19 December 1948
1. From September 9th, 1944 to the Grand National Assembly Elections
2. Laying the Foundations of Socialism in Bulgaria
Comrades and Delegates,
The Bulgarian Workers' Party (Communists) which, I have no doubt, the Congress will unanimously agree to rename Bulgarian Communist Party, has its roots deep in the past. It was founded as a social-democrat Party in 1891 at the Congress on Mt. Buzludja.1 However, it was only in 1903, following the rift with the "broad" socialists, i.e. after it cleansed itself of the social-reformist, opportunistic wing, that it became a Marxist working class party under the leadership of Dimiter Blagoev and his comrades-in-arms Georgi Kirkov and Gavril Georgiev.
During its development our Party waged a ceaseless struggle against alien petty-bourgeois and bourgeois influences, and championed the formation of an independent working class with an ideology and organisation of its own. About the turn of the century it was a small but growing detachment, trying to imbue the workers with class-consciousness, to organise them and defend their vital interests, i.e. it was primarily a propaganda organisation out to popularise socialism. From this modest status it gradually developed during and in the wake of World War I, into a mass political party of the working class.
Under the impact of the Russian Revolution, enthusiastically welcomed by the Bulgarian working people, the Party proclaimed itself in 1919 as the Bulgarian Communist Party and, following the lead of the Bolshevik Party, took part in the foundation of the Communist International. It remained an active member of the Communist International until the latter's self-disbandment in 1943.
In the course of three decades, especially after the September Uprising in 1923, our Party rid itself of its non-Bolshevik, orthodox "narrow" socialist vestiges, fought against various right and left-wing deviations, learned from the Bolshevik Party, accumulated an ever-increasing store of experience, developed, transformed, and rearmed itself ideologically in the spirit of Marxism-Leninism. It became a genuine Marxist-Leninist Party, the organised and conscious vanguard of the working class, a party of a new type, capable of mobilising and leading the working class in a life and death struggle, of forging a militant alliance between the working class and the other working people from town and countryside, of overthrowing the brutal fascist dictatorship, of taking into its own hands the destiny of our country, firmly resolved to lead it on to the victory of socialism, to the full triumph of communism.
In its development the Party had to traverse a difficult, thorny and zigzag road, a road of heroism and unshakable faith in the working class and the toilers. Passing through a long period of underground activity, suffering severe setbacks and making great sacrifices, our Party never flagged nor gave up the fight.
The Party has always been loyal to the liberating mission of the working class. Throughout its existence, despite errors, weaknesses and vacillations, it always strove to be in the midst of the masses, to move forward with them, to instruct them in the spirit of uncompromising class struggle and proletarian internationalism, to defend their interests honestly and selflessly and to lead them into battle against their sworn enemies. During the hardest years of monarcho-fascist dictatorship and German occupation, the Party fearlessly headed the fight against fascism and foreign invaders, organised and conducted the Partisan movement, created the Fatherland Front and by its selfless and correct guidance, succeeded in leading the nation on to the victorious September 9th, and in winning the sympathy and the confidence of the broad masses.
The recent fusion of the Social-Democrat Party, participating in the Fatherland Front with our Party, on the basis of Marxism-Leninism and our Party rules and discipline, did away with the last elements of disunity within the working class, which is now united in a single political party.
It is only natural and logical that our Party should be recognised today as the leading force in the state administration and in the entire public life of our country.
Our Party's great prestige, the general interest which our Congress has aroused and the hopes our people are pinning on its decisions, show clearly that it is entrusted with the historical mission of ensuring our country's progress by laying the cornerstone of socialist society, a society without exploitation of man by man.
There cannot be the slightest doubt that the Party of the Bulgarian Communists, heading the working class, enjoying the confidence and the support of the working people and remaining always loyal to the all – conquering doctrine of Marxism-Leninism, will successfully fulfil its historic mission. The decisions of our present Congress will be an additional guarantee of this.
Before analysing the present condition of our Party and its immediate tasks, it is advisable to make a general critical survey of its development from its foundation up to the present. This has both a historic and political significance for the Party as well as for our people and country. It is necessary fully to clarify certain questions of its past history.
The history of our Party can be divided into the following main periods:
1) From the foundation of the Party in 1891, to the split with the opportunist Socialists in 1903.
2) From the formation of the Party as a Marxist party of the working class in 1903, to the Russian Revolution and the transformation of the Party into a Communist Party in 1919, and its participation in the foundation of the Communist International.
3) From 1919, to the September Uprising of 1923.
4) From the September Uprising in 1923, to World War II in 1940.
5) From World War II to the Uprising of September 9th, 1944.
6) From September 9th, to the present.
These main periods in the Party's history naturally have, their own stages of development.
Let us analyse the most characteristic features of these periods in the development of our Party.
Before proceeding to analyse the "narrow" socialist period I want to observe that the first period of our Party, from 1891 to 1903, is characterised by a growing and stubborn propaganda of socialist ideas and by a ceaseless struggle against bourgeois and petty-bourgeois ideologists who denied the possibility of a socialist movement under the then still undeveloped social conditions. It had to be proven that in Bulgaria, which had barely entered upon the path of capitalism, there existed the possibility for socialism, the exponent of which would be the incipient working class, that the future belonged to this class, and that it had to have its own political party. A growing struggle ensued within the Party around these issues between the revolutionary Marxist trend of Dimiter Blagoev, and the reformist-opportunist trend of Yanko Sakazov. This long ideological fight ended in the victory of revolutionary Marxism over petty-bourgeois reformist socialism.
The Party's positive attributes during its "narrow" socialist period were a deep loyalty to Marxism, proletarian socialism and internationalism, an uncompromising class attitude toward the bourgeoisie and its reformist agents, an unshakable faith in the triumph and the future of the working class, and a conscious iron discipline. The "narrow" socialists firmly believed in subordination of the personal life, private interests and individual will of the party member to the interests and the will of the proletarian party. Thanks to these qualities our Party achieved great success in the period prior to World War I and immediately following it. They enabled it to become the organiser and leader of the workers' struggles and to dislodge reformism from its key positions in the labour movement. They also helped it during World War I to adopt a bold internationalist stand, to draw nearer to the Bolsheviks and, after the Russian revolution and the creation of the Communist International, to proceed with its own bolshevisation.
During the "narrow" socialist period our Party cleansed its ranks of the reformists, ensured the independent development of the working class as a separate class, and waged an implacable struggle against the ruling bourgeoisie. Class against class was the Party's slogan and policy during that period. It took over leadership of the growing struggles of the workers and toilers for an eight-hour working day, social legislation, improvement of living and working conditions, and against the reactionary home and foreign policy of the bourgeoisie. It organised and led the trade, union movement. It directed the great miners' strike at Pernik in 1906, as well as the strikes of other sections of the working class during the ensuing years. There was not a single strike which was not under the Party's leadership or at least under its influence.
The Party educated the working people in the spirit of proletarian internationalism. It seized the initiative and took a very active part in the creation of a Balkan federation of socialist parties, and strove with all its might to strengthen the solidarity between Bulgarian working people and the working people of other Balkan states, and all over the world.
The "narrow" socialists' inflexible attitude towards reformism and the various reformist factions, their refusal to live side by side with bourgeois agents in the labour movement, their militant struggle in defence of the vital interests and rights of the working class -all this stamped them as a peculiarly revolutionary Marxist trend in the international labour movement and in the II. International. Of all the left social-democratic trends, they were the closest to Bolshevism.
From this it did not follow, however, that "narrow" socialism did not differ from Bolshevism on the basic questions. The Party suffered from the dangerous misconception that "narrow" socialism was a Bulgarian brand of Bolshevism and that it only had to adapt itself to the new international situation.
It should be stressed that it was this very misconception of the Party and especially of its leadership, from Dimiter Blagoev down, which long held it back in the position of 19th century Marxism and prevented it from assimilating the new in Marxism, the valuable contributions of Lenin, who brought Marxism up-to-date by adapting it to the epoch of imperialism -the highest stage of capitalism. This substantially retarded the bolshevisation of our Party, and explains the wrong tactics of its leadership during the Vladaya events, and especially during the military-fascist coup d'etat on June 9, 1923.
It is true that "narrow" socialism, especially with its uncompromising class attitude, its struggle against Bulgarian Menshevism, and its iron discipline, was close to Bolshevism. It is no less true, however, that "narrow" socialism differed from Bolshevism and Leninism on several basic questions of principle and tactics.
What were the main differences between "narrow" socialism and Bolshevism?
"Narrow" socialism did not consider the proletarian dictatorship a basic feature of the proletarian revolution. This question was missing in the Party programme. Unaware yet of the emergence of a new phase of capitalist development, as its last phase, the eve of the proletarian revolution, it did not put forward concretely the question of power and armed insurrection as a means of overthrowing the bourgeoisie.
"Narrow" socialism did not hold Leninist positions on the question of the role of the Party as the militant vanguard of the working class in the revolution, in the struggle for power, although in its structure, organisation and discipline, the Party came close to the Leninist doctrine of the party. Our Party did not yet consider itself a higher form of organisation of the Bulgarian working class which could lead all other organisations of the working people, establish the closest contact with the masses and thus ensure successful revolutionary activity.
"Narrow" socialism was not quite free from a certain worship of spontaneity in the labour movement. It was under the spell of the social-democratic conception of the automatic functioning of objective social laws. It saw as its main task agitation and propaganda, explaining and elucidating the objectively functioning laws of social development, organising and educating workers and all working people in the spirit of socialism, arousing the class consciousness of the workers, guiding their daily struggles with a view to the inevitable socialist revolution which would occur as a result of the ripening objective conditions. The Party did not consider itself an active force, called upon not only to organise and educate the toilers and to direct their everyday struggles, not only to explain events, but also to participate in the creation and canalisation of the revolutionary events, to become a dominant factor in the preparation, organisation and development of the proletarian revolution. Hence, a certain lag and passivity of the Party at the moment of sharp class struggles, a sectarian isolation from the masses who had risen in revolt.
"Narrow" socialism transformed a series of Marxist teachings into a dogma, as a result of which the Party lapsed into sectarianism and made its contacts with the broad masses more difficult. Thus, for instance, pursuing a policy of uncompromising struggle against the bourgeoisie as a class correctly opposing the various electoral coalitions with bourgeois parties, and the "constructive" legislative work of the bourgeois parliament, the Party turned independent action to a dogma, denied in general and under any conditions the advisability of an understanding with other social and political groups and thus in fact isolated itself. Our Party 's attitude had nothing in common with the Leninist doctrine on revolutionary compromises without which no revolutionary party can wage a successful struggle and make headway.
Failing to understand the role of the peasants as allies of the working class in the struggle against capitalism, it took up a Plekhanovist and not a Leninist position on the peasant problem. It enlisted peasants under its banner only in so far as they moved over to the positions of the proletariat. As is well known, Lenin supplemented and further developed the Marxist doctrine of the relations of the proletariat and the peasants. He put forward and developed the idea of a militant alliance between the workers and the peasants in their capacity of small commodity producers, before they are ready to assimilate socialism. Lenin showed the possibility of using the existent revolutionary potentialities of the peasants in the bourgeois-democratic as well as in the socialist revolution.
Our Party waged a correct and successful struggle against the reformists who tried to transform the party of the working class into a diluted petty-bourgeois party and in this way to make it a tool of the bourgeoisie and deprive the working class of its independence. But our Party failed to grasp that the peasants, as small commodity producers, subjected to the exploitation of monopoly capital, have considerable revolutionary potentialities, that they are the natural allies of the working class in its struggle for emancipation, that without the alliance of the workers and peasants, without the realisation of the leadership of the working class in this alliance, capitalist rule cannot be overthrown and no victory of the proletariat is possible.
"Narrow" socialism dogmatically defined the peasant commodity producer solely as a conservative element in society. It did not realise that the domination of the trusts leads to the increasing exploitation and pauperisation of the mass of the peasantry, renders them ever more dissatisfied and arouses revolutionary tendencies among them. This lack understanding of the revolutionary potentialities of the peasantry as an ally of the working class in the revolution constitutes one of the most characteristic differences between "narrow" socialism and Leninism. Hence it is by no means an accident that the Party in 1900, during the peasant revolts, neglected the revolutionary potentialities of the peasants in the struggle against capitalism, potentialities which could have been developed and realised only under the leadership of the working class and its militant vanguard. Nor is it an accident that our Party did not have at that time its revolutionary agrarian programme. It is noteworthy that not on a single one of the problems which Lenin developed and contributed to the treasury of
Marxism, such as the continuation and application of Marxism in the epoch of imperialism, did "narrow" socialism take up a Leninist positions. Hence it failed to profit from the lessons of the first Russian Revolution in 1905, and both in its appraisal of that revolution and in its deductions from it, failed to go beyond Kautsky. It was completely alien to the new essential aspects of Marxist theory of the proletarian revolution, developed by Lenin in his "Two Tactics" concerning the leading role of the working class in the bourgeois democratic revolution, the latter's transformation into a socialist revolution and the armed uprising. That is why, although it tirelessly propagated the idea of a socialist revolution as the only way out for the toilers, our party had no clear conception of the basic problems of this revolution. It did not think out the problem of the specific ways and means by which the revolution could be carried out in Bulgaria, of its main driving forces, its character and peculiarities and the role of the working class and the Party. It did not tackle the problem about the allies of the working class.
This shows that our Party, despite its enormous revolutionary services to the Bulgarian working people, was not yet a Bolshevik Marxist-Leninist party, a party of the new type -"sufficiently experienced to find its bearings amidst the complex conditions of a revolutionary situation and sufficiently flexible to steer clear of all submerged rocks in the path to its goal", as Comrade Stalin said.
Prior to World War I, when the primary task was to organise the forces of the working class, and develop their class-consciousness the shortcomings and weaknesses of "narrow" socialism were not yet felt in practice. But, when World War I broke out and the overthrow of capitalism became a practical problem, they stood out glaringly and were intensely felt.
During World War I, especially after the Russian Revolution, the Party launched an educational and propaganda drive among the soldiers to prepare them "to follow the example of their Russian brothers", i.e. for revolution. But at the decisive moment when the soldiers at the front turned their bayonets against the war-criminals, rose en masse and set off for Sofia, (i.e. followed in practice the example of their Russian brothers), the Party was not up to its task. It failed to organise and successfully direct the uprising, to give it a nation-wide character by drawing in the workers and peasants, to give it direction and to transform it into a people's uprising against the monarchy (the main agency of German imperialism) and against the ruling capitalist clique which was using the war for plunder and enrichment. The Party could undoubtedly at that time have united the majority of the toilers from towns and villages by raising the slogan of peace and for a people's democratic republic. Unity of action between the workers' party and the Agrarian Union would have ensured the success of the uprising. Such a victorious popular uprising for a people's republic might in 1918 have changed the general trend of development of the country and the Balkans to the advantage of the people.
The main reason why our Party did not take over leadership of the soldier masses who in the autumn of 1918 had risen against the war and the monarchy, lay in its doctrinaire tendencies, its non-Bolshevik concepts and methods, vestiges of "narrow" socialism.
Lacking the Leninist conception of the peculiar features of the revolutionary process in different countries, of the relationship and organic tie-up between the struggle for democracy and the struggle for socialism, our Party considered that the epoch of socialist revolution had arrived and hence that the slogan of a people's republic could not be put forward by a Marxist party, since it was not a specifically socialist slogan.
Lacking the Leninist conception of a militant alliance of the workers and peasants, our Party thought that because the soldier masses, composed predominantly of peasants, were not ready to fight for Soviet power, they were therefore incapable of any real revolutionary struggle. Just because of this doctrinaire interpretation of Marxism, it did not take over the leadership of the soldiers' uprising and did nothing to transform it into a general uprising. As a result, the rising remained isolated, without proper leadership and was quelled.
Thus, "narrow" socialism was a revolutionary Marxist trend, but not a Bulgarian brand of Bolshevism. A long struggle was necessary to bolshevise the party in order to make it a party of a new type, a Marxist-Leninist Party, such as with a justified feeling of pride it appears today before the congress.
2. Our Party in the Communist International and the Beginning of Its Bolshevisation
Our Party unanimously and enthusiastically welcomed the Russian Revolution, adopting its slogans and mobilizing our working people in defence of the young Soviet Socialist Republic.
During the civil war, imperialist intervention and famine in the Volga regions, our Party carried through a remarkable political and relief campaign. Who can forget the historic months when our working peasants with rare enthusiasm and self-sacrifice collected a great deal of food for their Soviet brothers and when the working class, headed by the Party, dispersed the 20,000 strong Wrangel Army in Bulgaria and prevented its use by Churchill and his friends in a military intervention against the Soviet Union?
At its 1919 congress our Party renamed itself Communist Party. In contrast to the parties in many other countries, our Party as a whole entered into the Communist International: what is more, it played a part in its creation, under the leadership of the Bolshevik Party and the immortal Lenin. It adopted a new programme. It regarded the proletarian revolution no longer as a long-term aim, but as an immediate task, for which the objective conditions had already matured and the solution of which depended on the subjective factor of the revolution, i.e. mainly on the readiness and ability of our Party to organise and lead the revolution. At its 1921 Congress it declared that the Soviet form of the dictatorship of the proletariat was a basic factor of the proletarian revolution. In its resolution on the peasant problem the Party proclaimed as an indispensable prerequisite for the victory of the revolution the alliance between workers and peasants under the leadership of the working class. The adoption of these programmatic points, which were popularised through translations of Lenin's basic works, was accompanied by the Party's active participation in the work of the Communist International.
The Party also adopted in principle the methods of illegal struggle and their combination with the fullest use of all legal possibilities for the struggle, such as parliament and the municipal and county councils.
The Party proceeded to create a military organisation of its own, engaged in considerable propaganda and organisational activity among the soldiers and started to arm the masses. It headed the bitter struggles of the working people after the catastrophic war, the great campaigns for an amnesty, against the high cost of living, against the turning of Bulgaria into a base for intervention against the USSR, and for recognition of the Soviet Union.
At the same time the Party launched a mass struggle for transforming the municipalities from instruments of oppression, spoliation and exploitation, into organisations serving the interest of the working people. A series of important town and several village councils passed into the hands of the Communist Party. Thus, in 1920 we had 22 town and 65 village Communist municipalities. Their economic and cultural policy in the interests of the working class and the working people generally naturally met with the fierce resistance of the bourgeoisie and of the central authorities. The long and very bitter struggles the formation and consolidation of these communes, as they were called, will always be remembered in the history of our country.
Unless the proletariat, led by the Party, could take over power completely in all spheres, these communes were bound to be short-lived; they were eventually destroyed by the bourgeoisie one by one.
But the struggle of the working people under the leadership of our Party to capture the municipalities contributed much to the unification of the masses in the struggle against the exploiters and raised considerably the prestige of the Party.
Our Party linked up the working people's struggles for their immediate needs with the preparation of the decisive battles for the victory of the revolution. When important interests of the working people were at stake or their political rights and liberties in serious jeopardy, the Party did not hesitate to resort also to the organisation of a general political strike, as was the case with the transport strike in 1919-20, and to major mass actions, going as far as to collaborate with the Agrarian Government in 1922 against rising reaction and fascism. Thus the Party rallied new large masses from towns and villages.
Despite its participation in the Communist International and its considerable successes in emerging as the leader of the class struggle of the working people in the revolutionary post-war situation, the Party had not yet grasped, and its leadership had not pointed out concretely the basic difference between "narrow" socialism and Bolshevism, had not yet drawn from it the necessary lessons for the Party, and had not yet headed the struggle for overcoming the negative hangovers of "narrow" socialism and to rearm the Party with Marxism-Leninism.
