De-Stalinisation and Political Rehabilitations in Bulgaria
The former victims of Stalinist terror in Bulgaria fall into three main categories. The first group represented those anti-fascist Bulgarian political émigrés in the Soviet Union who were arrested and imprisoned during the years of the Great Terror (1936–1938). Those who survived returned home between 1944 and 1963, and many of them were quietly readmitted to the party. The second group represented the former leaders and functionaries of the anti-communist parliamentary and non-parliamentary opposition of the immediate post-war years. A few of them were rehabilitated in the post-Stalin era after signing agreements to cooperate with the communists and as a result they were able to return to active public life. Most of the anti-communist opposition members, however, were only partially pardoned, which led to their further marginalisation from the system. The most ardent opposition leaders were officially rehabilitated only after the fall of the communist regime in 1989. The third group of former Stalinist victims represented communist functionaries who were accused, in a series of fabricated show trials in the late 1940s and early 1950s, of having spied for Tito’s Yugoslavia and/or for the Americans and British.1 Many of them were rehabilitated by special party and state commissions which functioned behind closed doors in the period 1956–1962.
KeywordsState Security Central Committee Communist Regime Soviet Bloc Political Prisoner
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