Muslims and there were scattered groups of Roman Catholics and Protestants in the country. The Jewish population, of course, followed Judaism. At the present time, the form of government is parliamentary democracy.
Aspaturian Vernon, "Eastern Europe in World Perspective," in Teresa Rakowska-Harmstone, ed. Communism in Eastern Europe 2nd Ed., ( Bloomington, IN, 1984); Brzezinski, Zbigniew The Soviet Bloc: Unity and Conflict ( Cambridge, MA, 1967); Pundeff, Marin, "Bulgaria," in Joseph Held ed. The Columbia History of Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century. ( New York, 1992), pp. 65-118.
|1944||September. The Soviet government, its army nearing Bulgaria's borders de-|
clared war on Bulgaria. Bulgaria then asked for an armistice. A few days af-
terward, it declared war on Germany. For the rest of the war, the Bulgarian
army fought as the advance guard of the Soviet troops, sustaining horrendous
|1945||January-June. In Bulgaria, the communists established firm control over the|
population. So-called class enemies were murdered or driven out of the coun-
|November. Rigged elections resulted in 90 percent of the vote being given to|
the Bulgarian National Front, an organization dominated by communists. The
results were rejected by the United States as fraudulent.
|1946||October. In the new national elections, terror and intimidation were used|
against the opponents of the Communist party. In consequence, the commu-
nists were given 277 seats in the national parliament, an absolute majority.
Georgy Dimitrov, an old Stalinist and the hero of the European communist
movement for his courage during the trial for the Reichstag fire in Germany
in 1934, was appointed prime minister.
|1947||February. Bulgaria signed a peace treaty with the victorious Allies returning|
all territories awarded to the country by Italy and Germany.
|August. Nicola Petkov, the head of the Agrarian party, was arrested in the|
Bulgarian parliament. He was tried and sentenced to death. The trial was a farce.
|December. The nationalization of all industrial firms, banks, and other eco-|
nomic institutions began the transformation of Bulgaria into a Stalinist state.
|1948||June. Georgy Dimitrov died of cancer in Moscow.|
|August. The Bulgarian communists forced the Social Democratic party|
into an unwanted merger. The name of the united party: Bulgarian Commu-
|1949||December. A former assistant prime minister of Bulgaria, Traitcho Kostov,|
was tried for "nationalist deviation" and for allegedly spying for the West.