The Party was indeed accumulating its own revolutionary capital, but there continued to predominate in it legalist, propagandist habits and a tendency to consider Marxism rather as a dogma than as a guide to revolutionary action.This became most apparent in the position taken by the Party leadership on June 9, 1923, when just this "narrow" socialist doctrinaire tendency gained the upper hand. The ill-fated policy of neutrality, proclaimed by the Party leadership, was justified by lifeless doctrinaire considerations completely alien to the reality and to revolutionary Marxism. The Party leadership maintained that because the Agrarian Government had discredited itself by its administration, the masses would not rise in its defence against the fascist coup; and on the other hand, that since the peasants were not yet ready to fight for a workers' and peasants' government, they would not follow the appeal of the Communist Party for an uprising against fascism. The Party leadership evidently underestimated the great authority of the Communist Party among the masses, which it had won by its struggles. It underestimated the people's hatred of fascism and the banker-militarist oligarchy, provoked by the representatives of the Palace and the bourgeois-monarchist cliques and fanned by the Communist Party. If it had followed the example set by the Bolshevik Party during the attempted Kornilov coup in September 1917, if it had united with the sound forces in the Agrarian Union and had come out openly against the fascist plotters, the fascist coup would undoubtedly have been smashed.
The non-Bolshevik "narrow" socialist concept of the revolution prevailing within the Party leadership, on June 9 and the days following, led to a moral and political fiasco. An excellent opportunity was missed to destroy the completely the monarcho-fascist forces at their very outset and to win important positions in the struggle against capitalism and for socialism.
"Narrow" socialism as an ideological and political weapon of the working class did not pass the test of history under the new conditions of the post-war crisis of capitalism and the ensuing struggle for power. This weapon proved to be clearly inadequate to ensure a proletarian victory in our country.
Our Party had to grasp this, to see in the light of its own revolutionary experience, the difference between “narrow” socialism and Bolshevism, and to overhaul its entire political and organisational activity in a Marxist-Leninist spirit, overcoming once and for all its hangovers of negative social-democrat concepts, habits and methods. The sound Marxist “narrow” socialist traditions, qualities and experience had to be melted in the Bolshevik cauldron.
Our Party had already started moving along that road, but its purification from the negative vestiges of the past and its bolshevisation had now to take place under the hard conditions of illegality and white terror which followed in the wake of the suppression of the September uprising, under the relentless and brutal fire of the enemy.
The anti-fascist popular uprising in September 1923, organised and led by the Bulgarian Communist Party, constitutes a turning-point in its development from "narrow" socialism to Bolshevism.
That which the Communist Party failed to achieve during the crisis caused by the fascist coup, it attempted to do later when the fascist government threw the country into a new crisis which led to the armed September uprising. The sound Marxist nucleus in August 1923, aided by the Communist International, gained ascendancy within the Party leadership and imposed a radical change in its strategy and tactics. The Party broke with its former isolation, embarked upon a course of rallying all anti-fascist forces in one block of the working people from town and countryside and proceeded to prepare the masses for a general struggle against the monarcho-fascist dictatorship, including an armed uprising, raising the slogan of a workers' and peasants' government.
Steering this new course, the Party concluded an alliance for common struggle with the Agrarian Union, tried to achieve an agreement with the Macedonian organisation I.M.R.O., and extended a hand for joint struggle to the Social-Democratic Party whose leaders had hitched it to the chariot of Tsankov. In cooperation with the Agrarian Union it took leadership of the September 1923 popular armed uprising.
The conditions under which this uprising took place were, naturally, no longer as favourable as in June. The initiative had passed into the hands of the enemy. But even in September the victory of the uprising was objectively possible. Everything depended on the energy, boldness and unity of the Communist Party and of the masses in revolt. The failure of the Party rank and file and leadership to fully realise the erroneousness and harmfulness of the June 9 tactics and the Party's incomplete bolshevisation, as I have already stressed, prevented it from properly organising, leading, and ensuring the success of the September 1923 uprising.
The September events demonstrated that many local and central Party leaders had either not adopted the course of uncompromising struggle against fascism, or had done so only in words, without conviction or the will to fight, without a desire to really prepare the Party for such a struggle. As a result, many Party organisations were caught napping by these events. During the uprising many local leaders could not or would not undertake any action against the fascist authorities. Herein lies the main reason for its defeat.
There are, however, defeats which contribute much to the future victory of the cause of the working class emancipation. Such was the case with the defeat of the September 1923 uprising.
The fact that the Party took over leadership of the uprising, put an end to the defeatism of June 9 and adopted a firm course of struggle against the fascist dictatorship, was of decisive importance for its own future and for that of the Bulgarian' revolutionary movement.
The September uprising created a bloody and unbridgeable gap between the masses of the people and the fascist bourgeoisie. As a result, fascism never managed during the succeeding years to stabilise its positions and to form a broad social basis. The selfless struggle and the consistent worship and tireless work for the establishment of a united anti-fascist front brought it much closer to the masses, strengthened its ties with them and created the prerequisites for its emergence as the true leader of the working people of town and countryside in the struggle for democracy and socialism.
These were great achievements which were firmly to embedded in the revolutionary arsenal of our Party.
The bloody lesson of the September uprising galvanized the bolshevisation process of the Party. It was considerably facilitated also by the open admission of the June 9 error by the leader of the Party, Dimiter Blagoev, and by his complete approval of the September uprising.
At the same time, however, the defeat and the great casualties suffered by the Party and the masses kept alive liquidationist right and left-wing tendencies within the Party. Both trends condemned the September uprising and united in an unprincipled block for a struggle against the September leadership of the Party. The final goal of this block was to liquidate in practice the Communist Party.
A group of former communist activists, headed by Nikola Sakarov and Ivan Klincharov, proclaimed the Party "liquidated" and founded an opportunist miscarriage -"the Independent Labour Party." The workers met this treacherous "party" with animosity, while the Central Committee excluded the liquidators from the Party. This showed the danger which threatened the Party after the defeat of the September uprising and against which a decisive struggle had to be waged.
An important moment in the Party's development after the September setback and after its ban by the fascist government was the illegal Vitosha Conference which took place in April, 1924, with the participation of delegates from most districts.
The Vitosha Conference expressed solidarity with the appraisal by the Executive Committee of the Communist International of the events and of the tactics of our Party during the period under review. It admitted that during the June 9 days the Party had permitted serious errors in the application of the tactics of the united front and that on June 9 it had committed a crucial blunder.
The Conference endorsed the orientation of the Party toward an armed uprising, adopted at the beginning of August, but condemned both the pre- and post-September "June 9 tactics" stubbornly maintained by the majority of 1he Central Committee and of the Party Council. The justification of the erroneous position on the part of the Central Committee hindered to no small extend the conscious orientation of the Party toward an armed uprising.
The Conference considered it correct that the Party "had assumed command of the uprising", started by the popular masses, and "had fixed its aim -a workers' and peasants' government" and under "exceedingly difficult conditions" had attempted "to organise, unify and broaden it." The Party had thereby shown that it was "capable of passing over from revolutionary propaganda and agitation to revolutionary action" that it was "a genuine Communist Party" which had fulfilled its assigned task in a worthy manner: to prepare and lead the toilers toward a new armed uprising for the establishment of a workers' and peasants' government.
The significance of the Vitosha Conference consists in the fact that, at a most crucial moment in the life of the Party, it succeeded in rallying the sound Party forces around the September nucleus of the Central Committee, and based them on the September line of the Party, approved and ratified by the Communist International. But, while mobilising the masses for the correct Party policy, combating the right deviation, it failed to give adequate warning of the danger of the left, against which a decisive fight had to be also waged.
The situation during the period following the September uprising, outlawing of the Communist Party and of the working class organisations, was characterised by the following facts:
1) The country was facing the perspective of new struggles for the overthrow of the fascist government and the creation of a workers’ and peasants’ government. The results of the parliamentary elections in November 1923 confirmed this estimate of the Party leadership which coincided with that of the Communist International. They showed that the opposition against the fascist government, represented by the Communist Party and the Agrarian Union, was quite strong. The conclusion was that the indignation of the masses was great and that they were disposed to continue the fight for the overthrow of the fascist government.
2) The fact that Communists and Agrarians went into the election campaign with a common list showed that they had learned a lesson from the past and had adopted the new tactics of the united front. The joint struggle, of the Communist Party and the Agrarian Union was of decisive importance for the victory in those elections.
3) The fascist dictatorship seriously impeded the legal mass work of the Party. At the same time, the perspectives of a new armed struggle induced the Party to pay special attention to the military training of the masses.
In this situation and stimulated by the white terror of the fascist government, there arose the danger of an ultra-left deviation within the Party, and particularly within its military organisation which, in answer to the government terror, organised its own groupings and committed terrorist acts.
Meanwhile, the end of 1924 and the beginning of 1925 marked a change in the general situation. The international and domestic position of fascism was temporarily strengthened as a result of the temporary and partial stabilisation of capitalism in Europe. There existed no prospect for a new armed uprising. In March 1925, the Party representatives abroad re-evaluated the country's position nationally and internationally and proposed to suspend the Party line of armed insurrection. Instead they recommended a course of creating mass organisations and of intensifying the mass struggle of workers and peasants for the satisfaction of their vital needs. This new policy was intended to forestall the imminent danger of an ultra-left deviation, which would have been fatal to the Party and the revolutionary movement. The Party Executive inside the country, however, proved unable to cope with the ultra-left deviation, to discontinue in time the policy of armed uprising and to proceed with the reorganisation of the Party's activity in accordance with the changed conditions.
The fascist government continued its terroristic course with even greater ferocity. Taking advantage of the desperate actions of the leaders of the Party's military organisation, culminating in the attempt at the Sofia cathedral, it started a mass slaughter of active Communists, worker and peasant activists.
The terror following the attempt in the Sofia Cathedral on April 16, 19252 dealt a very serious blow to the Party. Its leadership was disorganised. The majority of the Party cadres who had survived the September uprising were killed, imprisoned or compelled to emigrate. Conditions of underground work became exceptionally hard. It is under such conditions that the Party had to ensure a leadership to the struggle of the toilers and to continue the fight against fascism. It had to also learn its lessons from the defeats of 1923 and 1925, to discover their main causes and to unify the Party members on a Bolshevik basis. Having suffered serious setbacks, considerably weakened, deprived of its best leaders, the Party was undergoing a most trying period of development.
The question of the Party's past and its bolshevisation was discussed for the first time at the Moscow Conference in 1925, summoned on the initiative of the Party's leadership abroad with the consent of the Executive Committee of the Communist International and attended by the survivors of the Central Committee and those Party activists who had emigrated during the 19231925 events. The estimate given by this conference, namely, that the Party had managed "to pass gradually and painlessly, without serious internal crises, from the period of organic development of capitalism to that of its decline, to assimilate and adapt itself to the peculiarities of the revolutionary epoch", was however exaggerated and did not correspond entirely to reality. Experience showed that the Party's transition from "the epoch of organic development of capitalism to that of its decline", was difficult, vacillating, accompanied by serious errors, as, for instance, during the Vladaya soldiers' insurrection on June 9, and the ultra-left error of the leadership of the military organisation.
The assimilation of the characteristics of the revolutionary epoch was in general a hard and serious task, and it was still more difficult to grasp the specific features of the revolutionary epoch in the Balkans, where our Party had to function. The conference correctly noted the necessity of mastering Marx-Leninism as a guide for action, by studying our own revolutionary experience and that of the Russian Revolution. Using sound self-criticism the Party "had to re-educate itself so as to be able to find its way in every historic situation and, taking into account the concrete conditions, to correctly lead the fight of the masses on their path toward international revolution."
The Vienna sessions of the Central Committee in 1926 did not go beyond the Moscow conference on the question of the Party's bolshevisation. Indeed, it specifically stressed the task of the "ideological rallying of the Party masses around the Party banner and the Communist International on the basis of Leninism."
It was also absolutely true that the Moscow conference and the enlarged Plenum of the Central Committee in Vienna stressed the tremendous importance of the Party's bolshevisation by means of studying its own experience in the light of Leninism. But the enlarged Plenum of the Central Committee and the Moscow conference erred in considering bolshevisation a process of organic development, and not a fight to overcome the non-Bolshevik traditions of the "narrow" socialist period.
After the Vitosha conference, which rallied the Communist Party around the policy of the September uprising, the Second Party Conference held in Berlin late in December 1927 and the beginning of 1928 submitted to a thorough scrutiny the Party's post-1923 activities, its tactics, achievements, errors and setbacks. A bitter fight had to be waged during the second conference against left and right deviations.
Already at the Moscow conference serious controversies had occurred over the appraisal of the mistakes made by the Party. The defenders of the June 9 defeatism and the supporters of the ultra-left deviation of the April 1925 events, united de facto in the struggle against the September leadership of the Party. The representatives of the September policy had to wage a fight on two fronts. After a thorough discussion of all questions, the right-wingers and left-wingers hauled down their banners and formally approved the resolutions proposed by the Party leadership.
But after the conference, dissensions broke out with new vigour. The right opportunists and left sectarians united in an unprincipled bloc against the September Party leadership. This became very apparent at the Vitosha Party Conference.
As a result of the Party's difficult organisational situation there were few representatives of Party organisations present at the Conference and, to a large extent, their presence there was accidental. Morever, an undercover ultra-left sectarian faction within the Party, composed of a few petty-bourgeois intellectuals, had taken shape; they tried to create an artificial majority through underhand agitation in order to impose their own sectarian conceptions and to take over the Party leadership.
During the prolonged and stormy debates, the June 9 and right-wing defeatism were thoroughly and finally exposed and disarmed. But the ultraleft sectarian faction, abetted by Trotskyist and left-wing elements in certain other Communist Parties, although it voted for the resolutions of the September leadership, did not disarm and immediately after the conference continued and increased its factional activities.
The Conference made a real attempt to provide an analysis and a general appraisal of the Party's past. It pointed out the elements which brought "narrow" socialism closer to bolshevism and which helped the Party's orientation towards Bolshevism. It also showed up many questions on which "narrow" socialism differed from the Bolshevism and which handicapped its bolshevisation. But the Second Party Conference, although it made a major step forward, did not go all the way, did not clearly define the fundamental difference between "narrow" socialism and Leninism on the basic questions of the revolution. The Second Conference, too, considered the bolshevisation of the Party as an adaptation of revolutionary "narrow" socialism to the new conditions, and not as a fight for overcoming of social-democratic vestiges within the Party and its Bolshevik (Marxist-Leninist) re-armament. Emphasising that in the post-war period the Party was "developing and functioning in general as a revolutionary party of the Bulgarian proletariat," the Second Party Conference stated that it was gradually substituting "the methods of mass revolutionary action, adaptation to the needs and requirements of the revolutionary epoch, for the methods of agitation and propaganda and of economic struggle of the pre-war period." Indeed, the conference stressed that this development "did not advance in a straight line but through zigzags and vacillations," that the bolshevisation of the Party took place through "a clash between Bolshevik tendencies pushing it forward and social-democratic vestiges pulling it backward." Yet at the same time it uncritically declared that "revolutionary 'narrow' socialism and the September current" had "merged in two basic and unshakable party roots as a Bolshevik Party of the Bulgarian proletariat."
The Second Party Conference characterised the September uprising as "a full negation of the June 9 tactics," as "a major turning-point in the Party's development," which laid the foundation for the "definitive and irretrievable break with the social-democratic and June 9 vestiges," as the decisive step on the Party's road to bolshevisation.
In its appraisal of the "narrow" socialist period, the Second Party Conference, without identifying "narrow" socialism with Bolshevism,
nevertheless stressed the similarities between "narrow" socialism and Bolshevism and did not dwell sufficiently on the differences.
Summarizing that period, I want to say again from this tribune that unfortunately we, Dimiter Blagoev's closest collaborators, were unable to make the necessary Marxist-Leninist re-appraisal of all aspects of the revolutionary past of the Party and of the Bulgarian proletariat at the proper time and to avail ourselves of the positive and great capital of the revolutionary movement, in order to overcome, once and for all, all non-Bolshevik vestiges of the “narrow” socialist period.
That fact, along with the serious illegal situation of the Party, was exploited by various ultra-left individuals who had fortuitously penetrated the leadership and even took it over temporarily.
4. The Struggle Against Left-Sectarianism in the Party and Its Liquidation
Misusing the authority of the Communist International, posing inside the country as the real interpreter of its decisions, taking advantage of the difficult conditions of illegality, and supported also by undercover enemy elements within the Executive Committee of the Communist International and in certain national Communist Parties of that time, the left sectarians Iskrov, Georgi Lambrev and Elia Vasilev (Boiko)3 succeeded, through organised factional activity, in holding a plenum of the Central Committee during the summer of 1929, and in fact taking over the Party leadership. Under the guise of bolshevisation of the Party, the left-sectarians actually pursued an anti-Bolshevik course. They put forward the slogan "extirpation of narrow socialism", waged an insidious struggle against loyal Party members of long standing, against the revolutionary past of the Party, and pushed the Party along the disastrous road leading to isolation from the masses. This was made easier by the inactivity of a number of old and well-known Party militants inside the country, who had then withdrawn from Party work at that time.
The left sectarian faction became the main obstacle to the bolshevisation of the Party. At the very moment when the fascist dictatorship was persecuting our Party and seeking to break it up from within, and to smash its leadership, it found its best allies in the leaders of the left sectarian faction. What is more, as was subsequently revealed in the U.S.S.R. in connection with the exposure of foreign enemy agencies inside the Bolshevik Party and some other Communist Parties, some of these left sectarian leaders were in the service of these agencies.
Yet in spite of the temporary ascendancy of the left sectarian faction, there existed sufficient sound forces within the Party to lead the struggle of the working people on a local scale during the new upsurge of the labour movement.
The stagnation which had gripped the entire labour and progressive movement after the 1923-25 defeats was gradually being overcome. In 1927 the Workers' Party was formed as a legal party of the working class: trade unions were re-established. The Workers' Party, acting under the illegal Communist Party, managed in no time to win considerable authority among the masses. Signs of a new revolutionary upsurge of the masses became apparent. Big strikes broke out, major electoral victories were scored and legal possibilities began to be widely used. The Party was growing and moving boldly forward. Its successes would undoubtedly have been much greater, however, had it not been for the harmful influence of the left sectarian faction. Thus, for instance, their second plenum instead of concentrating on the Party's taking over the leadership of the new militant upsurge of the masses, entered into scholastic sectarian discussions about the Party's past and composed sheaves of resolutions which no worker could read through. And again, through the fault of this faction, our Party could not carry to a successful conclusion the breakthrough in the front of the fascist dictatorship in the summer of 1931, as well as during the coup d'etat of 19 May 1934.4
The left sectarian policy, which in reality was a Trotskyist policy, had nothing in common with the line of the Communist International and was directed against it.
1. Instead of a sober appraisal of the situation on the basis of a concrete Marxist analysis of the forces, in action, the general formulas of Leninist-Stalinist strategy and tactics were being re-iterated and the conditions of the other Communist parties were mechanically applied without taking into consideration our concrete situation. The left sectarians took credit for the successes scored by the Party in spite of their leadership, and proclaimed as its immediate task the establishment of a proletarian dictatorship in Bulgaria.
2. Persevering and steadfast agitation among the workers and peasants for the popularisation of party slogans, for the preparation of the struggle and the mobilisation of the masses were superseded by "revolutionary" phrases left and bombastic appeals for "revolutionary" action. Such typically left sectarian slogans were: "A general and open offensive," "Take over the streets," "Occupy the land" etc.
The slogan of a political strike was so discredited by the left sectarians that the revolutionary trade union international was compelled specifically to condemn its use in Bulgaria.
3. Real leadership, based on a conscious adoption by the members of the party and of the mass organisations of the Party decisions and directives, gave way to rude and mechanical ordering about. The attitude of the left sectarian leadership toward the Workers’ Party which our Party had created was incorrect and exceedingly harmful. Although the Workers’ Party numbered among its members many workers with experience in mass work, and although it served as a transmission belt through which the Communist Party exerted its influence on the masses, its local leaders were treated as second-rank people. After the coup of May 19, 1934, when the Workers’ Party and the other mass organisations were banned, the left sectarian leadership put up no opposition and hastened to declare the Workers’ Party as “self-liquidated.”
4. Under the guise of a false "bolshevisation" the entire "narrow" socialist period of the Party was proclaimed as "Menshevik" and "anti-Bolshevik." Under the pretext of defending the September uprising, a Trotskyite "criticism" of that uprising was popularised and the September activists of the Party were ostracised. The left sectarian leadership even went so far as to sabotage the international anti-fascist campaign in connection with the Leipzig trial.
