“History of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria”

nrb.inddRegime and Society

Collective volume edited by Prof. Ivaylo Znepolski

Authors: Alexander Vezenkov, Daniel Vachkov, Daniela Koleva, Ivaylo Zne0polski, Ivan Elenkov, Martin Ivanov, Michail Gruev, Momchil Metodiev, Nikolai Vukov, Petya Kabakchieva, Plamen Doynov, Roumen Daskalov, Tchavdar Marinov

Published by Institute for Studies of the Recent Past with the financial support of America for Bulgaria Foundation.

ISBN: 978-954-28-0588-5

CONTENTS

І. TOTALITARIANISM: A LOOK AT THE HISTORY OF AN UNFINISHED DEBATE (Ivaylo Znepolski)

1. A Brief History of the Origin and Usage of the Term “Totalitarianism”
2. Late Bulgarian Usages of the Term “Totalitarianism”
3. Classical Theories of Totalitarianism
4. National Socialism and Communism in a Comparative Perspective: Debates
5. Totalitarian Theory and Late Communism in the Countries of Eastern Europe
6. “Ordinary Communism”: The Totalitarian Aspiration Towards an Organic Society

II. THE POLITICAL NATURE AND POLITICAL HISTORY OF THE COMMUNIST REGIME: 1944–1989

1. The Communist Party’s Path to Power: 1939–1954 (Daniel Vachkov)

1.1 Establishment of Fatherland Front Rule in Bulgaria
1.2 Contradictions Among the Power-Holders and Formation of an Opposition to the Regime
1.3 Intensification of Socio-Political Struggles in the Country
1.4 Convocation of a Grand National Assembly and Liquidation of the Opposition
1.5 Bulgaria in the Years of Pure “Stalinism” (1947–1953)

2. Bulgaria’s Political Development Between the 1950s and the 1980s (Mihail Gruev)

2.1 The “Cautious Thaw” in Bulgarian Society After Stalin’s Death
2.2 The April 1956 Plenum of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party and Its Consequences
2.3 Imposition of Todor Zhivkov’s Absolute Rule
2.4 Factionalism and Conspiracies Within the BCP in the 60s and Early 70s
2.5 State-Sponsored Organizations
2.6 The 1971 “Zhivkov” Constitution and the New Cult of the Leader’s Personality 2.7 Society
2.8 Gorbachev’s “Perestroika”, the Late Bulgarian Dissident Movement and the End of the Zhivkov Regime

3. The Single-Party System: The BCP and National Government (Alexander Vezenkov)

3.1. Organization and Functioning of the Bulgarian Communist Party
3.2. Communist Party Control Over State Institutions and “Public Organizations”
3.3. “The Leading Role of the BCP”: Between Open Demonstration and Clever Concealment

4. State Security (DS): The Bulwark of the Communist State (Momchil Metodiev)

4.1. Structure and Tasks of State Security
4.2. Intelligence Directorates
4.3. Counter-Intelligence and Political Police
4.4. Non-Operational Directorates
4.5. Organization of Work in State Security
4.6. State Security and the Communist State

III. ECONOMIC LIFE IN THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA: OBJECTIVES, PRINCIPLES AND EFFECTS

1. The Economy of Communist Bulgaria: 1944–1962 (Daniel Vachkov)

1.1. The Post-War Economic Crisis and Beginning of Radical Transformations in the Bulgarian Economy (1944–1947)
1.2. Sovietization of the Bulgarian Economy (1948–1953)
1.3. Changes in the Stalinist Economic Model and Emergence of New Crisis Situations (1953–1964)

2. Economic Reforms (1963–1968) (Martin Ivanov)

2.1. Economic Reforms
2.2. Simulated Reforms (1968–1976)
2.3. The Second Foreign Debt Crisis (1973–1978)
2.4. The New Economic Mechanism (1979–1980)

3. Collectivization and Social Change in the Bulgarian Countryside (1940s–1960s) (Mihail Gruev)

3.1 Establishment of the Soviet Kolkhoz Model in the Bulgarian Countryside
3.2 Instruments of Pressure on the Peasantry
3.3 First Mass Collectivization Campaign
3.4 Peasant Resistance
3.5 Respite
3.6 Final Mass Collectivization Campaign

4. Demographic Trends and Processes in Bulgaria in the Years After the Second World War (Mihail Gruev)

4.1 The Demographic Transition
4.2 Natural Growth Rates
4.3 Emancipation, Pronatalism and Reproductive Policy
4.4 Mechanical Growth Rates
4.5 Urbanization Processes
4.6 Attempts at State Management of Urbanistic Processes

IV. POLITICAL REGIME AND SOCIAL POLICY IN THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA

1. “Consensual Dictatorship” and Its Social Base. Corruption of the Masses (Ivaylo Znepolski)

