 514

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?