5. Having temporarily, and with the help of their Trotskyite friends from abroad, seized control of the internal leadership of the Party, the left sectarians formed themselves into a secret Trotskyite faction inside the Party. Under the guise of Leninism and using the authority of the Communist International in a double-faced way, they were destroying the basis of the Party and discrediting the revolutionary movement.
The support received by the Party in its struggle to overcome left sectarianism, from the Communist International and from the Bolshevik Party, especially as regards the Second Plenum of the Central Committee, whose harmful decisions were rejected by the Executive Committee of the Communist International, should be gratefully acknowledged.
The resolution of the political secretariat of the Executive Committee of the Communist International of August 1930 played an exceedingly important role for our Party. It dealt with the basic problems of the Communist movement in Bulgaria and served as a solid basis for uniting the sound forces within the Party on a genuine Marxist-Leninist policy.
This resolution clearly pointed out the revolutionary Marxist elements in the "narrow" socialist period which the Party should not renounce but of which it should become the "conscious protagonist and elaborator."
At the same time, it clearly showed the difference between "narrow" socialism and Leninism on the basic questions of the proletarian revolution. It defined the September uprising as a decisive turning-point in the party's bolshevisation, as the beginning of a Bolshevik crystallisation amidst the old and new Party cadres which was impeded by the insufficiently consistent ideological struggle of the Party leadership against the vestiges of the non-Bolshevik traditions and against the infantile disease of leftism.
The resolution called on the Party to completely overcome those vestiges of the “narrow” socialist period which impeded it during its transition from a purely agitational and propagandist organisation to a Party struggling for power. It also summoned it to unite around a common platform for a struggle against the main danger –opportunism, tailism, and passivity as well as against left sectarianism.
The Political Secretariat of the Executive Committee of the Communist International told the Party fight resolutely against factionalism and the rising danger of the Party’s disintegration into factions.
The process of uniting the Party on the platform of the Communist International was impeded by the left sectarians who adopted it in words but hid from the Party and the Communist International their own disagreement with it, proceeding to revise it in a left sectarian spirit.
The Party’s very existence and development was again at stake. All forces had to be mobilized in order to save it by liquidating the left sectarian line: by taking the Party leadership out of the hands of the left sectarians, and by making a decisive about turn from “revolutionary” phrase-mongering to truly Bolshevik mass work and struggle. Only a rapid overcoming of the sectarian distortions in all phases of its work could enable the Party to re-establish its contacts with the masses and to build a united people’s anti-fascist front for the overthrow of the military fascist dictatorship.
In spite of serious difficulties, due to the conditions of illegality and fascist terror, our Party, with the aid of the Communist International succeeded in coping with this important task.
The 7th Congress of the Communist International brought about a change in policy of the Communist Parties, by placing as the basic and immediate task the struggle against fascism as the greatest threat to the working class and the toilers, to peace, and to the freedom of the peoples. It was necessary to rally the working class, and on that basis to create a powerful people's antifascist front, in order to stop the fascist onslaught and to smash fascism. The translation of the united front into practice made it incumbent on the Communists to overcome the smug sectarianism within their own ranks which had become a deeply rooted evil. By overestimating the degree of revolutionisation of the masses and underestimating the struggles for the immediate interests and rights of the toilers, sectarianism led to passivity in the face of the fascist offensive. By substituting abstract propaganda and left doctrinaire phrases for a mass policy, by stereotyping the slogans and tactics of all countries and by disregarding the specific peculiarities existing in every particular nation, sectarianism delayed the growth of the Communist Parties, impeded the unfolding of a genuine mass struggle, and blocked the winning over of the broad masses of toilers by the Communist Parties. At the same time, the Communist Parties had also to be vigilant also with respect to the right danger which was bound to grow with the wide application of the united front, and to manifest itself through spontaneity and automatism, depreciation of the role of the Party and vacillation at the decisive moment.
This was the fundamental thesis of the 7th Congress of the Communist International. Its decisions played a decisive role in helping our Party make an about turn and become truly Bolshevik in character. The resolution of the Communist International against the left sectarian leadership in connection with the events of May 19, 1934, had already raised sharply the question of the changing that self-styled leadership which was completely incapable of bringing about a turn in the Party. This change was carried out completely, early in 1935.
The new Party leadership, in its open letter of October 1, 1935, basing itself on the 1934 resolution of the Communist International, gave a clear exposure of the essence of the left opportunist sectarian policy of the preceding years, when certain petty-bourgeois doctrinaire elements – sectarians and factionists – had temporarily gained the upper hand in the party leadership and imposed their left opportunist sectarian policy." Basing itself on the decisions of the 7th Congress of the Communist International, the open letter formulated as the fundamental tasks of the Party: (a) to build a united people's anti-fascist front and (b) to organise the working class, through a general consolidation of the Party.
The decisions of the 6th plenary session of the Party in February 1936 constitute a correct and consistent elaboration of its new Bolshevik line in the light of the decisions of the 7th World Congress. This elaboration consisted in the following:
1. As the fundamental immediate task the Plenum stressed the building of a people's anti-fascist front of all anti-fascist organisations in the struggle for the following basic political demands: re-establishment of the Tirnovo Constitution, elections to the National Assembly according to the old electoral law, repeal of all anti-communist decrees, dissolution of all fascist organisations. All the sound people's forces were to be united firmly behind these demands.
At the same time the Party proposed to all organisations of working people, a common struggle for the satisfaction of their basic needs. It expressed its readiness to support the government of a people's anti-fascist front which would carry through the above platform, although it considered that a radical improvement of the situation of the masses and the fullest and most consistent defence of people's liberties, of peace and national independence could only be achieved by a Soviet Government in Bulgaria.
2. The Plenum completely approved the dismissal of the left sectarian leadership and the entrusting of the Party leadership to tested supporters of its new Bolshevik line. At the same time it stressed the need for sharper criticism of the left sectarian policy in order to expose its anti-Leninist and Trotskyite character before the rank and file the need of carrying out thorough-going and systematic education, for a conscious assimilation, not in words but in deeds, of the new Party line.
3. The Plenum worked out a detailed directive for rallying and enlisting in practical work all loyal Party cadres, young and old, for a genuine and conscious unification of the Party on Marxist-Leninist basis and around its Central Committee.
Thanks to this new Bolshevik line, the Party re-established its contact with the masses, and its role in the political life of the nation increased rapidly.
Although not without difficulties, the people's anti-fascist front grew despite the resistance and sabotage of the right-wing leaders of the other non-fascist parties. The anti-fascist front and, in particular, the Party proved a great political force at the parliamentary and communal elections.
The main internal enemies, against whom the people's anti-fascist front waged its struggle, were the protagonists of fascism – the government of King Boris, and Tsankov's so-called Social Movement. The main external enemy which threatened peace and Bulgaria's national independence was Hitler Germany and fascist Italy. Against this double peril, the peoples anti-fascist front mobilised the masses for a struggle for peace, against the instigators of war and their Bulgarian lackeys, for defence of Bulgaria's national independence for friendly relations with all neighbouring countries, for collective security and common defence of all big and small democratic nations which pursued a policy of peace and democracy, against war and fascism.
The feverish preparations of Nazi Germany for a new world war, Hitler's aggression in Austria and Czechoslovakia and the attempts of the German imperialists, with the aid of Bulgarian monarcho-fascism, to rule Bulgaria and include it in their Lebensraum, and then the outbreak of World War II in the wake of the German aggression against Poland, threatened to engulf Bulgaria and the Balkans in the war. The Party correctly felt that the U.S.S.R. was the one sure factor for the preservation of peace in the Balkans and the independence of the Balkan peoples.
The Party, therefore, raised as the first task of Bulgaria's foreign policy the conclusion of a pact of friendship and mutual aid with the Soviet Union. Should Bulgaria, however, find herself faced by the threat of aggression or actually be attacked by either of the two warring parties in the hopes of pushing her into the war, the Bulgarian people would fight with all their forces for the defence of freedom and independence linking this fight with the defence of the Soviet Union.
Under these conditions, the Party directed its main efforts toward a unification of all democratic forces in defence of peace and national independence, of the liberties and basic needs of the masses, against war, reaction and capitalist plunder.
The Soviet Government's offer in December 1940, through its emissary Sobolev, to conclude with the Bulgarian Government a pact of friendship and mutual aid, bore out the Party's correct stand for a pro-Soviet orientation and strengthened its position among the people. It became the centre of a powerful popular movement for the conclusion of a friendship pact with the U.S.S.R. Outside this people's movement there remained only the openly capitalist and reactionary elements from both camps – the pro-Germans and the pro-British – who were united in their hatred against the U.S.S.R. and Bolshevism.
The 7th Party Plenum in January 1941 took place under the banner of the struggle against Bulgaria's entry into the war. The Party realised that the fascist Government of King Boris, in rejecting the Soviet offer, had hitched Bulgaria to the bandwagon of Nazi Germany – a circumstance which could not but increase the approaching danger of Bulgaria's being drawn into the vortex of the war. It carried through a still more energetic propaganda among the masses for a pact with the U.S.S.R. and against participation in the war.
As a result, disorders broke out in many localities among the mobilised Bulgarian soldiers along the frontier, who refused to obey the orders of their officers. Slogans were put forward for a return to home, against Bulgaria's entering the war on the side of Nazi Germany. The Hitlerite occupationists and their Bulgarian quislings realised quite clearly that Bulgaria was far from constituting a safe rear, that their criminal policy could not rely on the support of the Bulgarian people.
Hitler's foul aggression against the U.S.S.R. on June 21, 1941 basically changed the international situation. World War II, which had started as a war between two imperialist camps, became a war of the freedom-loving peoples, headed by the Soviet Union, against Nazi aggression. From its very outbreak our Party adopted a firm stand against the Nazi German bloc and its Bulgarian hirelings. As early as June 22 the Party's Central Committee issued a manifesto to the Bulgarian people, in which the positions were clearly formulated.
It reads as follows:
"Never before in history has there been a more brigandlike, more counterrevolutionary and imperialist war than the one fascism is now waging against the U.S.S.R. Hence, there is no juster and more progressive war than the one on whose issue will depend the destinies of all nations. So just a war cannot but enjoy the sympathy and support of every honest and progressive person in the world... The Bulgarian people, who in their overwhelming, majority harbour a deep love for the fraternal Soviet peoples and pin on them their greatest hopes for a better future, are faced with the colossal task of preventing their country and army from being used for the brigand purposes of German fascism...
"Be vigilant and oppose resolutely all measures which the government may take to involve us in the war or to put our country in the service of the fascist brigands! Not one grain of Bulgarian wheat, not one piece of Bulgarian bread for the German fascists and plunderers! Not a single Bulgarian in their service!"
In the same appeal the Central Committee characterised the Hitler aggression against the U.S.S.R. as a "reckless adventure," in which "Hitler is bound to break his neck."
On June 24, 1941, the Politburo of the Party began to prepare the Bulgarian people for an armed struggle against the Nazi occupationists and their local quislings. A special military commission was formed in order to carry through this preparation. Armed military units were organised for diversionist and sabotage activities with the aim of disrupting German communications, of destroying plants and warehouses serving the Nazis, and of organising workers for the sabotage of production, (as a result, in several plants output fell by 40-50 percent), of inducing peasants to conceal agricultural produce etc. The slogan was to attack German units and bases, and in general to create in the country difficult conditions for the Germans and their local quislings, and to disrupt and paralyse their war effort. At the same time the Party proceeded to intensify its work in the army, under the slogan "Not a soldier to the Eastern Front!" Among the soldiers of' the occupation troops of Yugoslavia, the slogan was raised to fraternise with the Yugoslav partisans and to go over to their side. As early as 1941 the first partisan units were born in the districts of Razlog, Batak, Karlovo, Eastern Sredna Gora, Sevlievo, Gabrovo etc.
This heroic struggle involved many sacrifices and sufferings: scores of fighters dangled from the gallows or were shot, partisan heads were paraded in towns and villages, prisons and concentration camps were overcrowd. Yet in spite of the bestial terror, the struggle gained in momentum. The greater the setbacks the Germans suffered on the Eastern Front as a result of the Soviet victories, the clearer became the perspectives of Hitler Germany's inevitable defeat and the brighter the conditions for rallying all patriotic forces among the people in the Fatherland Front, which was founded on our Party's initiative towards the middle of 1942 with the publication of its programme.
The Fatherland Front programme clearly and categorically stated that Hitler's plan for world domination was bound to end with the downfall of Nazi Germany and that the policy of the King Boris government, which had turned Bulgaria into a vassal of Hitler, was directed against the people and would lead the nation to disaster. Hence, it was the supreme duty of the Bulgarian people, its army and patriotic intelligentsia to unite behind the powerful Fatherland Front for the salvation of Bulgaria.
The programme demanded that Bulgaria's brigand alliance with Nazi Germany should be broken immediately; that the German aggressors be expelled from Bulgarian soil; that national wealth and labour be protected against foreign incursions; that the political rights of the working people be re-established, extended and consolidated; that the army be taken out the hands of the monarcho-fascist clique and transformed into a people's army, so that the material and moral forces of our people should be added to the efforts of other peoples, under the leadership of the U.S.S.R., for the complete defeat of the German imperialists. The programme urged all antifascist forces unite in the Fatherland Front and a Fatherland Front government be created in order to ensure our political and economic development as a free and independent nation, closely allied with the other freedom-loving peoples and especially with the Soviet Union.
The Party considered that the struggle for the destruction of domestic fascism embraced all the essential problems of the life and future of the working people and of the entire nation. Without the destruction of the fascist regime the country could not be wrested from the fascist camp and saved from catastrophe, ruin and retrogression. The more evident the inevitable and ignominious end of Nazi Germany became, the more fully the Bulgarian people realised that our fascist regime, which had completely identified its fate with Hitler's slave owners' policy, represented the main danger which had to be immediately removed. Bulgaria's liberation from the shackles of fascism followed from the entire international and domestic position, and became the central task of the working class, of the working people from towns and countryside, and of all truly democratic and patriotic forces.
Such then, was the national and democratic platform of our Party during the war for the liberation of the country from fascism and German occupation. It met with a deep response, rallied the bulk of the people under the banner of the Fatherland Front and became a truly national cause.
The Party considered that the realisation of this programme was an inevitable and decisive stage for the country's further development of the on the road to radical political, economic and social transformation.
Armed with this militant program, the Party exerted all its energies quickly to make the Fatherland front a truly national movement, to broaden the resistance movement and give it a mass character.
During the second half of 1942, there was a considerable surge forward in the struggle of the masses against the Nazi occupationists and their Bulgarian tools. In several] localities numerically small partisan units grew into organised detachments enjoying wide support among the people. In the winter of 1942-43 partisan detachments in Sredna Gora waged memorable and epic struggles against some 20,000 gendarmes and soldiers. During March-April 1943. by C.C.'s decision, the, the country was divided into 12 guerrilla combat zones with a unified military leadership, The attacks of partisan detachments against the Germans and the quisling authorities in towns and villages went hand in hand with a broad political activity among the population. The more defeats the Nazi hordes suffered on the Eastern front, especially after the blow at Stalingrad, the fiercer became the partisan struggle and the more the people from all parts of the country were drawn into the partisan movement.
Toward the end of 1943 and the beginning of 1944, an army of 100,000 soldiers and police under fascist command were involved in the struggle against the partisan movement. The inability of Hitler and King Boris to send a single Bulgarian soldier to the Eastern front was primarily due to the fact that the main forces of the Bulgarian army were fighting the partisans, both in Bulgaria and Yugoslavia.
It was a truly epic period, a real test for our Party and for the Bulgarian people. We can safely say that our Party, backed mainly by the Communist youth, in spite of terrific casualties, bestial terror and opportunist vacillations of some Party members, passed this test with honour. This period will remain inscribed with gold letters in the annals of our Party and our people, who can justly pride themselves with their heroic partisans, men and women and those who aided them, whom the Party managed to organise and lead to battle against the German occupationists and Bulgarian fascists.
The growing scope of the partisan movement, helped by the victorious advance of the Soviet Army and the fascists' failure to cope with it, inspired the people and consolidated their faith in ultimate victory, emboldened and activised our allies in the Fatherland Front.
The Fatherland Front grew in the course of the struggle for the basic needs of the masses and against Bulgaria's spoliation and enslavement by the German fascist imperialists. Our Party was at its sparking plug, but other non-fascist parties and organisations were drawn into its activity.
In 1944, the serious and irreparable defeats of the German hordes on all fronts, the lightning advance of the Soviet armies towards Germany, the capitulation of fascist Italy, the approach of the Fourth Ukrainian army towards Bulgaria's frontiers – all this hastened the downfall of Nazi Germany. Panic and disintegration set in among our local quislings and the ruling monarcho-fascist clique. Their attempts to drown the partisan movement in blood failed. Their attempt to split the Fatherland Front also failed. Intent on forestalling the maturing people's uprising, they turned through the Bagrianov government and then through the Muraviev-Gichev5 government to the Anglo-American Chief of Staff with an offer for unconditional surrender. They hoped, in case of an Anglo-American occupation, to escape punishment for their crimes, and to preserve the shaky foundations of the monarcho-capitalist regime.
This scheme, however, was foiled by the lightning advance of the Soviet armies and the vigilance of our Party.
On August 26, 1944, our Party's Central Committee addressed to all its organisations, functionaries and members, the historic Circular No.4, calling for the immediate overthrow, through an armed uprising, of the fascist Regency and the Bagrianov government and for the establishment of a Fatherland Front government. This circular stated among other things:
"The 12th hour has struck for Bulgaria.
"Its fate today depends solely on the people and the patriotic army. Our country is doomed unless the self-imposed Regency and pro-German government of Bagrianov are immediately overthrown and the alliance with Germany broken.
"The Party, the Fatherland Front, the entire Bulgarian people and the army, are faced by the imperative task of gathering forces and rising to a bold and decisive armed struggle.
"The Fatherland Front is the only political force capable of saving the country by immediate bold and decisive action."
The same day the general staff of the People's Partisan Army issued the order:
"Proceed with the general offensive and establish Fatherland Front authorities on a local basis. Direct the main blows against the big centres, especially where you can count on the support of separate army units."
Conscious of its historic mission, at the head of proletariat, the Party made full use of its past militant experience – victories and setbacks – gathered all its forces, staked its immense authority, counting on the decisive of the Soviet army, in order to mobilize the Bulgarian people united in the Fatherland Front for the armed overthrow of most dangerous and devilish bastion of capitalism and reaction in Bulgaria – the monarcho-fascist dictatorship.
When on September 8 the Soviet armies stepped onto Bulgarian soil, the armed uprising was already in full swing. In Plovdiv, Gabrovo and in the Pernik mines general strikes broke out. In Sofia the tramway workers went on strike and the population came out on the streets, while in Pleven, Varna and Sliven the prisons were stormed. At the same time partisan detachments occupied many towns and villages. Under the iron pressure of the Soviet armies, the German hordes beat a hasty retreat from Bulgaria. Our soldiers refused to carry out the orders of the reactionary officers and deserted to the partisans.
The victory of the uprising was ensured. On September 9, under the hammer blows of the united people's masses, assisted by the partisan detachments and the revolutionary soldiers and officers, the loathed monarcho-fascist dictatorship collapsed and the first people's government in Bulgaria – the Fatherland Front government – was established.
However, the greatest credit for the victory of the September 9 uprising and the liberation of our country from the German fascist yoke is due to the heroic fraternal Soviet army and its far-sighted leader Generalissimo Stalin. The Party, the working class, and all our working people will remain forever grateful for that.
1. From September 9th, 1944 to the Grand National Assembly Elections
The September 9 armed people's uprising is a turning-point in our history.
On September 9, 1944 the political power in our country was wrested from the hands of the capitalist bourgeoisie and the monarcho-fascist minority of exploiters and passed into the hands of the vast majority, the working people from towns and villages, under the guidance of the working class and its vanguard – the Communist Party. Having triumphed with the decisive aid of the heroic Red Army, the September 9 uprising cleared the road for building socialism in our country.