1.1 Mystification of Social Relations
1.2 Encapsulation of the New Elites. Political Corruption as a Factor of Emerging Consensus
1.3 Delimitation of the Boundaries of the Consensus
1.4 Isolation Within the “Arena of Everyday Life”. Group and Individual Strategies for Inclusion in the Consensus
1.5 Social Policy “in the Service of the People”
1.6 Social Acquisitions and Social Corruption of the Masses
1.7 Justice and Solidarity in the Capitalist and Communist “Welfare State”

2. Communist Ideology, Social Structure and Social Inequalities in Bulgaria (Petya Kabakchieva)

2.1 Power Inequalities as Defined by the Bulgarian Communist Leaders After 1944: Georgi Dimitrov, Valko Chervenkov, Todor Zhivkov
2.2 Economic Dimensions of Inequalities: Social Differentiation According to Differences in Incomes. Classification Structuring of Groups
2.3 Was There Poverty Under Communism?
2.4 Was There a Middle Class Under Communism?
2.5 Ideological Construction of Groups and Incomes
2.6 Inequalities Invisible in Official Documents: Regarding a Future Text
2.7 A Brief Recapitulation

V. FROM “INTERNATIONALISM” TOWARDS NATIONALISM. THE COMMUNIST REGIME, THE MACEDONIAN QUESTION, AND POLICIES TOWARDS ETHNIC AND RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES (Tchavdar Marinov)

1. The Macedonian Question in Communist Bulgaria

1.1. The Project for a South Slav Federation
1.2. The “Macedonization” of the Pirin Area and the Revision of This Policy
1.3. The Bulgarian-Yugoslav Dispute on the Macedonian Question (1960–1980)
1.4. The Macedonian Question: Science and Propaganda

2. Policies Towards Ethnic and Religious Communities in Communist Bulgaria

2.1. National Homogenization of Bulgarian-Speaking Muslims (Pomaks)
2.2. The “Integration” of the Turkish Population
2.3. The “Regenerative Process” and the “Grand Excursion” (1984–1989)

3. The “Unified Socialist Nation”

VI. CULTURAL POLICIES AND CULTURAL PRACTICES

1. Cultural Policies During Communism: Party Management, Ideology, Institutional Regimes (Ivan Elenkov)

1.1 Unswerving Administrative Centralization of State Cultural Institutions and of Free Organizations of Intellectuals (1944–1947)
1.2 Culture of Organized Ostentatious Propaganda
1.3 Stirring of the Ideological Imagination. Experiments with New Principles and New Institutional Forms of Managing Culture (1954–1972)
1.4 Lyudmila Zhivkova and Her “Policy of Beauty”
1.5 The “Humane-Class”, “Second Golden Age”
1.6 The Inertia from the “Zhivkova Epoch ” and Its Gradual Loss: 1981 – Second Half of the 1980s
1.7 Changes in Cultural Policy in the Course of the So-Called “Perestroika Processes ” (1987–1989)

2. Socialist Realism in the Literature and Culture of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria, and Its Problematic Alternatives (Plamen Doynov)

2.1. Phases of Socialist Realism
2.2. Phases of Alternativeness

3. Monumental Representations in the Propaganda of the Communist Regime in Bulgaria (1944–1989) (Nikolai Voukov)

3.1 Monuments and Dynamics of Their Construction
3.2 Types of Monuments, Rhythm of Change
3.3 Conclusion

VII. STUDYING COMMUNISM: SOURCES, APPROACHES, METHODS

1. The Science of History in Bulgaria in the Epoch of Communism: Institutional Organization and Functions (Ivan Elenkov)

1.1 Institutions Producing Historical Knowledge: Key Facts About Their Development Until the End of the Regime
1.2 Political Projects on the Rewriting of Bulgarian History and Their Impact on the Institutions Producing Historical Knowledge
1.3 Initiatives for and Forms of Revising Historical Knowledge According to the Current Political Context
1.4 Revisiting Political Projects on the Rewriting of Bulgarian History and Their Impact on the Institutions Producing Historical Knowledge

2. Oral History and the Archival Revolution: Studies of the Recent Past as a Scientific Task, Political Gesture and Moral Duty (Daniela Koleva)

2.1. What Is Oral History?
2.2. Postcommunist Oral History
2.3. Specificity of Oral Sources
2.4. Oral Sources: How to Use Them

3. Bulgarian Communism in Historiography (Roumen Daskalov)

3.1 The Ninth of September
3.2 The “People’s Democracy” (1944–1948)
3.3 Socialism in Progress
3.4 A Post-Socialist Look at Socialism: The Ninth of September Revisited
3.5 The Transition to a People’s Democracy
3.6 Georgi Dimitrov
3.7 The Repressions
3.8 Bulgarian Totalitarianism
3.9 The Zhivkov Era and Descriptions of the System
3.10 Socialist Modernization