Communist Crimes Will Not Be Studied in Bulgarian Schools

November 2, 2009 Updated: October 1, 2015
A Bulgarian student holds a candle and sings the Bulgarian National anthem behind a wall of books. (Boryana Katsarova/AFP/Getty Images)
A Bulgarian student holds a candle and sings the Bulgarian National anthem behind a wall of books. (Boryana Katsarova/AFP/Getty Images)

VARNA, Bulgaria—Bulgarian members of Parliament (MPs) rejected a draft law that envisioned a change in textbook content to include information about communist regime crimes to be studied in schools.

“The goal is to inform young people about the crimes of communist regimes in our country and around the world,” said MP Latchezar Toshev from the Blue Coalition, one of the sponsors of the draft, to the Bulgarian News Agency.

MP Martin Dimitrov chairman of the Union of Democratic Forces (UDF is part of the Blue Coalition), said Bulgaria is raising a generation that doesn’t remember communist history, and are unaware of what happened under 45 years of communist totalitarian rule.

“We inserted this draft because the crimes of communism should be known, and the mistakes from the past, to not be repeated,” he told The Epoch Times.

Dimitrov stressed that one who doesn’t know his history, is faced with the threat of repeating past mistakes.

“Young people in Bulgaria do not know either the crimes done by the communist regime, nor how this system works.”

Dimitrov said that what is now taught in schools doesn’t truthfully represent the history of communist Bulgaria.

“People are cheated by this regime and are still not aware of it,” said the UDF leader.

He believes the parliament members rejected the draft because they underestimate the importance of the issue.

“People should know the truth. In schools there are thousands of pupils who should know the true history of their country. We have a firm position on this and will continue to defend it,” said Dimitrov.

The ruling GERB party didn’t support the proposal, arguing that such changes should be made after broad public debate, where pupils, teachers, and parents should take part. MPs even appealed to the sponsors to withdraw the draft as “not to waste the precious parliamentary time.”