The combination of the September 9, 1944 people's anti-fascist uprising and the victorious advance of the Soviet army in the Balkans ensured the triumph of the uprising and gave it great impetus. The hatred against fascism, accumulated in the course of two decades, and the determination of the working people to do away with it, burst forth irrepressibly and swept away the fascist regime at one blow. The anti-popular bourgeois-fascist police apparatus was smashed to pieces and a people's militia was formed to crush the opposition of the fascist elements and to the defend the people's uprising. Power was wrested from the capitalist class, united around the monarchy and closely allied with German imperialism. It passed into the hands of the militant alliance of workers, peasants, artisans and intellectuals united in the Fatherland Front, and under the leadership of our Party. The state power radically changed in character: the instrument for oppression and exploitation of the masses in the interests of the capitalists was dismantled and a people's government was created, as an instrument for the annihilation of capitalism and for the gradual liberation of the working people from exploitation of all kinds.
True, the old bourgeois state machine was not completely smashed on September 9. The Communists were still a minority in the newly formed cabinet. Many key posts were still in the hands of individuals some of whom later proved unstable and even hostile to the people's regime. It was the
Party, however, which animated and spark plug of the anti-fascist movement: In many localities power was actually in the hands of the Fatherland Front committees. Our Party held the Ministry of the Interior as well as the newly-created Institute for Assistant Commanders in the army. This was in the interest of the people, because only our Party could organise the suppression of the overthrown monarcho-fascist clique, ensure internal order and the successful participation of the reorganised army in the War against Hitler Germany. The Party's great power and influence among the people, as well as its position in the Fatherland Front Committees, enabled it to assume in practice a leading role in the government and to wage a successful fight against the fascist reactionaries and their stooges within the ranks of the Fatherland Front.
New people, springing up from the midst of the working class, came to the fore. Vast masses of people, long oppressed under the jackboot of fascist dictatorship, awoke to active political life and, under the leadership of the Party, played their part in various administrative bodies. A new type of people's democratic government was created and perfected.
Although its immediate tasks were of a democratic character, the September 9 uprising could not but shake the capitalist system in our country to its very foundation, thus transcending the limits of bourgeois democracy.
This, then, is the salient feature of the September 9 uprising.
You cannot eliminate fascism, grant democratic rights to the working masses, consolidate and develop these rights without challenging the very rule of capitalism, for fascism is nothing but the ruthless, terrorist dictatorship of big business. The eradication of fascism cannot be completed without challenging big business. Democratic rights cannot be granted to the working people if big business preserves its political and economic power. The September 9 uprising, therefore, undertaking the solution of problems of a democratic character together with the great national problem of our people's participation in the war for the final destruction of Hitlerism, could not but turn subsequently against the domination of big business, deal it further serious blows and prepare the ground for its abolition, for the abolition of the entire capitalist system and the transition to socialism.
However, in order to translate these possibilities into reality our Party had to wage a bitter struggle.
The primary task was to defend and consolidate the victory of September 9. The Party had to reach clarity about the conditions under which the
uprising was carried out, about the most imperative measures to be taken, and about the possible scope of the tasks which could be immediately fulfilled.
The September 9 uprising took place while the war against Nazi Germany was still on. The victorious ending of the war took priority of course over all other tasks and nothing could be undertaken which could possibly impede victory. We must not overlook this important circumstance nor should we forget, when appraising our Party's activity during the period of the country's development after September 9 until the end of the war and the signing of the peace treaty, that our country, as a former satellite of Nazi Germany, was under the supervision of an Allied Control Commission, on which were British and American representatives antagonistic to the people's regime. On the other hand, in the interest of its national existence and in defence of her freedom, Bulgaria had to join the war against Nazi Germany on the side and under the command of the Soviet Union.
A sober estimate of the international and national situation was imperative under these circumstances. Those questions only could tackled which were already ripe for solution so as not to skip any stages in the development of the struggle of the working class and working people of town and countryside against capitalism. In this respect our Party was fully aware of its historic responsibility before the working class and all working people.
On September 9 and afterwards our Party went all out to rally the democratic and patriotic forces of the entire nation in the name of the final and ruthless destruction of the monarcho-fascist clique and to mobilize all the country's material and moral resources of the country in the common fight of all freedom-loving peoples under the leadership of the Soviet Union. Our Party carried out this central task successfully. Bulgaria contributed to the best of its abilities to the liberation of the Balkans from the Hitlerite invaders and to their final defeat. "Everything for the front, everything for victory in the war against Hitler Germany" – that was the supreme slogan of the Party, of the Fatherland Front and of the nation during this period. All other questions were subordinated to this. The Party fought against every departure from this slogan. It opposed the leftist deviations in its own ranks, the impatience of individual comrades, who thought we should immediately proceed with the socialist transformation of society.
The policy of the greatest unification of all the people's anti-fascist, democratic and patriotic forces, including anti-German elements from amongst the bourgeoisie, for the total destruction of the fascist clique, the victorious participation in the war, defence and safeguarding of our national independence, territorial integrity and state sovereignty, was the only correct policy. Its realisation was a pre-condition and guarantee of the preservation and further development of the historic achievements of the September 9 uprising. It enabled the Party to keep close to the masses, to strengthen its positions and to isolate the enemies of the uprising and of the people's authority. Our Party's Central Committee carried through this policy firmly and steadfastly.
A smashing blow was dealt to the openly fascist elements during that period. Severe punishment was meted out to the representatives of fascism and the German agents responsible for our brigand's alliance with German imperialism and for bringing the nation to the brink of a third disaster. The fascist organisations were dissolved. The political, economic and cultural organisations of the working people grew by leaps and bounds. Many major democratic reforms were carried out. Women were granted full equality and given all facilities to participate actively in public life. Broad vistas opened up for the youth. Full equality was also granted to the national minorities and their schools were given state support. A law on land6 property was passed, limiting landholdings to two hundred decares (except Dobrudja where the limit is 300 decares). Another law provided for the confiscation of all illegally acquired wealth. Measures were taken to ensure the popular character of the army. The institution of assistant-commanders, tested sons of the people and fighters against fascism, was introduced to the army.
The entire state apparatus was overhauled and put on a new, and popular basis. The democratic rights and liberties of the broad masses were consolidated. These and similar changes found their expression and confirmation in the abolition of the monarchy and the proclamation of the People's Republic.
On the economic front all efforts were concentrated on the rehabilitation of the war-ravaged national economy, ruthlessly plundered by the Germans and further damaged by two consecutive droughts. But the time was not yet ripe for major economic changes. The war was still in progress and Bulgaria's still unsettled international status, with the presence of the Allied Control Commission in Sofia, made an immediate assault on the economic basis of capitalist reaction impossible. The big estates, banking and commercial enterprises remained in the hands of private capitalists.
It is true that the capitalists were no longer absolute masters of their enterprises and capitals. Public control was instituted. The role of the trade unions grew immensely. But however much the rule of the capitalists was limited, they remained the owners of their enterprises and they exploited this fact in order to hinder in every way possible, the development of production and of government measures. Possessing an economic base, they were able to exert a certain pressure on the people's regime. It was still necessary to wage a hard struggle completely to eliminate completely the capitalist elements from their political and economic positions.
The September 9 blow of against the people's enemies as represented by the fascist clique was so powerful that for a certain time the capitalist bourgeoisie crept under cover. However, this did not mean that they had abandoned their intention of turning back the clock of history.
With their economic base and backed by reactionary American and British circles, our capitalist bourgeoisie soon attempted to translate these hopes and intentions into reality. They had their own agents inside the Fatherland Front in the right-wing reactionary elements who had hidden themselves in some of the Fatherland Front parties. Not yet ready to start an open struggle against the people's regime, they made use of these reactionary elements who soon after September 9 began to wage a fierce fight against the Communist Party and to challenge its leading role, while striving to disrupt our economy, hinder the carrying out government measures, discredit the Party, weaken the Fatherland Front and prepare the ground for a restoration.
Our Party had to organise the struggle of the working people for decisive resistance against the concerted and growing efforts of domestic and international reaction to subvert the gains of September 9. It had to be very vigilant and display great powers of manoeuvre, tact and determination in order to emerge as victor in this tough struggle. Our Party, under the leadership of the Central Committee, fulfilled this task with honour. It came up to the mark during that period as the leader of the Fatherland Front, of the workers and of the entire people.
The Bulgarian working people remember with what energy and determination the Party called them out into the streets against the notorious "fourth decree"7 of Damian Velchev,8 by which the reactionary elements inside the Fatherland Front government wanted to save from the people's wrath their erstwhile butchers who had hidden in the army, and to use them as cadres for staging their plots. At the same time our Party unmasked the self-styled Agrarian "leader", the notorious foreign agent Gemeto (G.M. Dimitrov),9 on whom the reactionary Anglo-American circles were banking in the struggle against our people's regime. Gemeto attempted to organise the right-wing reactionary elements within the Fatherland Front in an antiCommunist bloc. These elements tried to abolish the Fatherland Front committees, pretending that they had already become out-of-date, to transform the Fatherland Front into an ordinary inter-party coalition, and to oppose Bulgaria's participation in the anti-fascist war together with and under the leadership of the Soviet army. They carried out an insidious propaganda against the People's Militia and the People's Courts, preached defeatism on the front and in the rear and engaged in defeatist activities.
Our Party succeeded in exposing Gemeto and his political friends in the eyes of the broad masses as enemy agents, and isolated and smashed them by seeking an ever closer alliance with the sound forces in the Fatherland Front and especially with the Agrarian Union. The infamous Dr. G.M. Dimitrov soon became a general without an army and despised and repudiated, hid in the American Legation in Sofia and fled ignominiously to the United States.
The unsuccessful debut and failure of Gemeto, as the chief agent of American and British imperialism in Bulgaria, compelled the latter to seek other tools. With the cessation of hostilities the pressure of British and American reactionary circles on our country increased. Under their direct orders Nikola Petkov10 and Grigor Chesmedjiev11 and their followers split off from the Fatherland Front and formed a vicious anti-popular opposition – the unconcealed agency of American imperialism.
The still unsettled international status of our country, the open intervention of American imperialists in our domestic affairs (the postponement of the elections scheduled for August 26, 1945), the considerable economic, supply and other difficulties due to the German robbery and ravages of war, created favourable conditions for the opposition leaders to start subversive and disintegrating activity against the Fatherland Front, the people's power and our Party.
Nevertheless, the anti-popular opposition suffered a great fiasco. The boycott of the elections for the 27th Ordinary National Assembly proved a failure. In the subsequent elections for the Grand National Assembly the Fatherland Front won a brilliant victory, winning over 70 percent of the votes, notwithstanding all the blackmail, threats of foreign intervention, demagogy, anti-Communist slander and distortion of the Fatherland Front programme engaged in by the opposition during the electoral campaign. Our Party alone got more than 50 percent of the votes and a clear majority in the Grand National Assembly.
The results of these elections showed that the working people put their complete trust in our Party, as the leading force in the administration of the country and in its socialist reconstruction. In a normal and free election on the basis of a general and equal electoral law with secret ballot, the leading role of our Party in the Fatherland Front and in the nation was confirmed also in a parliamentary way. The Party could now march forward still more firmly and confidently on the road opened up by the September 9 popular uprising.
Despite the active resistance of the opposition, a peace treaty was concluded and diplomatic relations with the U.S.A. and Great Britain resumed. The broad educational work carried out by the Party and the Fatherland Front among the peasants and townsfolk temporarily misled by the opposition, completely isolated it from the people. Repudiated by the people, the opposition leaders began to hatch plots for the violent overthrow of the people's authority with the aid of foreign intervention, which later brought about the downfall of Nikola Petkov's pseudo-Agrarian Union.
Under the leadership of our Party several reactionary plots were uncovered and liquidated. The same fate befell the conspiracy of Damian Velchev's group. The army was purged of reactionary officers.
Our Party brought the struggle against the reactionary opposition to a close, fighting for the greatest possible unification of all sound democratic and patriotic forces under the banner of the Fatherland Front. It completely exposed the national treachery of the opposition leaders who had become foreign agents. This was a sharp class struggle. The enemies of the working class were also enemies of our nation. At the same time, the Party did its utmost to consolidate the positions of the working class, to strengthen the alliance between workers and peasants and to close the ranks of the Fatherland Front. It based its activity on the idea that henceforth it would have to lead the growing democratic political army of the Fatherland Front by making proper of the forces and possibilities of all its various sections for the country's democratic development. It realised that particular groups and individuals, vacillating and inconsistent Fatherland Front supporters, would drop off from this army, depending on the character of the tasks it would have to grapple with. It understood that within army a consistent fight had to be waged against the agents of fascism and capitalist reaction. It also knew that the process of common work and struggle under the leadership of the Communist Party, the different detachments of this army would get closer together, the Fatherland Front would become more firmly united and the authority and dominant role of our Party within it would continue to grow.
Our Party's policy for the greatest possible unification of all democratic and patriotic forces under the banner of the Fatherland Front undoubtedly consolidated the positions of the working class, led to our people's complete victory over reaction and ensured the carrying out of the Fatherland From programme.
The dominant role of the working class was clearly expressed in the composition of the new Fatherland Front government, formed after the elections to the Grand National Assembly. The key positions were occupied by Communists and trusted Fatherland Front leaders.
The Fatherland Front was also consolidated. Its right-wing elements were eliminated (Damian Velchev, Yurukov12 and their like). Our main ally, the Agrarian Union, under the leadership of its tested leaders, supporters of the Fatherland Front, weeded out the vacillating and double-faced elements from its ranks and openly declared itself in favour of a militant alliance of peasants and workers under working class leadership, of socialist construction and of the socialist transformation of agriculture on the basis of co-operative farms and a consistent policy of rendering powerless and liquidating the kulak exploiters in the villages. Mutual confidence and understanding between the Fatherland Front parties increased.
The offensive of domestic and international reaction was thus beaten off. The struggle ended with the victory of the working class and the people. An exceedingly important phase of the hard struggle of our Party and of the Fatherland Front for the successful defence of the historic gains of the September 9 uprising came to a close.
In this context it must be emphasised that if the assault of domestic and international reaction during that period did not assume the form of open armed action, this is due to the resolute measures of the people's government, to the vigilance and energy of our Party, and also to small extent to the presence on our soil of units of the Soviet liberation army, which by itself practically paralysed reaction.
2. Laying the Foundations of Socialism in Bulgaria
The victory of the people under the guidance of our Party over the attempt of capitalist reaction to set back the clock of history created the conditions for speeding up of the political and economical development of our country, for proceeding to bring about basic transformations and carry out constructive tasks of our people's regime.
Under the conditions created by the elections to the Grand National Assembly and the formation of a government under the direct leadership of our Party, there could be no further development of the productive forces, of the national economy and of the well-being of the working people without a radical encroachment on the economic basis of the capitalist class. Bulgaria's experience confirmed the thesis of Lenin and Stalin that under decaying capitalism, when the inherent insoluble crisis of bourgeois democracy gives birth to fascism, no serious and lasting democratic changes are possible, no progress is feasible, without attacking the very foundations of capitalism, without taking steps in the direction of socialism. In this our country's task was greatly eased by the fraternal aid received from a strong socialist state – the U.S.S.R.
The way was open for a full unfolding of the constructive tasks of the people's government, for revolutionary changes in our national economy, for the elimination of the economic basis of capitalist reaction, for the transition from capitalism to socialism, which of course cannot be realised without waging an uncompromising class struggle against the capitalist elements.
In this situation the Party had to formulate new tasks in order to arm its own cadres, the Fatherland Front and the working people with a clear perspective. There was, however, a certain lag. After the chief tasks of the preceding period were in the main solved, the Party by and large continued to be guided by its old slogans. We permitted a certain delay in the destruction of the reactionary opposition. We continued to speak of the possibility of coordinating the interests of private industrialists and merchants with the general interests of the state at a time when the whole situation made it possible to take radical measures for the elimination of the rule of big business in the national economy, and when factors had emerged which enabled us to advance resolutely towards laying the foundations of socialism in our country.
We have never lost track of the general perspective of our development towards socialism. We have always clearly realised that the destruction of fascism and the realisation of the many reforms, which figure in the Fatherland Front programme of July 17, 1942 was intimately tied up with our ultimate goal – socialism and communism. We have said again and again that, from the viewpoint of our Party as the vanguard of the working class, the complete realisation of the Fatherland Front programme meant the creation of the necessary conditions for our people to advance to socialism. We always stressed that there was no contradiction between our Fatherland Front policy and the struggle to unite all democratic and progressive forces in the Fatherland Front for the realisation of its programme, on the one hand, and the struggle for socialism, on the other. But at that time the transition to socialism still seemed to us a question for the comparatively distant future and the international and domestic situation seemed to us not yet suitable for the application of such radical measures.Meanwhile, the Fatherland Front programme, such as it had been proclaimed in 1942 and specified after September 9, 1944 in the declaration of the first Fatherland Front government, had by the end of 1946 already been in the main fulfilled. What is more, with the proclamation of the People's Republic and the elaboration of the Two-Year-Plan, we had already gone beyond the first Fatherland Front programme. The development of the revolutionary process started on September 9 made it indispensable to take decisive measures for the liquidation of large capitalist private property, for starting a consistent policy of muzzling the kulak elements in the village, for radically overhauling the entire state apparatus and for working out a new Fatherland Front programme with clearly formulated perspectives of the movement toward socialism, for a corresponding reconstruction of the Fatherland Front, for a further consolidation of the dominant role of the Party. This lag in the rate of the economic and political development of our country shows that our Party temporarily underestimated its own forces and those of the working class and working people, and overestimated the forces of reaction. As the 16th Plenum of the Central Committee stated, our Party "lacked the necessary clarity regarding the perspectives and the pace of our movement towards socialism." It was not armed with a consistent Marxist-Leninist analysis of the September 9 turning-point and of ensuing possibilities and failed to grasp at the proper time the different stages of our development. Fortunately, however, the Party, although with a certain lag and with an insufficient theoretical examination of the problems, did managed to take action and ensure the solution of the new tasks arising from the changed conditions.
This example confirms once again the old truth that it is easier to learn by heart the principles of Marxism-Leninism than to apply them in practice as a guide to action, correctly and in time, at every stage of social development. For the mastery of this art, the Party leaders, at the top and at the bottom, must work tirelessly and study diligently so that the Party shall neither fall behind and be late in taking necessary action nor rush ahead too far.
We shall never forget the invaluable and timely aid which we received from the great Bolshevik Party and in particular from Stalin personally, through advice and explanation on matters of our Party's policy as a leading force of the people's democracy, which enabled us quickly to correct our mistakes.
During the past year and a half, under the leadership of our Party, a series of momentous and fundamental measures were carried out which completely consolidated the people's democracy and prepared the ground for laying the economic foundations of socialism in Bulgaria.
The new Republican Constitution was adopted, which legally consolidated the historic gains of the September 9 uprising and of the people's democratic form of government and opened up prospects for the country's further development.
On the initiative and under the leadership of our Party, industry, private banks, foreign trade, domestic wholesale trade, large urban property and forests were socialised, while farm machinery and implements were bought up from the farmers. The bulk of the means of production and exchange have thus passed into public ownership.
The nationalisation of industry is the most important revolutionary measure our economy. It consolidated our planned development on the road toward socialism. In industry, credit and transport, the public sector has come to occupy an almost monopolistic position. The same is true in foreign trade and wholesale domestic trade. In our retail domestic trade the public sector already outweighs the private sector. In agriculture and handicraft the public sector has grown firm roots which becoming ever stronger through the creation of more than 70 machine and tractor stations, of over 1,000 co-operative farms with some 300,000 hectares of arable land, of state farms with almost 100,000 hectares of land, of new artisans' co-operatives, and through the rapid rise of the co-operative movement in towns and villages.
Hand in hand with these radical changes and in conformity with our people's constitution, our entire state apparatus was thoroughly overhauled and, in spite of some defects, it continues to improve as an apparatus of a people's democracy.
