Bulgaria History in the 1930’s and 1940’s

By | December 19, 2021

The first political elections were held in March 1938 after the coup d’etat of 19 May 1934. But, as the ban on the existence of parties remained, they had a questionable character as a democratic expression and limited themselves to providing the executive power with an advisory body in the preparation laws. He therefore made no mention of diminishing the internal discomfort. Forced to an illegal life, the Bulgarian opposition political forces continued to respond to the government’s police repression with sabotage and attacks. On October 10, 1938, the chief of SM of the army, General Péev, and the president of the Geographical Institute, Colonel Stojanov, were killed. For Bulgaria political system, please check politicsezine.com.

In foreign policy, Bulgaria continued to develop the policy of rapprochement with the other Balkan states initiated by the pact of friendship with Yugoslavia of January 24, 1937 and of approaching the revisionist powers, Germany and Italy. This latter trend was to serve as an element of pressure on the Balkan governments for further revisions of the Treaty of Neuilly. On July 31, 1938, the Thessaloniki Pact with which Bulgaria undertook to collaborate with the Balkan Entente and not forcefully change the status quo territorial territory of the Balkans and obtained the abolition of the military restrictions of the Treaty of Neuilly and the demilitarization of the Thracian border established by the Treaty of Lausanne of 24 July 1923.

The outbreak of the Second World War, while aggravating the internal Bulgarian situation by preventing the government from having a platform of national solidarity on which to vigorously carry out its course of action, reawakened the Balkan rivalries, upset the attempt at Balkan grouping underway by some years and gave Bulgaria back the prospect of satisfying, on the ashes of the old equilibrium of 1919, its territorial aspirations. On 19 October 1939 the chamber was dissolved in order to ensure the government, with the new elections, a legislative body that was more in keeping with its political orientation. Kiosejvanov’s visit to Hitler, on July 5, 1939, had meanwhile begun the negotiations for the support of Bulgaria with the Axis powers which were developed, immediately after the elections, by the new cabinet chaired by Bulgaria Filov (March 16, 1940). In Filov’s trip to Munich on July 27, 1940, an agreement was reached on the basis of Germany’s commitment to support Bulgarian claims on southern Dobruja and Bulgaria’s benevolent neutrality in the ongoing conflict. German pressure speeded up the discussions between Sofia and Bucharest and the Bulgarian-Romanian Craiova agreement of 7 September 1940 established the immediate cession of Dobruja to Bulgaria. The Italo-Greek war campaign and the Axis war against Yugoslavia induced the Bulgarian government to tighten even more its ties with Berlin and Rome in order to solve its other territorial problems as well. On 1 March 1941 Bulgaria entered the Tripartite and on 3 March the German troops entered Bulgaria on their way to the Greek border. At the end of that cycle of operations in Balkania, victorious for the Axis, Bulgarian units occupied the Greek territories of Thrace and Macedonia and Yugoslav Macedonia up to Skoplje. The Bulgarian government obtained these results while maintaining a rigid war passivity, limiting itself to undergoing the breaking of diplomatic relations with Great Britain (March 5) and with the United States (November 12) and declaring war on Great Britain out of pure form. (November 12). With the Soviet Union, Filov strove to continue cordial relations in order not to completely compromise the internal situation where friendly feelings towards the great Slavic nation were almost general. limiting himself to undergoing the breaking of diplomatic relations with Great Britain (5 March) and with the United States (12 November) and to declare war on Great Britain (12 November) in pure form. With the Soviet Union, Filov strove to continue cordial relations in order not to completely compromise the internal situation where friendly feelings towards the great Slavic nation were almost general.

