Nikola Mihov was a prominent Bulgarian army commander at the turn of the XX century. A career officer who managed to stay clear of politics in the turbulent 1930s, he ran the country's Military Academy till 1941. In 1942 he became a defence minister in Bulgaria's Nazi-allied government. In the summer of 1943 General Mihov was appointed as one of the three regents to the boy King Simeon after the death of his father King Boris.
Just over a year later, after the Communist takeover of Bulgaria, Nikola Mihov's fate took a dramatic turn – he was arrested, taken to the Soviet Union for questioning, then returned, put on show trial in Sofia and executed together with 96 other statesmen and prominent Bulgarians. They were all shot and buried in a mass grave on 1-2 February 1945.
Lyudmila Doytchinova was Nikola Mihov's niece. She remembered vividly the day her uncle vanished.
Filmed in Sofia, 2008
48 years ago, at dawn on 21 August 1968, the armies of the Warsaw Pact countries (except Romania) crossed the borders of Czechoslovakia and toppled the government of Alexander Dubček. His attempts to reform the Communist regime and aspirations of a Socialism with a human face inevitably put Prague on a collision course with Moscow. The orders from Moscow were brief - the status quo had to be preserved at any cost, the Prague Spring was doomed and the tanks rolled in.
Do you remember the Prague Spring?
Five nations sent their troops, including Bulgaria. Most of the Bulgarian soldiers went via the Soviet Union, where they were briefed. Only a few of them knew the exact destination, though they were all told that their mission was to stop a counter-revolution and prevent a West German invasion. The Bulgarian soldiers stayed in Czechoslovakia till October.
Навършват се 45 години от най-мащабната операция на български войски след Втората световна война, при това не на учение, а инструктирани за бойни действия. Призори на 21 август 1968 г. войските на страните от Варшавския договор (без Румъния) навлизат в Чехословакия. Това е краят на Пражката пролет и на опитите на тогавашния водач на Чехословакия Александър Дубчек за реформи и 'социализъм с човешко лице'.
Бяхте ли с набори 1948-1949 в Чехословакия през лятото на 1968? Знаете ли нещо от вашите родители за тези събития?
A moving document from another era. A German soldier writes back home from occupied Serbia, 1915. Passed by the military censor.
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74 years ago on 10-11 March 1943 Bulgaria's pro-Nazi government decided to defy Berlin and halt the deportation of Bulgaria's 50.000 Jews. This was mainly down to the actions of one man - Dimitar Peshev.
Just two years later he faced Communist justice and found himself on trial for his life.
His niece Kaluda Kiradjieva remembered.
Mountainous area - straddles Bulgaria, Turkey and the Black Sea. For nearly fifty years the villages on the Bulgarian side were a remote outpost on the border with Turkey: right on the faultline which separated Communism from the rest of the world.
© Velislav Radev
16 mm silent film.
The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact was named after the Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and the German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop.
The rapprochement between the Soviet Union and Germany in the summer of 1939 led to an agreement officially signed in Moscow in the late hours of 23 August 1939 - the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union. It was a non-aggression pact under which the two countries were to remain neutral in the event that either nation were attacked by a third party. The treaty also included a secret protocol dividing Northern and Eastern Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influence. It sealed off the fate of Poland and the Baltic states.
Soon after the signing of the treaty, Germany and the Soviet Union invaded Poland and divided the country between them.
The date of signing, 23 August, is commemorated each year across the EU as the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism.
Germany opens with Nazi pomp a trade show in Sofia. Bulgaria's Prime Minister Prof. Bogdan Filov attending.
Германия открива в нацистки стил в София свое Индустриално изложение в присъствието на министър председателя проф. Богдан Филов, 1942.
The Bulgarian village of Brashlyan has always sat at a crossroads. For nearly fifty years it was a remote outpost on the border with Turkey -- right on the faultline which separated Communism from the rest of the world.
Brashlyan's elderly residents still share stories about the horrific and sometimes surreal efforts to protect Bulgaria's frontier. The derelict relics of that time are still there, but Brashlyan is looking for a new role in life. One of the villagers, Maria Kichukova tells us about its painful past and her big hopes for the future.
Българското село Бръшлян в полите на Странджа е винаги било на кръстопът. Близо 50 години то е изолиран, ”преден пост” на границата с Турция, която тогава дели комунизма от останалия свят.
Възрастните жители на Бръшлян все още разказват за зловещите, а понякога и почти сюрреалистични усилия да се опази българската граница. Овехтялите съоръжения от онова време са все още по местата си, но днес Бръшлян търси нов облик. Една от неговите жители, Мария Кичукова, разказва за болезненото минало и за големите си надежди към бъдещето.