Our Party took the initiative and, as you know, in reorganising the Fatherland Front under its own guidance into a unified political organisation with its own rules and a revised programme formulating the new tasks of transforming the country with a view to its forward march toward socialism. Thus, as a result of the Party's steadfast work, the coalition elements in the Fatherland Front were completely done away with. It has now become an organisation of the militant alliance of the working people of town and countryside under the generally accepted leadership of the working class headed by our Party. All parties and public organisations composing the Fatherland Front recognise today the necessity of building socialism.
The Second Congress of the Fatherland Front marked a very important stage in its development. The hostile, vacillating and unstable elements which had infiltrated into the Fatherland Front with the aim of disintegrating it and undermining it from within dropped out or were expelled. The Fatherland Front only gained from that. In their place, after the second Congress, new forces, came in from the ranks of the working people and their mass organisations. The Fatherland Front as a mass political organisation of the militant alliance of working people of town and countryside, under the leadership of the proletarian class, is now stronger and more united than ever. Favourable conditions exist for a closer collaboration between the Fatherland Front parties. Applying different methods of persuasion, agitation and propaganda, depending on the peculiarities of those circles wherein each is mainly working, the Fatherland Front parties are contributing to rallying as many people as possible for the common goal – the construction of the foundations of socialism by way of the people's democracy.
Today the Fatherland Front embodies the ever-increasing moral and political unity of the working people of our country – a basic condition for bringing to a successful end the fight against the capitalist elements and the building of the foundations of socialism.
The transformation of the Fatherland Front into a unified political organisation with a common programme, socialist in essence, with strict discipline and the recognised leading role of the Communist Party, is undoubtedly a great achievement. It is for this reason that we condemn all underestimation of its significance and role. It was and continues to be a vital necessity for our country. We cannot but call to account those Communists whose scornful attitude toward the Fatherland Front brings grist to the mill of our class enemies who are principally interested in discrediting it.
It goes without saying that within the framework of the Fatherland Front some of the component parties may prefer to merge or to discontinue their independent organisational existence, whenever they consider this timely and useful. But that is their own affair.
These profound transformations and the changed correlation of the class and political forces in our country, together with the active support of the Soviet Union, paved the way for the building of the foundations of socialism in our country as an urgent, vital and practical task. This is now the general policy of our Party. At the head of the working class, closely allied to all the working people of town and countryside, it will carry out this correct general policy firmly and unflinchingly, with unshakable confidence in its victory, notwithstanding all internal and especially external difficulties and obstacles.
To be able to march confidently forward along the correct road chosen by us, the road of socialism, full light must be shed on the character, role and perspectives of the popular democratic system and the People's Democracy. In this respect we must render more precise certain of our concepts and correct others, recording the experience accumulated so far as well as the most recent data on this new complex problem affecting our country, as well as the other People's Democracies.
What does this problem boil down two?
First, popular democracy and the People's Democracy became possible, as you know, as a result of the utter defeat of the German fascist forces, of the historic victory of the Soviet Union in World War II and the struggle of the peoples, led by the working class, for national freedom and independence. These led to the falling off of a number of Eastern and Southern European states from the system of imperialism.
The character of a people's democracy is determined by four major factors:
1) The people’s democracy represents the power of the working people –of the overwhelming majority of the people, under the leadership of the working class. That means, first, that the rule of the capitalists an landlords is overthrown and the rule of the working people from the towns and villages, under the leadership of the working class, established, that the working class as the most progressive class in contemporary society is playing the principal role in state and public life. Second, that the state serves as an instrument in the fight of the working people against the exploiters, against all efforts and tendencies, aimed at re-establishing the capitalist order and the bourgeois rule
2) The people's democracy is a state in the transitional period, destined to ensure the development of the state on the path to socialism. That means that although the rule of capitalists and landlords is overthrown and their property handed over to the people, the economic roots of capitalism are not yet extirpated; capitalist vestiges still persist and develop, trying to restore their rule. Therefore, the onward march toward socialism is possible only by waging a relentless class struggle against the capitalist elements for their liquidation.
Only by advancing directly on the road to the achievement of socialism, can the people's democracy stabilise itself and fulfil its historic mission. Should it cease to fight again the exploiting classes, and to eliminate them, the latter would inevitably gain the upper hand, and would bring about its downfall.
3) The people's democracy is built in collaboration and friendship with the Soviet Union, with the land of socialism. Just as the liberation of our country from the fetters of imperialism and the establishment of a people's democracy were made possible by the aid and liberating role of the U.S.S.R. in the fight against fascist Germany and its satellites, so the further development of our people's democracy presupposes the safeguarding and further promotion of close relations and sincere collaboration, mutual aid and friendship between our state and the Soviet state. Any tendency toward weakening this collaboration with the U.S.S.R. is directed against the very existence of the people's democracy in our country.
4) The people's democracy belongs to the democratic anti-imperialist camp.
A) Only by joining in the unified democratic anti-imperialist camp, headed by the mighty Soviet state, can every people’s democracy ensure its independence, sovereignty and safety against the aggression of the imperialist forces.
B) Under the conditions of the military collapse of the fascist aggressor states, of the abrupt sharpening of the general capitalist crisis, of the immense strengthening of the power of the Soviet Union and the existing close collaboration with the U.S.S.R. and the new democracies, our country and the other new democracies were enabled to realise the transition from capitalism to socialism without the establishment of a Soviet order, through the regime of a people’s democracy, on condition that the regime was consolidated and developed, and by leaning on the U.S.S.R. and the other new democracies.
C) Embodying the rule of the working people under the leadership of the working class, the people's democracy, in the existing historical situation, as is already proved by experience, can and must successfully perform the functions of dictatorship of the proletariat for the liquidation of the capitalist elements and the organisation of a socialist economy. It can crush the resistance of the overthrown capitalists and landowners, their attempts to restore the rule of capital, and organise the building of industry on the basis of public ownership and planned economy.
The regime of the people's democracy will succeed in overcoming the vacillations of the urban petty-bourgeoisie and middle class peasantry, in neutralising the capitalist elements in the villages and in rallying all the working people around the working class for the onward march toward socialism.
The regime of the people's democracy will not change its character during the carrying out of this policy which aims at eliminating the capitalist elements from the national economy. The key positions of the working class in all spheres of public life must continuously be strengthened and all village elements rallied who might become allies of the workers during the period of sharp struggles against the kulaks and their hangers-on. The people's democratic regime must be strengthened and improved in order to render powerless and liquidate the class enemies.
D) The People's Democracies, including Bulgaria, are already marching toward socialism, in ceaseless struggle against all domestic and especially foreign enemies. They are now creating the conditions necessary for the building of socialism, the economic and cultural basis for a future socialist society.
This is the central task today facing the People's Democracies and, consequently, the working class and its vanguard, the Communist Party.
This task embraces the following important aspects:
a) Consolidation of the key positions held by the working class, headed by the Communist Party, in all spheres of political, economic and cultural life.
b) Strengthening of the alliance between the working class and the working peasants under the leadership of the working class.
c) Speeding up the development of the public sector of the national economy and, in particular, of heavy industry.
d) Creating the conditions for the liquidating the capitalist elements in village economy by a consistent policy aiming at their isolation and subsequent annihilation.
e) All-around development of the producers’ co-operatives among the peasants, giving state assistance to the poor and middle peasants through machine and tractor-stations, agricultural machines, credit, seed loans etc., intensifying their interest in the alliance with the working class, persuading them by the example of the co-operative farms of the advantages of that system, and re-educating them in a spirit of intolerance toward capitalist elements.
So far as the nationalisation of the land is concerned, we consider that in our situation and with the development of co-operative farms, this question has no practical importance, i.e. we think that nationalisation of the is not a necessary condition for the development and mechanisation of our rural economy.
E) The people's democracy stands for internationalism. Nationalism is incompatible with the people's democracy. Our Party sees in internationalism, i.e. international collaboration under Comrade Stalin, a guarantee of our country's independent existence, prosperity and progress of our country towards socialism. We think that nationalism, under no matter what guise is an enemy of communism. This was clearly demonstrated by the antiCommunist actions of Tito's group in Yugoslavia. Hence, the fight against nationalism is a primary duty of the Communists.
Fighting all manifestations of nationalism, we must re-educate the working people toilers in the spirit of proletarian internationalism and devotion to their country, i.e. in a spirit of genuine patriotism.
Education in the spirit of proletarian internationalism and devotion to one's country means, above all, to make people fully conscious of the unique importance of a firm united front of the People's Democracies and the U.S.S.R. in the struggle against the aggressive forces of international reaction and imperialism. The entire future of our people depends, on the one hand, on the power of the Soviet Union, and, on the other, on their readiness and ability, in case of capitalist aggression, honourably to fulfil their duty in the common fight.
At the same time, education in the spirit of proletarian internationalism means to render people fully aware of the importance of complete coordination of the activities of the Communist Parties, and of the leading role of the Bolshevik Party. For there exists for the Communist Parties one and only one theory as a guide to action – the theory of Marxism-Leninism; one and only one aim in their policy; and there exists the great Party of Lenin and Stalin, as the leading party of the international labour movement.
To tirelessly educate the Party, the working class, the toiling peasantry and intelligentsia, the whole people in that spirit is, according to us, the prime condition for all our successes.
Two basic facts characterise the present epoch: 1) the general crisis and disintegration of the capitalist system, and 2) the continuous growth and flourishing of socialism in the U.S.S.R.
The general crisis of capitalism is the logical consequence of its own development. By developing the productive capacities of society to an unprecedented extent, capitalism became entangled in contradictions which it cannot solve. World War I ushered in the period of the general crisis of capitalism. The October Revolution in Russia wrested from the system of world capitalism one-sixth of the globe. Capitalism ceased to be the sole and universal system of world economy; it lost its former resilience.
World War II, which was prepared by all the forces of international reaction and precipitated by the fascist aggressors, deepened and sharpened the general crisis of capitalism. As during the first war, the net result was a considerable weakening of capitalism.
The destruction of the main centres of fascism and world aggression deprived international reaction of its bridge-heads – Germany, Italy and Japan – in the struggle against the U.S.S.R. and socialism, against the working class and the national liberation movement.
The international authority and power of the Soviet Union increased tremendously. By its heroic struggle it not only defended its own freedom and independence but also liberated the European peoples from the foreign yoke. The U.S.S.R. played a decisive role in winning the war against the aggressors and saved civilisation from the fascist brigands. It showed to the whole world that the forces of socialism and democracy are invincible. The U.S.S.R. became a decisive factor in international politics. It is a pillar of peace and of the security of the nations, of their free development towards progress and genuine democracy. The U.S.S.R. is an insurmountable barrier to the realisation of the dark schemes of international reaction to hurl the peoples into a new holocaust.
Just as World War I ended with Russia's dropping out of the world capitalist system, so World War II and the defeat of fascism led to the breaking away from the imperialist system of a series of Eastern and South-Eastern European states. Liberated by the Soviet Army, these states were thereby enabled to determine their own destinies through the free choice of their peoples, based on the selfless aid of the Soviet Union.
The crisis of the colonial system, aggravated by World War II, led to a powerful upsurge of the national liberation movement in the colonial and dependent countries and threatened the rear of the imperialist system. The colonial peoples no longer wish to live in the old way, and they have risen in decisive struggle for the establishment of independent states.
Throughout the whole capitalist world the war brought about an unprecedented pauperisation of the masses, an increase of unemployment, misery and hunger and a sharpening of class contradictions, since the bourgeoisie is striving everywhere to shift the main burden of the war and the post-war difficulties onto the back of the working people. At the same time the war was followed by a great upsurge of the international labour movement.
After the destruction of the fascist aggressors, the centre of world reaction shifted to the United States. Hitler’s plans to enslave the world, which suffered a fiasco in the last war were superseded by the plans of the American imperialists for world domination. These adventurist plans for the economic, political and ideological enslavement of Europe and the whole world are directed against the vital national interests of the overwhelming majority of nations and peoples. They are prompted by the greedy imperialist appetites of a financial oligarchy and by its fear of the growth of socialism and people’s democracy.
Under the flag of the so-called “Western democracy” American imperialism is trying to impose on the European nations its regime, based on the almightiness of the dollar and the domination of a handful of monopolists. Its aim is to turn the United Nations into a tool of its own expansionist policy by violating the principle of sovereignty and equality of the member-nations of this organisation. American imperialism is striving to enslave the small and temporarily weakened peoples and to build up an imperialist bloc against the U.S.S.R., the People’s Democracies and the revolutionary movements of the workers and the colonial people fighting for their freedom. It is pursuing a policy of reckless increase of armaments. The Anglo-American imperialists are brazenly interfering in the internal affairs of other states and are everywhere supporting the reactionary and openly fascist elements which have been rejected by the people.
But the Anglo-American bloc, established in the wake of World War II with Britain playing second fiddle, can hardly be lasting and stable. The contradictions between the two main states of present world imperialism – U.S.A. and Britain – as well as between other capitalist nations, are bound to grow more acute in the struggle for markets and spheres of influence.
Today’s main difference between the democratic camp and the reactionary camp in the world arena, between the warmongers and the partisans of a lasting democratic peace, is the attitude toward the U.S.S.R.
The U.S.S.R. is resolutely resisting all the attacks of the imperialists and all their attempts to scare people with atom bombs. Pursuing a well-tried policy of peace and friendly collaboration among peoples, the U.S.S.R. is backed by its growing economic and political power, its invincible Soviet army, the unconditional support of working class and working people throughout the whole world, who have an abiding interest in the preservation of peace. The plans of the aggressors and instigators of a new war are doomed to failure.
Exposing the instigators of a new world war, Comrade Stalin recently stated what may be the outcome of their adventurous policy. Here is how he put it:
“It can end only with the disgraceful collapse of the instigators of a new war. Churchill, the chief instigator of a new war, has already succeeded in depriving himself of the confidence of his nation and the democratic forces of the world. The same fate awaits all other instigators of war. The horrors of the recent war are to alive in the minds of the people and the social forces in favour of peace are to great for Churchill’s pupils in aggression to be able to overpower and deflect them towards a new war.”
The time has passed when the peoples were blind and helpless tools in the hands of the ruling capitalist cliques. The peace-loving peoples of both hemispheres are increasingly mobilising themselves in defence of peace, democracy and world culture; the anti-imperialist world front, headed by the great Soviet Union, whose forces are growing continuously, is taking ever clearer shape. Now when the imperialist cliques are impudent enough to brandish the atom bomb, all peoples see in the Soviet Union the main guardian of world peace and defender of civilisation from capitalist barbarity. The peace-loving peoples learned a good lesson from the duel between the forces of war and peace which was held in the just concluded United Nations General Assembly. Rejecting the Soviet proposals for banning of atomic weapons and for an immediate reduction of armaments of the five Great Powers, the Anglo-American imperialists were exposed before the eyes of the entire world as the enemies of peace and international collaboration.
Not only the peoples of the Soviet Union and the people’s democracies are ranging themselves in the peace front, but also the overwhelming majority of the peoples in the capitalist countries and colonies. The defeat of the reactionary and military Republican Party, in the recent U.S. elections showed conclusively that the majority of the American people do not want war and reject the reactionary programme of the big capitalist trusts. Every sober observer may well ask himself what British minister could beguile the British peoples into an anti-Soviet war, when they remember that it was the Soviet Army which saved them from the horrible Nazi menace. The struggle of the broad masses against the incendiaries of a new war has assumed especially acute forms in France and Italy. Increasingly losing hope that they can use the peoples of the bourgeois-democrat nations as cannon fodder against the Soviet Union, the war-minded imperialists are pinning their hopes on their Western German zones of occupation and on fascist Spain, which they wish to use as a base and weapon in their aggressive policy in Europe.
After the war the anti-imperialist camp has extended far to the east and on its side are now fighting for their independence the peoples of Indonesia, Vietnam, Burma and other colonial states. The Korean people, enjoying the selfless support of the U.S.S.R, carried off a brilliant victory over reaction and the lackeys of imperialism by proclaiming their independent people’s republic, which the Bulgarian government recognised and greeted warmly.
Of exceptional importance for the correlation of forces between the two world camps is the long, stubborn and heroic struggle which the Chinese people are waging for their independence against the imperialists and their corrupt reactionary agents in China. At this very moment the million-strong national liberation army of China which under the firm leadership of the Chinese Communist Party has won a series of spectacular victories over the mercenaries of Chinese reaction, despite the aid and arms given by the American imperialists, has already freed the whole of Manchuria, practically the whole of North China, almost all Inner Mongolia, and is now advancing headlong toward the capital of Chang Kai Shek-Nanking. The forces of democracy amongst the Chinese people, five hundred million strong, have already won the upper hand over the forces of reaction, and their final victory is only a question of time.
The anti-imperialist front is thus continuously growing and consolidating. Today it already constitutes an unshakable force. The masses of the people and the anti-imperialist forces in all lands, in the first ranks of which are to be found the Communist parties, will know how to paralyse the war-like machinations of aggressive imperialism and will thus ensure lasting peace to the world.
The basic lines of our foreign policy, the foreign policy of the Fatherland Front were already outlined in the 1942 programme; safeguarding the national interests of the Bulgarian people in close friendship with the U.S.S.R. and understanding with neighbouring states.
True to these principles, the Fatherland Front government from its very inception passed over to the side of the Allies and led the Bulgarian armies against the Nazi hordes; it withdrew its armies from the Greek and Yugoslav regions which had been occupied by them and entered into an understanding with the Soviet command for the speedier liberation of the Balkans from Nazi occupation.
We know today and can assess the great political and moral importance of the fact that Bulgaria participated, under Soviet command, in the liberation war for the defeat of Nazi Germany.
We experienced once again the powerful and irreplaceable aid of the U.S.S.R. when at the Paris Peace Conference the authoritative voice of Comrade Molotov was heard to the effect that the Bulgarian people could rest assured about their frontiers, for not one yard would be taken away by anyone.
Ever since the Soviet government, intent on preventing Bulgaria becoming involved in the war on the side of Germany, proposed to the Filov government a pact of friendship and mutual aid between the U.S.S.R. and Bulgaria, the Bulgarian people have felt the presence of the powerful friendly hand of the U.S.S.R. They remember the Soviet Government’s warning when the criminal monarcho-fascist clique concluded an alliance with Germany and allowed the Nazi hordes to step onto Bulgarian soil. They gratefully recall Stalin’s heartening words on various times during the most crucial hours of the war, namely, to persevere in their struggle against the monarcho-fascist dictatorship which was bound to end in victory. On September 5, 1944, when the provocations of the German agents had overtaxed the patience of the Soviet government, the latter declared war on Bulgaria. Today we can fully appreciate the decisive importance of this act for the destiny of Bulgaria. In this “war” not one single Soviet or Bulgarian soldier was killed, but the entry of the Soviet army helped overthrow the fascist dictatorship and ensure the future of the Bulgarian people, their freedom and national independence. We shall never forget that even while the war was still on the Soviet Government started to provide Bulgaria with basic necessities for our economy, helped to feed our people during the droughts and continues to lend us valuable political, economic, moral and technical assistance on an ever-increasing scale.
Our Party, intimately connected with the Russian revolutionary movement from before the October revolution, has the historic merit of rendering still deeper the gratitude of the Bulgarian people towards their liberators and of transforming friendship with the U.S.S.R. into the cornerstone of the foreign policy of our People’s Republic. Today our friendship is also formally imbedded in the pact for friendship, collaboration and mutual aid between the two nations.
Leaning securely on Soviet friendship, our free and independent people’s republic was recognised by all nations, concluded the best possible peace treaty under the existing circumstances, and established normal diplomatic relations with practically all countries. Now it is fighting for its right to admission in the United Nations and thus to remove the last international consequences of Bulgaria’s former status as a satellite of Nazi Germany.
