In addition to regular schools, the mass organizations also conducted some form of education for their members. The Communist Youth Union, counterpart to the Soviet KOMSOMOL, and the Young Pioneers, also organized on the Soviet pattern, were instruments for educating young people in Marxism-Leninism and for preparing them for eventual membership in the Bulgarian Communist party.
With the collapse of the communist system in Bulgaria in 1989, the failure of indoctrination became apparent. Nevertheless, the educational achievements of the Communist system cannot be denied. It is likely, however, that the entire system will once again be reorganized to reflect the democratic values toward which Bulgaria is now striving.
Roucek Joseph S. and V. Kenneth V. Lottich, Behind the Iron Curtain: The Soviet Satellite States: East European Nationalism and Education ( Caldwell, Idaho, 1964); Thomas John T. , Education for Communism ( Stanford, CA, 1969); Velichkov Alexander, "Bulgarian Educational System in a Quagmire," Radio Free Europe Research Reports, 1.24 ( June 12, 1992), pp. 52-56.
Fatherland Front. The idea of a united anti-fascist movement in Bulgaria was first proposed by the Moscow-based Politburo of the Communist party. This was simply a projection of the Popular Front idea of the 1930s to the Bulgarian scene. The proposal was broadcast by the Hristo Botev radio based in the Soviet Union in 1941. The broadcast described the Fatherland Front as an undertaking of all democratic forces, with a limited role for the Communist party. Although the major opposition parties rejected the idea, their splinter groups found it attractive. Grigor Chezhmedzhiev and Dimitur Niekov, the left-wing Social Democrats; Kimon Georgiev of ZVENO (see ZVENO), and left-wing Agrarians, led by Nikola Petkov, joined with the communists in the Fatherland Front. Of them, Petkov (see Petkov, Nikola) was the most courageous and most important political leader.
The first National Committee of the Fatherland Front was formed in September 1943. It was clearly dominated by the communists who became more and more aggressive and demanding as time went by and as the Red Army neared the Bulgarian borders. But the Fatherland Front served its purpose; it split the democratic forces in the country making it easier for the communists to gain power in postwar Bulgaria.
After the September 9, 1944, coup d'etat, the first Fatherland Front government was formed. This government, headed by Kimon Georgiev, included only two communist ministers, although their role proved crucial. They headed the ministries of the interior and of justice. These two ministries and the secret police under their control, were used to dismantle the opposition. Anton Yugov (see Yugov, Anton) was the first minister of the interior. He organized the so-called People's Militia that went on to conduct mass arrests. This was a preliminary to the mass terror that was to be used to gain power by the communists. Those who were arrested were tried at the so-called