The opposition political forces had found in the atmosphere of war greater possibilities to strengthen and organize themselves. They gathered around the traditional parties of Bulgaria, the agrarian, the social-democratic, the communist and the democrat, to which had been added, since 1932, the Zveno, a concentration of intellectuals with a republican and federative-Balkan orientation, an advocate of a rapprochement at any cost with Serbia. The fact that the Communists had suffered the repressive policy of the government with particular cruelty and had put up more tenacious resistance, together with the possibility of being supported by the Soviet diplomacy present in Sofia, placed them at the center of this clandestine struggle. In 1942 it was established, on their initiative, is estven Front), union of all parties in the struggle against the personal government of King Boris and against Germany. A good organizational work allowed it to immediately make its weight felt on Bulgarian politics and to exploit the situation that was created in 1943 with the death of Boris and the first failures of German military power. The regency, presided over by Filov, gradually became convinced that it was no longer able to continue its orientation of internal and foreign policy and on 1 June 1944 he charged Bagrianov, at the same time, to establish a government of parties, of moderate color, to deal with the removal of the Germans from Bulgarian territory and to make contact with the Allies. Bagrianov’s unclear attitude, which allowed the Germans to take with them all their logistic equipment and part of the Bulgarian goods, made the Allies suspicious, who refused to accept the Bulgarian emissaries. Bagrianov was then (2 September 1944) replaced by Muraviev. On September 5, Moscow declared war on Bulgaria. The Bulgarian government responded by asking for an unconditional armistice. As the Soviet troops advanced, the Patriotic Front seized the government (9 September) and declared war on Germany. Participation in the war was carried out with commitment, fielding about 400,000 men who, participating in the liberation of Yugoslavia, Hungary and Austria, suffered losses for about 32,000 men. In the peace of Paris of February 10, 1947, Bulgaria retained the borders of the Treaty of Neuilly plus southern Dobruja. After the violent elimination of the exponents of the old monarchical government, Bulgarian internal politics was characterized by cracks in the Patriotic Front dominated by the Communist Georgi Dimitrov which resulted, after the elections of 18 November 1945 for the constituent assembly and of 27 October 1946 for the chamber, Petkov was sentenced to death (16 August 1947) and the dissolution of the Agrarian Party (26 August 1947). The referendum Institutional on 8 September pronounced for the republic, solemnly proclaimed by the national assembly on 15 September. After the elections of 27 October 1946, contested in their validity by the governments of the US and Great Britain and in which the National Front, headed by the Communists, had 364 seats out of 465 (277 Communists alone), the leadership of the government was assumed (22 November) by Dimitrov. In foreign policy, the new Bulgaria, which signed peace with the UN on 10 February 1947, found it difficult to understand with Great Britain and the United States for its internal politics and its attitude towards Greece, while it established relations closely linked with the Soviet Union and with the other Balkan states, especially with Yugoslavia (Tito-Dimitrov meeting in Bled, 2 August 1947, and pact of friendship, collaboration and mutual aid, Varna November 27, 1947). Moreover, these pacts with Yugoslavia are part of the whole political constellation which, under the auspices of the USSR, was being formed in Danube Europe and which, in relation to Bulgaria, is based on these other alliance pacts, all established on the same lines: with Albania (in Plovdiv, December 16, 1947), with Romania (in Sofia, January 16, 1948), with Russia (in Moscow, March 18, 1948) and with Hungary (in Budapest, July 19 1948). On the other hand, relations with Greece are always tense for the aid that General Markos’ troops would also find within the Bulgarian borders: in June 1947 a UN commission of inquiry was refused permission to carry out its activities on the Bulgarian border.

Bulgaria refused to participate in the Marshall Plan (9 July 1947); on the other hand, although she had put her candidacy, she was not admitted to the UN due to the opposition of the Western powers. On 4 December 1947 the new constitution of the “Bulgarian People’s Republic” was approved by the National Assembly, which envisages a very extensive nationalization of economic life and a reorganization of the provincial and municipal administrative system on the type of Soviets. Already in November 1947 the national front practically transformed itself into a single governing party; on 14 December 1947 the opposition in parliament was solemnly admonished by Dimitrov with the memory of Petkov. On the same day, in application of the peace treaty, the last Russian troops left the country.

Bulgaria History in the 1930's