The friendship between our republic and the other new democracies is another very important aspect of our foreign policy. Its beginning dates from the struggle of our peoples, aided by the U.S.S.R., for the achievement and consolidation of their freedom and independence. We highly value the assistance which the governments of fraternal Poland and Czechoslovakia lent us during the Peace Conference in Paris and also during the just concluded United Nations General Assembly, where Bulgaria was subjected to unwarranted accusations and unjust attacks. Our friendly relations with these two countries as well as with the People’s Republic of Rumania, Hungary and Albania, which were sealed by pacts of friendship, mutual aid and collaboration, are growing ever firmer and open up broad perspectives for close co-operation between our peoples, for ensuring their future along the path of democracy and socialism.
Fraternal Yugoslavia, with whom the closest brotherly relations and a common and age-old ideal united us – the establishment of a South Slav Federation – is, unfortunately, ruled today by men – Tito and his group – who betrayed the great doctrine of Marxism-Leninism, the pre-condition for mutual confidence between the Communist Parties and the basis for their cooperation on the road to socialism. The nationalist policy of the Tito group increasingly alienates Yugoslavia from the U.S.S.R. and the new democracies, and subjects it more and more to the danger of falling into the clutches of greedy imperialism. Our Party watches with anxiety the degeneration of the present Yugoslav Communist Party leaders into an ordinary bourgeois-chauvinist clique, hostile to communism. But we do not doubt the loyalty of the Yugoslav Communist Party to internationalism and Marxism-Leninism and its ability to bring fraternal Yugoslavia back into the fold of the U.S.S.R. and the people’s democracies.
The friendship of our Party and the Greek Communist Party weathered the storm of World War II. During the hardest period of German-Bulgarian occupation, our Party was on the side of the Greek national liberation movement and helped it as best we could. During the voluntary evacuation of Western Thrace, the Bulgarian soldiers left behind all reserves of food for the hungry local population. Our Party and our people are deeply shocked by the sufferings to which the heroic Greek people, who were the first in the Balkans to fight the Italo-German aggressors, have been subjected by a monarcho-reactionary clique supported by military aid from foreign powers. We follow with profound sympathies the epic struggle of the Greek people against the foreign occupationists and their local quislings. The Greek Communist Party, the democratic army and the entire Greek people may consider our party and the Bulgarian people their true friends. We staunchly believe in the final victory of people’s democracy in Greece, which alone will ensure freedom and independence to the Greek people and will create, on the Greek side, the necessary conditions for sincere friendship and collaboration with us and Greece’s other northern neighbours.
The imperialists and war incendiaries resort to any means in their attempt to obstruct the development of our republic. They made numerous efforts to aid and abet the defeated forces of reaction in Bulgaria. Day in and day out the “Voice of America” radio-station slanders and insults our republic and its government leaders and openly calls for crimes against the people’s authorities.
The leaders of Lulchev’s bankrupt Social-Democratic Party recently exposed before the court and before the whole world the backstage schemes of certain foreign diplomats. But even after this fiasco of the plotters, our republic continues to be the object of vicious slanders and attacks. Just when our people are mobilising all their material resources and their labour for the fulfilment of the forthcoming Five-Year-Plan, when they are focusing their entire attention on the tasks of our economic and cultural construction, the war-incendiaries, as though at a given signal, are impudently accusing our peaceful little republic of “militarism” and “aggressive designs” with respect to our neighbours.
The very opposite is the truth. And this indubitable truth every honest and unbiased observer sees and knows. Our republic needs lasting peace, friendship and collaboration with other peoples, in order to catch up with the other more advanced nations and to become an economically advanced, civilised, democratic and socialist state. That is the goal of its foreign policy. But our Party knows that this can be achieved only if our nation is free, independent and enjoys equal rights. That is why, at the head of the Fatherland Front, it is fighting against foreign interference, watching over the freedom and independence of the People’s Republic Bulgaria and working for ever closer collaboration with our allies, with the peace and freedom-loving peoples.
Working diligently for that aim our people are ready to rise as one man in order to nip in the bud all provocations and attempts on the territorial integrity and the frontiers of the Bulgarian People’s Republic.
The treachery of Tito's group towards the U.S.S.R. and the united democratic anti-imperialist camp, its anti-Marxist and nationalist alignment, condemned by the Communist Information Bureau, by all Communist Parties and all genuine democratic organisations, found expression in its attitude toward the federation of the Southern Slavs and the Macedonian question.
With the overthrow of the Fascist dictatorship in Bulgaria on September 9, 1944, and the establishment in Bulgaria and Yugoslavia of a people's democratic regime under the leaders of the Communist Parties, very favourable conditions were created for a rational and democratic settlement of the Macedonian question.
Under the newly created domestic and international conditions, the vital interests of the Bulgarian and Yugoslav peoples demanded that both nations seek the closest rapprochement which would quickly lead to their economic and political unification – to the establishment of a federation of Southern Slavs. Such a federation, firmly based on friendship with the U.S.S.R. and fraternal collaboration with the other new democracies, could have successfully defended the freedom and independence of its peoples and ensured their proper development toward socialism. Within the framework of such a federation there would have been successfully solved, all the old unsolved problems left over by the bourgeois-monarchic regimes concerning the unification of the Macedonians from the Pirin district with the People's Republic of Macedonia, as well as the return to Bulgaria of the purely Bulgarian Western Border Region which the Yugoslavia of King Alexander had grabbed after World War I.
Our Party firmly chose that course, relying on the word of the Yugoslav Communists to whom we were tied by common work and association covering a period of many years. And that is the present stand of our Party. But the nationalist leaders of Yugoslavia left this only correct path. After the two governments had agreed on a series of measures relating to the forthcoming establishment of the federation, the Central Committee of the Yugoslav Communist Party informed our Party in March 1948 that it had changed its mind, that we should not be in too much of a hurry about the federation, and refused to discuss the matter any further. At the same time, the Yugoslav leaders set as the central task the transformation of the Pirin district into an autonomous region with a view to Its inclusion in Yugoslavia, independently of the existing understanding on the creation of a federation.
Evidently this about turn of Tito and his group was intimately tied up with their betrayal of Marxism-Leninism. This group is skidding down the slippery road of nationalism and today takes the same stand as the Greater Serbia chauvinists used to do when they were striving for hegemony in the Balkans and for annexing Macedonia to Serbia and Yugoslavia.
The disclosures made at the Albanian Communist Congress about the aggressive intentions of the Tito group towards Albania are another proof of its double-faced policy, its crass nationalism and departure from the united socialist front of the Soviet Union and the people's democracies.
There were in the past two alternatives for the solution of the Macedonian question, which for decades on end was at the centre of Balkan rivalries and wars.
1) A democratic revolution for Macedonia’s liberation from the Turkish yoke. This road was chosen by the internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organisation (IMRO) – Gotse Delchev, Sandansky and others – as well as by the Macedonian revolutionary Social-Democrat Union – Hadji Dirnov, Nicola Larez and others. These Macedonian organisations enjoyed the full support of our Party, many of whose members were active fighters in the Macedonian revolutionary movement.
2) The bourgeois nationalist road, i.e. the liberation of Macedonia from the Turkish yoke through a war, and its annexation by one or several Balkan states. Our Party has always firmly opposed military-bourgeois nationalism and has fought steadfastly against the plans of the Balkan monarchies and the bourgeois-capitalist cliques to enslave and carve up Macedonia.
The second alternative prevailed, however, leading to the two Balkan wars (1912-13). Macedonia was freed from the Turkish yoke, but carved up between Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria.
In the face of the growing danger of an imperialist aggression on the Balkans, the Balkan socialist parties raised the slogan of a Balkan democratic federation. United in a mighty federation, the Balkan peoples could have more easily defended their freedom and independence against any aggressive moves by the imperialist forces. At the same time, the federation would have helped to solve all the outstanding national issues in the Balkans, including that of Macedonia. Within a Balkan democratic federation, Macedonia, split into three parts, could have united as a state with equal rights.
Our Party correctly linked the solution of the Macedonian question with the creation of a Balkan democratic federation. That is why it has waged a long, consistent and uncompromising fight against Greater Bulgarian chauvinism. It stuck to that position during the Balkan wars and World War I.
What was the essence of the Greater Bulgarian chauvinism of the Bulgarian monarchist and capitalist bourgeoisie?
It consisted, first, of an attempt to gain hegemony in the Balkans and, second, of an attempt to forcefully incorporate Macedonia into the Bulgarian state. This policy, which during World War II was carried out under the overlordship of Nazi Germany, was in fact a treacherous policy, concealing the attempts of Nazi Germany to turn so-called "Greater Bulgaria" into a German colony.
After the October Socialist Revolution and the accession of the Balkan Socialist parties to the Communist International, the Balkan Socialist Federation became a Balkan Communist Federation, in which our Party played a very active role. The Balkan Communist Federation saw the solution of all Balkan problems, including that of Macedonia, in the creation of a Balkan democratic federation, capable of defending the freedom and independence of all Balkan peoples.
Our Party thus took up a correct and time-honoured stand on the Balkan question in general and also offered a truly democratic solution of the Macedonian question. The slogan for a Balkan federative republic was in complete conformity with the Marxist-Leninist teachings on the national problem.
"The conscious workers in the Balkan countries," wrote Lenin in 1912, "were the first to raise the slogan for a consistently democratic solution of the national problem in the Balkans. It was the slogan of a federative Balkan Republic. As a result of the weakness of the democratic classes in the present Balkan states (where the proletariat is numerically small and the peasantry backward, illiterate and disunited) the economically and politically necessary union became an alliance of Balkan monarchs."
Prior to World War II there had grown up a powerful progressive Macedonian movement in Bulgaria, which advocated the self-determination of the Macedonian people, as a free nation. It was fully supported by our Party, which during the war, worked in full agreement with the Macedonian Communists. Bulgarian partisans fought shoulder to shoulder with Macedonian partisans against the German-Bulgarian occupation forces. Our Party warmly welcomed the establishment of a Macedonian People's Republic, within the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia.
Everyone knows that our Party made great sacrifices in the struggle for the defence of the Macedonian people's right to self-determination, and against the aggressive policy of the Bulgarian bourgeoisie.
After the Bled Agreement, and in order to help forward the process of the drawing together and future unification of the Macedonian regions in both countries, our Party sanctioned the introduction of the official Macedonian language as a compulsory subject in all schools in the Pirin district, and admitted many Macedonian teachers from Skopie as instructors, as well as Macedonian librarians to circulate Macedonian books. This was a proof that our Party felt the greatest sympathy for the Macedonian people's unification.
But the Belgrade and Skopie leaders double-crossed us despite our Party's good intentions. Most of the teachers and librarians sent from Skopie, evidently on instructions from their Yugoslav leaders, became agents of Greater Yugoslav, anti-Bulgarian chauvinist propaganda; and later, after the treachery of Tito's group towards the U.S.S.R. and the united anti-imperialist camp, they came out as open anti-Soviet agents.
What Kulishevsky's agents did in the Pirin district was only a reflection of what happened inside the People's Republic of Macedonia. Under the pretext of a struggle against Greater Bulgarian chauvinism and with the aid of the state apparatus and all other public organisations – political and cultural – a systematic campaign was waged against everything Bulgarian, against the Bulgarian people, their culture, their people's democracy, their Fatherland Front and especially against our Party. No Bulgarian books or newspapers, not even Rabotnichesko Delo, were allowed to enter the People's Republic of Macedonia. All Bulgarian inscriptions on old school buildings and other monuments were carefully erased. Family names, as for instance Kulishev, Uzunov, Tsvetkov and others, became, as we know, Kulishevsky, Uzunovsky, Tsvetkovsky, so that they should have nothing in common with Bulgarian names.
Public officials in the Macedonian People's Republic had the effrontery to make declarations directed against the Bulgarian people and against Bulgaria. In his well-known speech, delivered on March 23, 1948 before the 2nd Congress of the Macedonian People's Front, Kulishevsky slanderously accused our country and our people's authority of oppressing the Macedonian population in the Pirin district.
Kulishevsky's provocative speech was eagerly reproduced by the newspapers, news agencies and radio of the Anglo-American imperialists in order to launch a scurrilous campaign against the People's Republic of Bulgaria and the unification of the Macedonian people.
The main point in the attacks against the people's democracies made last July at he 5th Congress of the Yugoslav Communist Party in Belgrade was directed against our nation. In their speeches Tito, Djilas, Tempo, Kulishevsky, and Vlahov spat their chauvinist venom at Bulgaria and at our Party, whose fault, it seems, is its refusal to let them grab the Pirin district and its condemnation of their treason. General Tempo went even so far in his chauvinist self-deceit as to jeer at the anti-fascist struggle of the Bulgarian people and their partisan movement, although everyone knows that our partisans fought together with Yugoslav partisans and that our army played an active part under Marshal Tolbukhin in the war for the final liberation of Yugoslavia.
Towards the end of September 1948 the Prime Minister of the Serbian People's Republic, Peter Stambolich dared publicly to slander our country in the Belgrade Skupstina, alleging that responsible Bulgarian politicians were spreading propaganda against Yugoslavia's territorial integrity and sovereignty.
It is clear that such slanders can have only one aim: to antagonise the Yugoslav peoples against the Bulgarian people, to create a gulf between the two fraternal peoples and to furnish imperialist propaganda with a weapon with which to heap new lies and slanders on Bulgaria.
Late in November 1948 a trial was held in Skopie of Bulgarian fascists, police agents and other war criminals, who had committed atrocities during the occupation of Macedonia. This trial, however, was turned into a vicious chauvinist campaign against the Bulgarian people and against our country. The prosecutor, the judges and the accused fascist criminals themselves, according to a pre-arranged understanding, with touching unanimity cast aspersions on the Bulgarian people.
The nationalist and chauvinist policy of the Titos and Kulishevskys, which is the other side of the coin of their anti-Soviet alignment, is not only directed against Bulgaria and the Bulgarian people but also against the Macedonian people. This policy has borrowed the methods of the Bulgarian and Serbian nationalists and is sowing hatred among the Macedonian people, inciting one part against the other, resorting to terror and persecution against those who disapprove of the official course of the present Yugoslav leaders. In this way the realisation of the age-old dream of the Macedonian people – their national unification – is being artificially delayed.
The people of the Pirin district, however, refuse to fall for this vicious anti-Bulgarian and disruptive propaganda. They are opposed to the inclusion of their land in Yugoslavia before the realisation of a federation between Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, because from time immemorial they have considered themselves economically, politically and culturally tied to the Bulgarian people and do not wish to cut loose. Besides, they are still alive among these people the traditions of the Macedonian revolutionary movement and, in particular, of its Seres wing, headed by Sandansky, which has always advocated federation as the only correct solution of the Macedonian question.
We know very well that the nationalist and chauvinist policy of Belgrade and Skopie leaders of the Tito and Kulishevsky type do not have the approval of the majority of the Macedonian people who are convinced that their national unification will be built on an understanding between Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, in cooperation with these peoples and with the powerful assistance of the U.S.S.R.
Our Party has always said and continues to say that Macedonia should belong to the Macedonians. True to the traditions of the Macedonian revolutionaries, together with all honest Macedonian patriots, we are deeply convinced that the Macedonian people will translate their national unity into reality and will ensure their future as a free nation with equal rights only within the framework of a federation of Southern Slavs.
In the past, the unification of the Southern Slavs has always met with the stubborn resistance of German imperialism. Today the new pretenders for world domination – the American and British imperialists – oppose the unification and merging of the Southern Slavs. They have found worthy allies in the present Yugoslav leaders.
Assured of the support of the U.S.S.R., of the new democracies and of the world forces of democracy, the Southern Slavs will be able to smash the opposition of the imperialists and realise their vitally necessary unity. The main obstacle to the federation of the Southern Slavs is today the nationalist leadership in Belgrade and Skopie, the Titos, Djilases, Kulishevskys, Vlahovs, traitors to Marxism-Leninism. But history is marching on and will sweep aside everything which stands in the way of progress. The cause of the unification of the Southern Slavs, including the Macedonian people, will triumph.
In the economic field the people's government was faced with the immediate task of repairing the damage caused by the war and German plunder and of clearing the way for the our country's further economic development towards socialism.
In industry the task of reconstruction was successfully solved in the course of the Two-Year-Plan. In 1948 industrial output exceeded pre-war by 75 percent. Its development was given a strong impetus by the nationalisation, which enabled it to proceed towards socialist reconstruction, towards the merging of industrial enterprises and the centralisation of production by combining it according to branches and concentrating it in the most productive units.
In agriculture, the process of rehabilitation is not yet completed, mainly due to the three post-war droughts. Certain branches of livestock breeding and crop-raising are lagging behind. But here, too, together with efforts to reach and surpass the pre-war level in all branches, socialist reconstruction has being started through the creation of large-scale cooperative and state farms. The co-operative farms, more than 1,000 in number and covering some 300,000 hectares of arable land, have become a firmly established new form of rural economy, which alone is capable, with the aid of the machine-tractor stations, of improving the well-being of the peasants, of mechanising and modernising our agriculture, and of directing it towards socialism.
The middle peasants have recently begun to adopt a favourable attitude towards the cooperative farms, whose number is increasing continuously. Strictly observing the principle of voluntary membership, the present task is to consolidate, strengthen and multiply the already existing farms and turn them into models for the extension of cooperative farming.
The national income for 1948 already exceeds pre-war by 10%, thanks mainly to the successful nationalisation of industry. Moreover, the national income is distributed in a much fairer way today, as a result of the expropriation from the bourgeoisie of industrial enterprises, banks and wholesale trade and of the liquidation of the large estates together with the large urban real estate lots, which did away with the big incomes of the exploiters.
However, our task is not merely to rebuild that which already existed in our national economy. We must rapidly proceed with the further development of our country's productive forces for the early elimination its economic backwardness and its transformation into highly developed industrial-agricultural country. The task is now, I repeat, through industrialisation and electrification and by mechanising rural economy, to achieve in 15 or 20 years that which other countries under different conditions achieved in the course of a whole century. For this purpose it is necessary to create a powerful electrical base by exploiting the country's water and fuel resources, rapidly to develop mining, to build up our own iron and steel industry and a sufficiently developed machine-building industry and other heavy industries, as well as to develop, modernise and amalgamate our light industry. It is also necessary to strengthen our rural economy by putting large agricultural machines, primarily tractors, at its disposal and to increase the yield of the soil through agro-technical improvements, irrigation, electrification, and a wide use of artificial fertilisers.
Our industrial policy should be: systematic reduction in costs, cheapening of output and lowering of the prices of industrial goods. In Stalin's words, that is the broad road along which industry must move if it is to go ahead and grow stronger, to lead agriculture in its wake and to speed up the laying of the foundations of our socialist economy.
Nationalised industry, developing in accordance with the laws of expanded socialist reproduction, i.e. yearly increasing its output and establishing new enterprises will present ever-larger demands for food and agricultural raw materials. The growing needs of industry, of the urban population and of the army cannot be satisfied by private and small rural economy, which has a low productivity. This raises the problem of a socialist reconstruction of rural economy simultaneously with the socialist reconstruction and development of industry. You cannot for long base the people's democratic rule and socialist construction on two different principles – large-scale and amalgamated socialist industry and scattered, backward small commodity production. Rural economy must be transferred gradually, systematically and steadfastly to a new technical basis, that of large-scale production through the amalgamation of private farms into big, mechanised cooperative farms. That is why the Five-Year-Plan provides for a 60% collectivisation in the countryside within the next five years. Bearing in mind the recent progress of the cooperative farms, this task is quite feasible.
In building socialism our people must rely mainly on their own strength, using our own resources with the greatest economy of means and materials. A regime of strict economy must be the permanent and daily aim of every economic and state leader, of every worker and peasant in our People's Republic and, before all, of every Communist. Our people are happy that they can also count on the disinterested brotherly aid of the great country of socialism – the Soviet Union – and on planned cooperation with the other people's democracies, which will save us much labour and effort and will hasten its development.
Like good farmers, we do not eat up everything that we produce but save part of the national revenue for the further development of our national economy – for the construction of new factories and plants, new machine and tractor stations for a new upsurge of the productive forces in industry and agriculture.
We shall thus be able to satisfy the growing needs of both town and countryside and ensure the gradual and continuous improvement of the standard of living, as well as guaranteeing our country's rapid economic development, which is the guarantee of the future well being of our working people and of our children.
