On July 3rd 1924 a young man was beaten up in the Bulgarian
village of Bujinci-Vasil. His ‘crime’ was that of refusing to be
This was in contravention of the provisions of the peace
treaty which came in to effect at the end of world war one.
The reporter upon this incident had no idea upon what had
subsequently happened to the young man.
Thus we have the 1st of a number of reports upon the pacifist
movement in Bulgaria which were published in the various
newsletters of War Resisters International ( WRI ).
In September 1924 it was reported that a group of Bulgarian
Tolstoyans had formed a new section of WRI.
At the same time it was reported that their situation had
become much more difficult.
A violent revolution had created a new government during
July of that year, & the country was reported to be in turmoil.
As the 1920s turned in to the 1930s the situation in Bulgaria
did not improve for Pacifists living in the country.
– There was a bomb & shooting attack which took place upon
the home of two pacifists during October 1926.
– The teacher and pacifist Andreas Krestev was murdered for
his work by persons unknown on the 12th of may 1928.
– While in 1930 two brothers who refused to be conscripted
were arrested & tortured within a military barracks.
This was despite the fact that there was no formal
conscription within the country.
There are similar reports which were published throughout
Yet despite all of the difficulties there was a lot of pacifist
activism during this time.
– An anti-conscription manifest was published at the end of
– In November 1927 the editor of Svoboda, a guy by the name of
Slav Delkinoff, was prosecuted for the� publication of an
article entitled �military Service Work�.
– During the winter of 1929 it was reported that a ‘No More
war’ calender had been sold for the last 5 years, with an
average print run of 5,000 – 6,000 copies.
– In 1930 the annual Congress of the Bulgarian Vegetarian
Society took place in Ruse. In a report upon this meeting it was
stated that a very high percentage of the membership was
The meeting was also addressed by the founder of the
Women’s Peace Society of Bulgaria.
– During 1932 a declaration in Zornita ( Aurora ) ,
the organ of the Methodist & congregational churches of
‘ That our duty is to work for complete disarmament as the
most certain means of eradicating war.’
One of the most prominent of Bulgarian Pacifists during this
period was Yordan Kovateev ( 18 Oct 1895 – 19th Feb 1966 ).
Kovateev was a Tolstoyan, vegetarian, and what we would
now be called a Human Rights Lawyer.
He also spent some years on the Council of WRI.
There are very few sources of information upon what pacifist
activities took place in Bulgaria during the period between
1920 – 1946.
I have only been able to make a brief summery of what was
published within the WRI periodical War Resistance,
from which these notes are based.
It would be really very good is there were to be some more
research that could be done upon this subject, but it would
have to be done by someone who can read the language.