Amateur filming by western tourists in Communist Bulgaria was relatively rare, compared to its neighbours in the same period. Here is some footage, shot by a group of British youths, who travelled from the Bosphorus to Bulgaria's Black Sea coast. They even filmed in the strictly prohibited border zone on the Bulgarian side!
Converted from Kodachrome Super 8 mm film
A story of national identity and European citizenship, shot in Bulgaria, Belgium and Moldova and sponsored by the Bulgarian Memory Foundation. Reported/produced by Velislav Radev, directed by Janet Barrie.
On Bulgarian National TV , Sunday 23 February 2014.
Made by barriemedia.net
Един филм за националната самобитност и европейската идентичност, за Гражданската награда на Европейския парламент. Заснет в България, Белгия, Молдова, и спонсориран от Фондация Българска Памет.
Репортер / продуцент Велислав Радев Режисьор Джанет Бари
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
It's 44 years since the violent crackdown on a remarkable protest in two remote Muslim villages of Communist Bulgaria. In the winter of 1973 their entire populations rebelled against the state and spent months camped out in the main square. Uniquely for Communist Eastern Europe, their villages became a no-go area for the authorities. We talked to those who remember and who experienced it first hand.
Навършват се 44 години от насилственото потушаване на забележителната протестна акция на две помашки села в комунистическа България. През зимата на 1973 жителите им възстават срещу властите и прекарват 3 месеца на площада. Уникално за комунистическа Източна Европа по това време, тези села се превръщат в зона, недоостъпна за централната власт. Разговаряхме със свидетели и хора, изпитали на собствен гръб репресиите.
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.
Insurance company headquarters, 1891-1944
Communist Police headquarters 1944-1990
The Bulgarian city of Rousse is a true gem of Fin de Siècle architecture. Craftsmen and architects sailed down the Danube from Vienna and further afield, shaping a distinctly Central European look -- plenty of Neo-Baroque, Neoclassicism, Art Nouveau…
More than 250 buildings were listed and carefully preserved. Others were less lucky though. Take this one in the city's main drag, King Alexander II street: designed by an Austrian and decorated by an Italian master in 1891 for the country's largest insurance company.
After the Communist takeover the house became the Police headquarters and remained a place of sorrow and pain till the 1990s. The frescoes were covered in plaster or destroyed. For many the house stands as a reminder of times they would rather forget. Its future is now uncertain.