We are glad to say that in spite of difficulties which are not yet quite overcome, the food supply of our people, with increased rations, is completely ensured until next harvest. The bulk of the working peasants have carried out their obligations to the state and he people honestly and readily. Only an insignificant minority, mainly from among the kulaks and the former reactionary opposition, some of whom infiltrated into the Fatherland Front, tried to sabotage and to speculate with the people's bread. This resistance, however, will be broken.
The new system of compulsory delivery of agricultural produce to the state and the free sale of surpluses, which the government adopted and which will be perfected on the basis of our experience, distributes the obligations more equitably among the peasant producers in accordance with the size of their property and their possibilities and stimulates them to cultivate their soil more diligently and get a higher yield. By selling part of their produce to the state at fixed prices the peasants receive, again at fixed prices, an ever-increasing quantity of indispensable industrial goods they need.
The new state price policy aims at establishing a relatively stable and just ratio between the prices of different commodities. Thus every producer will know what he can get in exchange for his produce today, tomorrow and the next day. We must avoid a repetition of the post-World War I situation, when an agricultural boom was followed by a catastrophic drop in prices, entailing the ruin of many farmers. The systematic increase of the productivity of labour in industry and agriculture will gradually lower the prices of industrial and agricultural commodities, and result in a lower cost of living and a stabilisation of the Lev.
The supply of basic necessities made a new step forward during the last months. But we are not yet able to completely satisfy all needs. Two or three consecutive good harvests should enable us fully to satisfy the increased needs and the growing consuming power of the working people and abolish rationing. We must, therefore, exert all efforts for the fulfilment of the sowing plan, for the maximum increase of the yield of the soil. And until it becomes possible to abolish rationing distribution will have to be carried out not according to the principle of perfect equality, but according to the quantity and importance of the work done. All parasites, loafers and exploiters must be deprived of the possibility to getting goods at ceiling prices. The regular and adequate supply of key workers on whom the fulfilment and overfulfilment of the economic plans depend, must be ensured. "To each according to his work" – that is both just and economically sound. Everyone is able to do more work and better work and hence to earn more.
The successful solution of the basic economic task – the fulfilment of the Five-Year-Plan – requires the efforts and enthusiasm of all working people. The trade unions have a very important part to play in this respect. Under their leadership shock-work and socialist emulation must become a general method of work, embracing workers and peasants, men and women, young and old. In Bulgaria work must increasingly become a matter of honour, dignity and heroism. The country must get to know its heroes of labour, its inventors, rationalisers, innovators, the talented and loyal masters of intellectual and physical work who increase the economic and cultural strength of our people and multiply the national wealth. It should honour them as its best and most worthy sons and daughters. In new Bulgaria everyone's place will be determined not by his name or origin, nor by his talk or opinion of himself, but exclusively by his work, by what he contributes to the economic, cultural and political progress of his people.
There can be no other criterion in this respect.
The broad sweep of constructive activity in all branches of our national economy requires the creation of an army of construction workers, engineers and technicians, as well as their proper supply with the latest tools. The entire nation follows with admiration the labour exploits of our brigaders and working youth. Many of our major projects will carry the proud and honourable name "youth construction." Continuing to make the fullest use of the work of brigaders and trudovaks as well as of local brigades, we must at the same time multiply the army of permanent construction workers, masters and enthusiasts of their trade, armed with the achievements of modern construction technique. The profession of construction workers must become one of the most honoured professions in Bulgaria.
We shall get new labour cadres for our growing economy from amongst the peasants who can find no work in agriculture as well as from amongst housewives whose working capacity is wasted by drudgery at home. We cannot become a prosperous nation and improve our living standards much as long as a great part of national labour is wasted unproductively and used inadequately for a good part of the year. Many urban and rural workers hitherto employed only part-time will find work in the new constructions and new industrial enterprises. The creation of more nursery schools and crèches, of public canteens and laundries, will relieve house-hold work and enable many housewives to seek a more rational and socially useful way of applying their labour and abilities. Through free courses and schools we have already started to train our labour reserves, i.e. qualified industrial and construction workers from among the workers' and peasant youth. This should be continued with even greater energy.
Our country has already set out on the road of socialist development. The major factors for our socialist construction are already in existence: a people's democratic government, the alliance of the proletariat and the peasants under the former's guidance, large-scale industrial production in the hands of a people's democracy, a rapid development of the productive forces through new economic construction, cooperatives, and especially cooperative farms and artisan's cooperatives; and last but not least, the active fraternal support of the U.S.S.R. and close economic collaboration with the people's democracies, which guarantees and considerably expedites our socialist development.
During the first Five-Year Plan our task will be to lay the foundations of socialism both in industry and in agriculture. The aim of the plan is precisely the solution of this task. Upon these foundations the next two or three five-year plans will see the building of socialism and the creation of socialist society.
Our main tasks in building the economic and cultural foundations of socialism can be formulated as follows:
1. Exertion of all forces and resources for the successful fulfilment of the Five-Year Plan.
2. Complete socialisation of the means of production and exchange, i.e. their transformation into the property of all the working people; abolition of all unearned income on the basis of the principle "He who does not work, shall not eat."
3. Unification of the nation's entire economic activity in one general economic plan; a strict regime of economy in materials, means and other resources.
4. Tapping of our national wealth, detection of oil, creation of our own ferrous and non-ferrous metal industry.
5. Increased production of electrical energy, so as to satisfy the needs of industry and agriculture by the building of power stations and increasing the output of coal from existing coalfields and exploitation of new ones; transformation of low-grade coal into electric energy.
6. Running our light industry at full capacity by introducing two and three shifts, rationalisation and reconstruction and liquidating the disproportion between interrelated branches, so as completely to satisfy the needs of the population.
7. Altering the ratio between light and heavy industry in favour of the latter by developing electrical energy, coal and ore output, machine building, chemical, rubber and other industries, in order to increase the well-being of the people and to reduce the dependence of our national economy on imports from abroad.
8. Maximum production of raw materials for our industry by increasing the sown area of industrial crops, improving livestock breeding and speeding up the exploitation of mineral wealth.
9. Radical reconstruction of rural economy on the basis of cooperative and state farms with high yields and high commodity production in order to ensure the growing needs of the population, industry and export.
10. Solution of our bread problem once and for all on the above basis; ensuring of high harvests through modern machine cultivation of the soil, use of artificial fertilisers, creation of forest belts and irrigation.
11. Development of highly productive livestock and sheep breeding and poultry; increase of the area under fodder crops.
12. Planned afforestation for the improvement of the country's climate and for satisfying the growing needs of timber for construction; efficient exploitation of forests by making full use of their yearly increase; creation of high altitude agriculture (flax, potatoes etc.) and livestock breeding.
13. Development of both sea and Danube fisheries, creation of artificial lakes and dissemination of fish in our river.
14. Introduction of comfortable and rapid means of communication by the extension and electrification of our railway system, creation of a dense network of well-kept roads, development of automobile and air transport.
15. Raising the material and cultural level of the workers, the toiling peasants and intelligentsia; improvement of the supply of basic necessities.
16. Extension and consolidation of state and cooperative trade, creation of an apparatus for the purchase of agricultural surpluses and for a fuller development of trade between town and village.
17. Creation of a new socialist labour discipline through the re-education of the masses, the development of shock-work and socialist emulation by enlisting more and more.
The fulfilment of the economic tasks is intimately connected with raising the cultural and ideological level of the Bulgarian people. Special attention should be to the education of working people of town and countryside and of the intelligentsia in a socialist spirit.
Let us never forget that the struggle on the cultural and ideological is of first-rate importance for making away with the vile legacy of capitalism, for overcoming bureaucracy, waste and parasitism, for increasing the productivity of labour, for fulfilling the Five-Year-Plan and, in general, for the progress of our nation toward socialism.
As a result of this development, our country will in the course of several five-year plans be transformed from a backward agrarian country into a highly developed industrial-agrarian country. This means that alongside of maximum increase of agricultural yields we shall speed up industrial development, which in turn will immeasurably increase the wealth and prosperity of our nation and ensure its economic independence from imperialism and its defensive capacity.
This development will be along socialist lines. The last vestiges in our economy of the exploiting classes in the towns – the urban bourgeoisie – will be liquidated. Craftsmen will unite in artisan's cooperatives. The village bourgeoisie – the kulaks – will be increasingly rendered harmless and squeezed out of their economic positions as exploiters of the working peasants, while the development of the cooperative farms will create the conditions for their complete liquidation. Antagonistic classes will disappear, and society will be composed of workers, working peasants and a working intelligentsia, whose interests will not clash and who with united efforts will bring about our country's advance to socialism and then to communism.
"The indisputable successes of socialism in the U.S.S.R. on the construction front," wrote Comrade Stalin, "have demonstrated that the proletariat can successfully govern the country without the bourgeoisie and against the bourgeoisie, that it can successfully build industry without the bourgeoisie and against the bourgeoisie, that it can successfully direct the whole of the national economy without the bourgeoisie and against the bourgeoisie, that it can successfully build socialism in spite of capitalist encirclement."
Our experience, although still inadequate, clearly shows that the Bulgarian working class has not only the desire but the necessary determination and ability to follow the example of their Soviet brothers.
The socialist development of our country is the prerequisite for the solution of our population problem. During the next Five-Year-Plan Bulgaria's population must through increase of births and decrease in child mortality reach the figure of ten millions. Thus our people will conclusively prove themselves a healthy and virile nation, building up their own culture, national in form and socialist in content, and making their contribution to the treasury of human culture.
On the eve of September 9, 1944 the Party numbered some 25,000 members, steeled in the long fight against fascism, having undergone the trials of underground activity in conditions of ferocious fascist dictatorship. After September 9, when the Party became a governing party and started to work for the reconstruction of our country on a new basis, thousands of workers, working peasants and intelligentsia gravitated toward it. It became a magnetic centre attracting the most active, militant and progressive elements in our country, who were eager to contribute their forces to ensuring Bulgaria's development as a people's democracy toward socialism. Only six months after September 9, at the time of the seventh enlarged plenary session of the C.C. the Party numbered 254,000.
This Party growth continued during the ensuing years. At the end of 1946 its membership exceeded 490,000. It had deliberately opened wide its doors to the working people and had admitted new members on a big scale. We did not want to exclude the great number of working people who had awakened for the first time to political life and were gravitating toward the Party as a result of the liberation war and the downfall of the fascist dictatorship. We decided to accept into the Party many workers who, despite their political immaturity, could play role in the vanguard, intending to train and educate them politically within the Party and with the aid of our pre-September 9 cadres. We therefore established a network of schools and Party courses, organised many educational classes, circles, lectures and discussion groups.
The sixteenth plenary session of the Central Committee approved that policy. But at the same time it noted that the ideological political education of the new members was far from adequate. This did not prove so easy and required a longer time. Hence, the ideological and political level of the Party rank and file still falls far short of what is required to ensure the dominant role of the Party, especially in the provinces. There are quite a few members and even entire primary party organisations, mostly in the villages, which are not yet able to fulfil their role as a vanguard, are lagging behind events, become exponents of retrograde sentiments and not only fail to fight against difficulties but sometimes go so far as to undermine discipline in offices, factories and fields. This was clearly demonstrated during the compulsory delivery of cereals to the state. In some villages there were "Party members" and even Patty leaderships who did not head the campaign for ensuring the people's food and even sabotaged the delivery of cereals in practice. The same holds true of certain village Communists who do not help and sometimes hinder the creation of cooperative farms.
All this shows that along with the honest and devoted members, who constitute the great majority of the Party rank and file, there are some accidental, demoralised and careerist elements who have infiltrated into the Party for purely personal and selfish ends. These people create an unhealthy atmosphere, weaken discipline and spread the virus of disintegration. This leads to "sick" organisations, torn by internal squabbles between different groups jockeying for positions.
Such things cannot be tolerated in a Communist Party – the vanguard of the toilers. Drastic and quick measures must be taken to purge the Party of all alien, accidental, demoralised and careerist elements. In May 1948 the Politburo of the Central Committee decided to suspend the enrolment of new party members until the end of the current year. The sixteenth plenary session of the Central Committee confirmed this decision in July and decided to propose to the present congress the introduction of candidate membership and measures for the regulation of the Party's social composition. It also decreed the further purging of the Party of accidental elements.
As a result, the Party comes to the present Fifth Congress with 8,053 primary Party organisations and 464,000 members. If we add to these the party members in the Army and Labour Corps and the former members of the Social-Democratic Party who entered our Party after the fusion of the two Parties, the total amounts to 496,000 – i.e. almost half a million.
No village, no factory or major construction, no city district, no ward is without its primary Communist Party organisation: 500,000 Party members in a Bulgaria of seven million – that is indeed a mighty political army, an invincible force which can move mountains, as the saying goes, on condition that every Party member becomes a conscious and educated Communist-Bolshevik, ready to die for the Party, his country and the great cause of Communism, capable of being a real leader and organiser of the broad non-Party masses.
Under the generally acknowledged political leadership of the Party, there are such mass organisations as the Fatherland Front, numbering approximately 1,000,000 members, the trade unions with 680,000 members, the Bulgarian Women's Union – 539,000, the Union of People's Youth – 586,000, the Farmers Union-1,000,000 members, the cooperatives-over 2,000,000 members, etc. This explains why our country's entire political, economic and cultural life proceeds under the exclusive political leadership of our Party.
As to social composition, the 464,000 party members, about whom detailed information is available, are distributed as follows:
|Free professions, students, house-wives, pensioners and others||28,000||or|
Among the employees there are many former sent in by the Party to consolidate the state apparatus or appointed as heads of nationalised enterprises. One should also mention the Party's great influence on the intelligentsia, which helps to draw them into the active construction of socialism. While the membership figure of 500,000 is quite enough for the Party to play its leading role, the social composition leaves still much to be desired. The percentage of workers in the Party should be increased to at least 30 or 35% mainly from among the industrial and construction workers. At present the workers who are party members can be subdivided as follows:
|General workers (incl. construction workers)||32%|
The peasant composition of the Party can be considered as satisfactory: 11% of the peasants who are party members have joined cooperative farms, 57% are poor peasants and 32% middle peasants.
According to age groups, party members can be divided as follows:
|Up to 20|
Work among the youth must be intensified so as to enlist the best and most active of them for the Party.
A classification by education of party members is as follows:
|Public School education||45%|
The relatively large number (31,000) of illiterate Party members who stem mainly from the national minorities (Turks, Gypsies and others) in the Rhodopa and Ludogorie districts and Dobrudja sets the Party the task of taking immediate measures for the liquidation of illiteracy among its members. We must get rid of the mistaken notion that we have no illiterates, when in the Party, the vanguard of our people, there are 31,000 illiterate members. The considerable number of partially literate (mainly in the villages) should induce us to publish a political primer and a series of popular pamphlets, printed in large type and written in simple language. The collective reading of newspapers followed by discussion, as well as the diffusion of radio in villages also assume considerable importance.
The percentage of women in the Party is also unsatisfactory – 13%. Women workers constitute only 18% of all women party members as against 44% peasant women, 16% clerks, 19% housewives and 3% students. The poor participation of women, and especially of women workers in the Party is inexcusable in view of the great political and social activity displayed by women and the great part played by women workers in the promotion of shock work and socialist emulation. Evidently our Party organisations underestimate work among women and especially among women workers, and are unable to help them to join the Party and stay in it, taking into account that as well as their regular occupation in factories, offices and mass organisations they have household duties to perform. Too frequent and too long conferences; overburdening of women activists with work; a petty bourgeois attitude towards women, which continues to exist even among many Party members; a certain inferiority complex among women, a vestige of their age-old subjection; shyness and uncertainty as to their ability to cope with the requirements of Party membership – these are the main obstacles to a larger women membership in the Party. The unsatisfactory participation of women in the Party is that weak link whose strengthening will both increase the number of women Party members and improve the social composition of the Party.
The quantitative and qualitative composition of its leading cadres is an index of the strength of the Party and the scope of its work. Whereas even during its peak periods before 1923, the Party never had more than 40,000 members, now there are more than 45,000 members of Party committees alone. Of these, 3,558 are former partisans and political prisoners; 676 have been Party members for over 20 years, 2,536 from 10 to 20 years, 3,415 from 5 to 10 years, 22,000 from 3 to 5 years and 17,000 less than three years (the latter are mainly in the leaderships of the primary Party organisations). Hence the complaints, still often heard, that the old Party members are being neglected during the election of committees are not quite warranted.
The network of primary party organisations embraces practically all localities of the country and is connected with all working categories of our people. We have 4,900 village territorial primary organisations, 878 town territorial organisations, 854 factory organisations, 811 organisations in institutions and ministries, 209 in cooperative farms, 16 in machine-tractor stations, 13 in state farms, 89 in artisan cooperatives, 120 in transport, 49 in mining, 23 on construction jobs and 91 in schools, or a total of 8,053 primary Party organisations. This represents a tremendous achievement for our Party. The primary Party organisations, however, have still to be consolidated and become true leaders and organisers of the masses. The great task now is not so much to increase the number of the Party organisations as to improve the quality of their work. Increased influence of the Party depends not only on the number of its members, but above all on their quality, their Marxist-Leninist education, their loyalty to the cause of the Party and of socialism, their ability to keep in touch with the masses, to mobilise them and lead them towards the fulfilment of the national tasks set by the Party and government.
From this point of view the situation within the Party is far from satisfactory. As was stressed by the sixteenth plenary session of the C.C., there are quite a few members in the Party who in reality should at best be candidates for membership. In the life of the Party organisations, internal party democracy is not up to standard. Criticism and self-criticism, irrespective of persons, has not yet become the basic motive of party life from top to bottom. We have not yet completely got rid of methods of ordering people about in party organisations and do not always know how to develop and how to heed the collective consciousness and the experience of the Party. The Party leaderships have not yet organised their work on the basis of collective leadership.
What is more, we often forget the shrewd observation of Vladimir Ilych Lenin that two things are of decisive importance for the stability of the Party: selection of people (cadres) and check-up of the fulfilment of decisions. We also do not pay enough attention in our practice to what Comrade Stalin has often underlined, that "cadres decide everything."
Today there are neither left-wing nor right-wing organised groups or factions. The Party does not and will not tolerate such factions. However, there still exist quite a few right-wing and left-wing tendencies on the part of individual party members. Besides the above mentioned cases, there are also cases when party members give up in the face of hardships, are ready to capitulate before the resistance of the class enemy. Others refuse to submit to any party or state discipline, or fail to recognise the stages of development, fail to understand the people's democracy and the Fatherland Front as a special path of the onward march toward socialism; taking refuge behind loud-mouthed "revolutionary" demagogic phrases, in practice they hinder the development toward socialism.
The correctness of the Party's policy for the liquidation of the capitalist system and the construction of socialism in our country, through uncompromising class struggle against the capitalist elements and through adopting the planning principle in our economy, is not disputed by anyone in our Party. It is generally recognised and firmly carried out in practice.
Unfortunately, however, there still does not exist complete unity of thought and action in our Party from top to bottom. In order to achieve this we shall still have to work hard. Cases are not rare in which Central Committee decisions are accepted only formally, while in practice they are carried out in a different and distorted way. There still exist "little dictators" in our Party who, banking on their past merits, real or imaginary, exploit their positions and refuse to abide by any laws or decrees and act in an arbitrary way. There are still chatterboxes and inflated egos, people with big and perverse ambitions, who pretend that there is nothing they cannot do, and yet lack the ability or intelligence to work and run things systematically and efficiently, and to finish what they have begun. Such people do not like to learn and are capable of wrecking every useful job.
The Party must fight such unhealthy phenomena, by word and by deed, through the elucidation and correction of those who have gone wrong, and even through the removal of the incorrigibles. The Party will be purged of the pseudo-communists who have joined misunderstanding or for selfish careerist ends. We shall work with all our might for the creation of that Bolshevik unity in thought and action from top to bottom which is the basic guarantee for the success of our great cause.
In order continuously and unswervingly to strengthen our Party, we must do the following:
1) Purge our Party organisations of inimical, careerist and accidental elements who have entered its ranks.
