874.00/6–1146: Telegram

The Representative in Bulgaria (Barnes) to the Secretary of State


435. Curse of modern Bulgaria has been Macedonian question. Unfortunately for Bulgaria many of her leading men not only in political life but in all fields of intellectual activity, and in Army and amongst political radicals and revolutionaries, have sprung from Macedonia rather than Bulgaria proper. While warp and woof of Bulgarian fabric has been hard-working peasant, design has been largely Macedonian.

Even today with Communist-dominated FF Govt facts are much the same. Georgi Dimitrov,8 Traicho Kostov,9 Vulko Chervenkov,10 and Anton Yugov11 are sons of Macedonia, and basic fact of South Slav Union if it does occur, and it is objective very dear to Communist-dominated [Page 105] FF, will be union of Serbian, Greek and Bulgarian parts of Macedonia into single autonomous state within federation stretching from Trieste to Aegean and Black Seas.

Therefore, not surprising that specter of Macedonian revolutionary organization raising head again in current Bulgarian political scene. Macedonian political revolutionaries both of Right (Mihailov wing)12 and of Left (Protoguerov wing)13 conspired and fought for incorporation of Macedonia into Greater Bulgaria [apparent omission] and military league from which present political organization Zveno Union (Party of PriMin and War Minister Veltchev) sprang, did finally adopt Agrarian Party program of friendship with Yugoslavia which meant elimination or dimunition at least of Macedonian influence Bulgarian political affairs, but even this Left Wing never prepared to go to such extremes as to have any “truck” with political ideology of Communists and those Macedonians of anti-national aspirations such as Georgi Dimitrov, Traicho Kostov, Vulko Chervenkov and Anton Yugov.

Right Wing detests those who would sacrifice Bulgaria’s part of Macedonia in interest of South Slav Union. Hence it is not unnatural that most determined political opposition in Bulgaria to Communists should come from Macedonians.

That opposition is now beginning to express itself in form of political murders. Recently two prominent Communists murdered at Sveti Vratch (Macedonian stronghold) and 14 murdered on road from Sveti Vratch to Sofia.

On night June 7 in Sofia Communists struck back. They killed son of long since deceased Macedonian leader within Bulgarian Army, Colonel Drangov. Son is known to be close to even Mihailov and has long been considered only person who might succeed within Bulgaria to Mihailov’s revolutionary leadership. It is known that he clandestinely entered country about 3 weeks ago. On night of June 7, his hiding place in Sofia (in very center, only about three blocks removed from Mission’s offices) was surrounded by militia. Gunfire battle ensued in which Drangov shot three militiamen before turning gun on self and taking own life. His bodyguard, Kangolov, escaped.

It is believed Mihailov himself may not be further from Sofia than nearby Turkish territory, if actually he has not already made way to Bulgaria pr Serbian fastness. He was until end with Ante Pavelich in Croatia14 and is known later to have reached Portugal. It is also known that he left Portugal some time ago.

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Point of all of this is that Macedonians hope that as Communists become more determined in their attack on Veltchev (please see mytel 427, June 815) and Zveno, Veltchev will again fall back on Macedonian support. Macedonian influence has always been very strong in Bulgarian Army, particularly in officer corps. In this connection it should not be overlooked that present MinFonAff16 is old-time Right Wing Macedonian who went with Zveno at time Veltchev and Georgiev coup d’état May 19, 1934. He is at present President of Macedonian Bank seized by state after September 9, 1944. Over 50 percent assets this bank represent funds old internal Macedonian revolutionary organization.

During recent days hundred or more Right Wing Macedonians arrested Sofia and elsewhere.

Sent Washington 435; Dept please repeat to Moscow as Sofia’s No. 187.

  1. Secretary General of the Bulgarian Workers Party and Chairman of its Politburo.
  2. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Electrification and Natural Resources in the Georgiev Cabinet formed at the end of March; member of the Politburo of the Bulgarian Workers Party.
  3. Member of the Politburo of the Bulgarian Workers Party.
  4. Minister of Interior and member of the Politburo of the Workers Party.
  5. Ivan “Vancho” Mihailov, a leader of one wing of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO).
  6. General Protogerov was an IMRO leader who was slain in 1928.
  7. Leader of the German-supported regime in Croatia during World War II.
  8. Not printed; in it Barnes expressed the fear that a recent Communist press campaign against an allegedly imminent reactionary coup d’état was setting the stage for serious trouble. War Minister Veltchev appeared to be a main target of Communist inspired agitation. (874.00/6–846)
  9. Georgi Kulishev became Foreign Minister in the new Bulgarian Cabinet formed at the end of March 1946.