Tuesday, March 2, 2021

The forgotten and silenced aspects of Georgi Dimitrov’s life


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A little over a month ago, the whole world watched in amazement as an angry mob stormed the US Capitol building. The attacks on democratic symbols and institutions are not accidental and isolated in history, but are dictated by specific political interests. It is seldom possible to understand the basis of events at the exact historical moment, but history is about giving us the opportunity to analyze the facts and draw our own conclusions. We, the Bulgarians, have a trace in such fateful events, but today we prefer to forget about them because they are politically inconvenient. This is the comment of Alexander Sivilov in the program “Politically Incorrect” on BNR.

On February 27, 1933, the Reichstag in Berlin ignited. This is the step that enables the Nazis to establish their dictatorship, to deal with the opposition and especially with the Communist Party. In this case, three Bulgarians are involved – Georgi Dimitrov, Blagoy Popov and Vasil Tanev. We rarely remember them, and if we happen to remember, it is only to remember what a “bastard” Dimitrov was.

The Leipzig trial was conceived by the National Socialist Party leadership as demonstrative to prove the involvement of the communist movement in the attack on the country’s democratic institutions. The five defendants were appropriately selected – a Dutchman, Van der Lube, who later pleaded guilty, a German who turned out to have an alibi, and three Bulgarians associated with the Communist International. They must be the scapegoat, especially since they probably don’t know German.

The Nazi government is gathering the world’s media to cover the communist threat to Germany. The main prosecutor in the trial is not a prosecutor, but one of the Nazi leaders, Hermann Goring. Everything is moving in the right direction until Georgi Dimitrov decides to defend himself. According to propaganda from before November 10, he was so gifted that he learned the language in prison. The truth is that as one of the leaders of the Western European Bureau of the Comintern, Dimitrov knows German perfectly, because it is the main language in the organization.

Nevertheless, the significance of his action is enormous, because he is the only one who begins to contradict the accusation and tries to prove that the process is entirely political. His word was taken away 36 times and he was prosecuted 5 times from the courtroom because the prosecution did not find a way to answer his arguments. Prosecutors are becoming defendants.

A wave of defendants is rising in Europe. A group of lawyers from all over the world – Americans, Danes, French and British – are organizing a counter-trial in London to prove the innocence of the Bulgarians. Large rallies are being held in Paris in their defense. The coverage of the process by the international press turned against the Nazi authorities. In the end, they were forced to accept the alibi of the Bulgarians who were in Munich at the time of the burning of the Reichstag. Georgi Dimitrov became the face of the struggle against Nazism and fascism and one of the most liked politicians.

His involvement in world politics does not end there. His international fame led him to the post of head of the Communist International. From this position, he proposes the creation of broad coalitions, including liberals, social democrats, socialists, communists and anarchists, and in general all those who oppose far-right ideologies. This is how the Popular Fronts emerged, winning elections in France in 1935, in Spain in 1936, and in Chile in 1939.

The existence of these coalitions in many places delayed the taking of political leverage by Nazi and fascist governments and delayed the outbreak of World War II. Importantly, the concept of broad democratic unification of left and centrist parties remains a valid political tool to this day, when humanity must once again oppose the resurrection of far-right ideas.

Georgi Dimitrov is a world politician and only in second place Bulgarian, although his importance for our country is great. He played a key role in 1923 in setting the beginning of the September Uprising, and after the Second World War he was already the leader of the Communist Party and Prime Minister of Bulgaria.

Today, Dimitrov is accused of the policy of artificially creating a Macedonian nation, but we rarely remember that without his political influence, our country would hardly have had its current territories. After the war, Greece wanted its border to be moved north of the Rhodopes, and Yugoslavia to immediately include the Pirin region in its lands. Despite the pressure on these issues coming from the victors, Britain and the USSR, the government led by Georgi Dimitrov managed to preserve our interests and even raise the issue of the Western Outskirts.

After the signing of the Peace of Paris in 1947, Bulgaria was the only country to participate in the Axis, which emerged from the war with a larger territory, thanks to the recognized inclusion of Dobrogea. It turns out that today we owe our northern Black Sea coast and wheat fields to this opponent of “our national interests”.

Unfortunately, impartial assessments of history are few. Now I have shown you only one side – the forgotten and silenced sides of Georgi Dimitrov’s life. Like anyone, he makes countless mistakes, in his case with dire consequences for our society, but they are constantly being told about them. The question remains when our country will again have statesmen who can offer the whole world a new political vision or from the position of the defeated and lagging behind to lead us at least to preserve what we have already achieved.





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