2) Make a strict selection among the new members and candidates wishing to enter the Party and regulate its social composition by strict adherence to the rules and by systematically increasing its proletarian composition.
3) Develop internal party democracy by overcoming the vestiges of leadership. Discuss and decide party problems collectively in the party leaderships and organisations. Entrust every party member with a concrete task and check-up on its fulfilment. Encourage sound criticism and self-criticism in the Party, raise the general activity of its members, tighten Party discipline and unity in its organisations.
4) Organise systematic Marxist-Leninist collective and individual education of every party member and candidate on a much boarder basis. A member who does not want to learn, to educate himself and to make progress is not and cannot be a real member of our Party.
At the end of 1947 certain changes were made in the organisational structure of our Party. On account of the reorganisation of our state apparatus and the abolition of the administrative counties, the party “county committees” had to be dissolved. This was unavoidable, since our Party, as the leading force in the administration of the country cannot have a structure different from that of the state. When the county party leaderships were disbanded, their cadres got jobs in the state apparatus, in the centre or in the localities: or else were switched to the district and municipal organisations of the Party and the Fatherland Front for the purpose of consolidating those organisations.
With the abolition of the county committees the Central Committee was able to contact and supervise the 95 district and 7 municipal party committees more directly. It got a better idea of the true state of affairs in the district committees and could exercise a more direct control over their activities and give them the necessary assistance. On the other hand, the district Party leaderships showed greater initiative in their activities and around them there grew up cadres, capable of heading Party organisations.
But along with the positive features of this re-organisation there were also serious drawbacks. Some anaemic district committees were deprived of the daily aid which they had formerly been getting from the county committees. The C.C. was too far removed from them, while its apparatus was temporarily weakened rather than strengthened. In spite of the measures taken in this respect after the 16th plenary session the C.C. apparatus has not yet been sufficiently consolidated.
What should be done in this respect?
1. It is necessary to intensify the measures for the consolidation of the instructors' apparatus at the C.C. to improve and strengthen the aid it gives to the district committees: the members of the C.C. and other leading comrades should personally visit the district and municipal Party organisations more often.
2. The district committees should be strengthened by promoting new comrades from among the party cadres of the primary organisations, in particular from those in industrial enterprises. District secretaries should be retained longer in their positions, and their authority as influential activists, enjoying local popularity, should be consolidated.
During the past four years, ever since our Party became a ruling party, several changes in personnel had to be made in order to ensure party leadership and improve the work in a series of important cog of our state apparatus. Thus it was necessary to select and send into the People's Army 3,533 party members, into the Ministry of Internal Affairs 2,000, into the 'Ministry of Industry 1,101, and into the other ministries 5,576. In other words, over 12,000 party members were selected and sent to work in a leading capacity to work in the state apparatus. This was no easy job, and its execution entailed the surmounting of many and various difficulties.
One might have expected that the entry of so many Communists into the state and economic apparatus would substantially have helped overcome bureaucracy. Unfortunately, in many cases the very opposite was the case. It is remarkable with what ease some of our comrades, instead of trying to uproot bureaucracy, turn themselves into bureaucrats. The fight against bureaucracy is no easy task. It will require great efforts and perseverance. In order completely to overcome bureaucracy, the people must take an ever greater part in the administration of the state and in public control. In this respect, the committees attached to the various departments of the People's Councils have an important role to play. All this is connected with raising the general cultural and political level of the people. The struggle against bureaucratic distortions and lethargy must never be taken off the agenda. Every manifestation of bureaucracy must be ruthlessly exposed and censored.
Nor must we forget that the brilliant victories of our Party prompt certain comrades and Party hacks to smugness and conceit. In order that the Party may develop normally and fulfil its future complex tasks, it must fight with all its power against that great peril, of which our teachers, Lenin and Stalin have time and again warned the Communist Parties.
And thus, during the four years of people's government, since September 9, 1944, our Party has grown and developed into a first rate political party, the decisive, driving and leading force in the construction of a new life in our country along the path of people's democracy and socialism. Through bold Bolshevik criticism and self-criticism, the Party combats its own weaknesses, which are weaknesses mainly of its quick growth, and is consolidating itself more and more as a true Marxist-Leninist party.
Our Party has before it the example of the great Bolshevik Party, whose Central Committee and great leader, Comrade Stalin, have lent us more than once invaluable aid by their advice and guidance. Our Party, which takes an active part in the Information Bureau of the Communist and Workers' Parties, is proud to belong to the great family of world communism, headed by the Bolshevik Party and the leader of progressive mankind – Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin.
The entire experience of the international communist movement confirms the truth that one cannot be a true Marxist without being a true Leninist, and that one cannot be a true Leninist without being a Stalinist.
I conclude the political report of the Central Committee with the party
slogan: Under the victorious banner of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin,
forward to socialism and communism!
Comrades and Delegates,
After all that has been said so far, I feel that I can limit myself to a short concluding speech.
The discussions have shown the complete unanimity of Congress with the political report of the Central Committee as well as with the other reports on the agenda of the congress, with the appraisals made and the inferences drawn, with the general party line on the building of the economic and cultural foundations of socialism in Bulgaria and with the concrete task set in all spheres of our political and cultural life. The Congress was completely unanimity on the basic problems of party policy. This is undoubtedly one of the most important guarantees for our future success.
The working out of a correct party line and its unanimous approval by the party members is the most important fact and factor. We should not forget, however, Stalin's invaluable advice that good resolutions and declarations on the general line of the Party are only a beginning that merely indicates a desire to win, but are not tantamount to victory.
"After the correct line has been laid down," says Stalin, "after a correct solution of the problem has been found, success depends on how the work is organised; on the organisation of the struggle for the application of the party line; on the proper selection of personnel; on the way a check is kept on the fulfilment of the decisions of the leading bodies. Otherwise the correct line of the Party and the correct solutions are in danger of being seriously prejudiced. Furthermore, after the correct political line has been laid down, organisational work decides everything, including the fate of the political line, its success or failure."
For the success of the general party line adopted unanimously by our Fifth Congress it is necessary: a) to wage a systematic and steadfast struggle against all difficulties, of which there are quite a few on our road, to surmount them by mobilising the forces of the entire Party, of the working class, of all the working people, of the Fatherland Front; b) to organise an ever more active participation of new forces in socialist construction; c) to make a constant and strict selection of the cadres, raising the capable ones to positions of leadership in the struggle against hardships, and removing incompetents, those who do not wish or are not capable of growing and developing.
Now that our Party stands at the helm of the state with its members occupying responsible key positions and its authority having soared to unprecedented heights, now that our working people express their readiness to follow our Party and its general line – as was splendidly shown in yesterday's demonstration of the working people of Sofia, the role of our organisations and their leaderships becomes crucial. Our party leaderships now carry the main responsibility for all shortcomings, omissions and mistakes. On our Party and on the work of its cadres will hinge the successful execution of a great task, the fulfilment of the Five-Year Plan, as well as the other important decisions of the Congress.
In my report I showed what a mighty force our Party is, what wide social support it enjoys, how firm and close are its ties with existing mass organisations, how deep are its roots in the working class, in the working people. And if in spite of these colossal possibilities which all make for success, we still have many shortcomings, weaknesses and omissions, the fault for this lies within ourselves, especially in our insufficiently concrete practical leadership, in the serious flaws which creep into our organisational work.
We must do away as soon as possible with the lag in our organisational work so far as the requirements of the political line and the tasks of the Party are concerned. We must raise the level of organisational leadership in all spheres of our activity, especially in our national economy, to that of political leadership, so that our organisational work may ensure the implementation of the political line and the decisions of the Party.
Of decisive importance in this respect, as has already been stressed at congress, are the selection of cadres, check-up on the fulfilment of the decisions and the popularisation of criticism and self-criticism within the Party, of internal party democracy.
Our congress demonstrates the undeniable growth of our party cadres, especially of out middle cadres who in the main decide the success of party policy in all spheres of our construction. We must assist in every way the further growth of our party cadres and unhesitatingly remove from their positions incorrigible bureaucrats and red tape addicts, swelled headed little dictators, chatterboxes, inefficient people. We must boldly promote to positions of leadership new cadres, people who have proved themselves capable organisers and efficient workers.
Very important for the correct selection of cadres, for their growth and training, for the timely correction of mistakes and shortcomings in their work, is the check-up on the execution of decisions and on the tasks entrusted to every single party member. It is no exaggeration to say that most of the flaws and omissions in our work are due to the absence of a constant and correct system of check-up.
Only such a check-up can ensure a successful struggle against bureaucracy, against those incapable of guiding and organising the implementation of the party decisions, against all distortions of the Party line. This check-up, however, must be systematic and constant and be carried out by the leaders of the organisations themselves.
As we noted at the sixteenth plenum of the Central Committee, criticism and self-criticism within our Party have not yet become a genuine motive force of its development. In this respect congress has undoubtedly made a big step forward, especially in the discussions of the Five-Year Plan and of organisational problems.
The popularisation of constructive criticism and self-criticism in our Party and the laying bare of inadequacies in our work must be our constant and paramount task after the congress as well, in all sections of the Party from top to bottom.
We must never forget that the height of wisdom for a real Communist is frankly to admit his mistakes, to boldly expose their causes and always to be ready to radically to correct them.
In the Party and in all spheres of our life we must get rid completely of the harmful habit of not concretely pointing out mistakes lest we risk friendships, upset someone or create personal troubles. We must have no nepotism when deciding on party or state matters. The interests of the party of the working class, of the people, must stand above all such petty-bourgeois considerations and prejudices.
Arising from the discussion and certain questions addressed to me in writing, I wish to make two more remarks on matters of principle.
1. From what I said in my report, namely, that under our present conditions, with the development of the agricultural cooperatives, we do not consider nationalisation as an indispensable condition for the development of the village economy, it should under no circumstances be concluded that it is possible in general to build socialism in the village without the nationalisation of the land. We consider, however, that by gradually winning over the poor and middle peasants into the cooperative farms, by developing the machine and tractor-stations, by prohibiting the letting out of farms, by limiting and then prohibiting the buying and selling of land, by reducing and then abolishing rent through decision of the cooperative farmers themselves, when conditions permit, the practical problem of the nationalisation of land will be solved by making over of all the land to the working peasants for their perpetual use. Thus the working peasant, who is today the slave of his small plot, will be enabled to make the widest use of the fruits of the land which will be considerably increased through modernised and mechanised cultivation in the large scale cooperative farms.
2. The second remark refers to the definition of the people's democracy given in my report. Some comrades who touched on this problem were inclined to put the emphasis mainly on that which distinguishes people's democracy from the Soviet regime, something which may lead to incorrect and harmful conclusions.
According to the Marxism-Leninism, the Soviet regime and people's democracy are two forms of one and the same rule – the rule of the working class in alliance with and at the head of the working people from towns and villages. They are two forms of the dictatorship of the proletariat. The particular form of transition from capitalism to socialism in Bulgaria does not and cannot alter the basic laws on the transition period from capitalism to socialism which is valid for all countries. The transition to socialism cannot be carried out without the dictatorship of the proletariat against the capitalist elements and for the organisation of the socialist economy.
But whereas bourgeois democracy is the dictatorship of capital, of an exploiting big business minority over the great majority of working people, the people's democracy fulfils the functions of the dictatorship of the proletariat in the interests of the overwhelming majority of working people and realises the widest and most complete democracy – socialist democracy.
From the fact that the people's democracy and the Soviet regime coincide in the most important and decisive respect; i.e. that they both represent the rule of the working class in alliance and at the head of the working people, there follow some highly essential conclusions concerning the necessity of making the most thorough study and widest application of the great experience of socialist construction in the U.S.S.R. And this experience, adapted to our conditions, is the only and best model for the construction of socialism in Bulgaria as well as in the other people's democracies.
The fears expressed by our comrade Todor Pavlov before this Congress that the definition of our people's democracy as a form of the dictatorship of the proletariat might encourage attempts to violate law and order, made a considerable stir. Such fears are completely unwarranted. People's democracy, fulfilling the functions of the dictatorship of the proletariat, by its very essence and character cannot tolerate any arbitrariness and lawlessness. This rule is strong enough to be respected by everyone, irrespective of his position.
We harbour no illusions – and in our Party there are no serious party members who can have such an illusion – that the road along which our Party is travelling will be smooth. We know that this road is hard and stony but it is the only safe road for the working class, the people and our country.
We realise that we still have many difficulties to overcome. But we also know – and our people know it well – that our Party has demonstrated that it is not afraid of difficulties in fulfilling its historic mission. Our Party has also shown that it knows how to overcome all difficulties, no matter how great they may be and from whatever quarters they may stem, whether from our internal or external enemies.
Now, armed with the historic decisions of our Fifth Congress, learning constantly and tirelessly from the great Bolshevik Party and our common teacher and guide, Comrade Stalin, there can be no doubt that our Party – headed by a Central Committee to be elected by the Congress and which will be Leninist-Stalinist in spirit, firmness, iron discipline, diligence, fearlessness before hardships and dangers, – will bring to a victorious conclusion in spite of everything the task we have begun of building a socialist society in our country.
1. Bouzhloudja, a peak in the central part of the Balkan Mountains, on which a constituent congress was called and the foundations of the Bulgarian Communist Party were laid in August 1891.
2. The explosion in the Sofia Cathedral on April 16, 1925, the work of militants belonging to the ultra-left wing of the anti-fascist movement, aimed at killing of the representatives of the monarcho-fascist regime. The Bulgarian Communist Party, through its Central Committee, promptly condemned this act as reckless and ruinous, helping the implementation of the monstrous and bloody massacre of anti-fascist fighters, staged by the fascists. Tsankov's government took advantage of the attempt and started a reign of terror. Thousands of anti-fascists were murdered or burnt alive, other thousands thrown into prison and still others were forced to emigrate. The anti-fascist organisations were disbanded.
3. Peter Iskrov, Georgi Lambrev and Ilia Vassilev (Boiko), the leaders of the left sectarian faction of the Bulgarian Communist Party, which in 1929 seized the Party leadership, declared that the old Party cadres were unable to act as genuine revolutionaries, put forward a theory about the vanguard role of youth and raised incorrect slogans such as ‘a general all-out offensive,’ ‘capture of streets,’ ‘seizure of land,’ etc.
The activity of this faction held back the Party rearmament with Leninist theory and practice, led to the Party’s estrangement from the masses and led it to opportunist inaction during the military fascist coup d’etat of May 19, 1934.
The sound Party forces, headed by Georgi Dimitrov and Vassil Kolarov, carried on an unflinching struggle against left sectarianism, which was crowned with success in 1935 when a new Leninist course was adopted in the policy and practice of the Bulgarian Communist Party.
4. On May 19, 1934, the Officers' League and the ZVENO Political Circle carried out a military fascist coup d'etat, overthrew the government of the popular bloc which had come to power as a result of elections held in 1921 and established a fascist dictatorship.
After the coup d'etat the last survivals of parliamentary and bourgeois democracy were done away with. The National Assembly was disbanded, the political parties and trade unions were dissolved, their publications were prohibited, political meetings were forbidden and the press was subjected to strict censorship.
5. Konstantin Mouraviev, one of the right-wing leaders of the Agrarian Union. As Minister of War in Alexander Stamboliiski’s government he allowed the fascist officers to organise a conspiracy and to carry out a military fascist coup d’etat on June 9, 1923. In 1931-34 Mouraviev was first Minister of Education and then of Agriculture. On September 2, 1944, he headed the government of the so-called ‘legal opposition’, appointed by the monarcho-fascist agents with a view to diverting the people from the insurrection, which had come to a head, and gaining time so that the nazi forces might be able to prepare new defence positions in the Balkans against the Soviet Union. On September 9, I944, the peoples uprising overthrew Mouraviev’s government. The People’s Court sentenced him to life imprisonment.
6. The Law on Land Ownership, adopted by the National Assembly on March 12, 1946, determined the maximum size of a farm-stead: 20 hectares (excl. South Dobroudja – 30 ha) for peasants, and 3 to 5 ha for non-peasants. The land of war criminals and people's enemies was confiscated. Most of it, 211,000 ha, was distributed among 128,000 landless and poor peasants (an average of one hectare per family).
The law encouraged the peasants to join agricultural producers cooperatives.
7. Decree No. 4 was issued on November 23, 1944, by a group of reactionaries, members of the Fatherland Front Government, headed by Damyan Velchev and Nikola Petkov, behind the back of the Communist Ministers. Its aim was to save the fascist officers who had committed crimes against the people from a just punishment, by offering them the opportunity to leave for the front and join the fighting forces so that they might thus ‘a tone for their guilt.’ In case they were wounded or awarded a medal these persons were exempted from responsibility. This question had to be resolved, according to the decree, by the Minister of War, i.e. Damyan Velthev.
The Bulgarian Communist Party firmly objected to this decree. On
December 4, 1944, its Politbureau stated in a declaration that decree
No. 4 ran counter to the Fatherland Front programme and demanded its
immediate repeal. In answer to its appeal, nation-wide meetings and
demonstrations were held at which the working people supported the
Party’s demand. Under the pressure of the masses, the reactionary
ministers were forced to capitulate and on December 7, 1944 decree No.4
8. Damyan Velchev (1883-1955), a reactionary politician and general, one of the leaders of the right wing in the ZVENO political circle, an active participant in the June 9, 1923 fascist coup d'etat in 1934. In 1944-46 he was member of the first Fatherland Front Government Minister of War, but as a result of his anti-popular activities he was compelled to vacate his ministerial post. Later Velchev was appointed Minister Plenipotentiary to Bern. Subsequently he refused to return to Bulgaria.9. Gemeto (Dr. Georgi Mihailov Dimitrov), a reactionary politician and one of the leaders of the right wing of the Bulgarian Agrarian Union in the pre-war period. During the years of the Second World War he emigrated. After Bulgaria’s liberation Gemeto returned to Bulgaria and, having succeeded in seizing the post of Secretary General of the Agrarian Union, developed an activity which was hostile to the People’s Government. He raised the demagogical slogan ‘peace, bread and freedom’, which at that time meant to put an end to the war against nazi Germany and to give free rein to the fascists and reactionaries. Through his agents Gemeto began to propagate the slogan of a homogenous agrarian government. Under the pressure of the broad masses of Agrarian Union members who wanted to strengthen their ties with the Fatherland Front and purge the Agrarian Union of all reactionary elements, in January 1945 Gemeto was forced to abandon the post of Secretary General and in May 1945 at the Agrarian Union Conference he was expelled from its ranks. However, he continued his subversive activity against the People’s Government, as a result of which he was placed under home arrest. He succeeded in escapingand hid in the home of Mr. Barnes, the American political representative to Bulgaria. In September 1945, Gemeto left Bulgaria. Outside the country he headed the hostile activity of the reactionary emigrants against the People’s Republic of Bulgaria.
10. Nikola Petkov, a reactionary politician. In 1943-45, as a representative of the Bulgarian Agrarian Union, he was a member of the National Council of the Fatherland Front. After Bulgaria's liberation he was a Minister without portfolio in the first Fatherland Front Government (1944-45), but soon began an insidious struggle against the democratic undertakings of the People's Government. In 1945-47 he headed the right wing of the Bulgarian Agrarian Union, which together with the right wing of the Social Democratic Party had split off from the Fatherland Front to form the anti-popular opposition. For his activity against the People's Government and for having plotted its violent overthrown Petkov was sentenced to death in 1947."
11. Grigor Cheshmedjiev (1879-1945), reactionary militant of the Bulgarian Social-Democratic Party. In 1944-45, as a Minister of Social Welfare, he was a member of the first Fatherland Front Government. In 1945, he headed a group of right wing social-democrats who left the Fatherland Front and the Social-Democratic Party and formed a social-democratic party of their own, which engaged in hostile activities against the people’s democratic rule.
12. Yuroukovtsi, supporters of Vassil Yuroukov, leader of the right wing in the ZVENO political circle.
Footnotes and text taken from: http://www.st-cyprus.co.uk/misc/index.html
Click here to return to the index of