Zveno

Last updated
Zveno
Звено
Leaders Kimon Georgiev,
Damyan Velchev
Founded1927
Dissolved1949
Headquarters Sofia, Bulgaria
Newspaper Zveno
Ideology Bulgarian nationalism
National conservatism
Corporatism
Statism
Elitism
Political position Right-wing [1]

Zveno (Bulgarian : Звено, "link") was a Bulgarian military and political organization, founded in 1927 by Bulgarian Army officers. It was associated with a newspaper of that name.

As a palingenetic nationalist movement, Zveno advocated for rationalization of Bulgaria's economic and political institutions under a dictatorship that would be independent from both the Soviet Union and the Axis powers. They strongly opposed the Bulgarian party system, which they saw as dysfunctional, and the terror of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO), the Bulgarian Macedonian liberation movement. Zveno was also closely linked to the so-called Military League, the organization behind a coup in 1923, responsible for killing Prime Minister Aleksandar Stamboliyski.

In 1934 pro-Zveno officers like Colonel Damyan Velchev and Colonel Kimon Georgiev seized power. Georgiev became Prime Minister. They dissolved all parties, poltical organizations and trade unions and openly attacked the IMRO. As a political organization itself, Zveno dissolved itself. The new government introduced a corporatist economy, similar to that of Benito Mussolini's Italy. King Boris III, an opponent of Zveno, orchestrated a coup through a monarchist Zveno member, General Pencho Zlatev, who became Prime Minister (January 1935). In April 1935, he was replaced by a civilian, Andrei Toshev, also a monarchist. After participating in the Bulgarian coup d'état of 1934, Zveno supporters declared their intention to immediately form an alliance with France and to seek the unification of Bulgaria into an Integral Yugoslavia. [2] Zveno supported an Integral Yugoslavia that included Bulgaria as well as Albania within it. [3]

In 1943 Zveno joined the anti-Axis resistance movement, the Fatherland Front. In September 1944, the Fatherland Front engineered a coup d'état. Georgiev became Prime Minister and Velchev Minister of Defense, and they managed to sign a ceasefire agreement with the Soviet Union.

In 1946, Velchev resigned in protest against communist actions, while Georgiev was succeeded by communist leader Georgi Dimitrov, after which Bulgaria became a People's Republic. Georgiev remained in government until 1962, but Zveno was disbanded as an autonomous organization in 1949. Zveno continued to exist within the Fatherland Front but was by then only a puppet organization.

Related Research Articles

Aleksandar Stamboliyski Bulgarian politician; Prime Minister of Bulgaria (1919-1923)

Aleksandar Stoimenov Stamboliyski was the prime minister of Bulgaria from 1919 until 1923.

Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization Bulgarian secret revolutionary society, undergoing later various transformations and splits

The Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization was a secret revolutionary society in the Ottoman territories in Europe, that operated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Kimon Georgiev Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bulgaria from 1934-35 and 1944-46

Kimon Georgiev Stoyanov was a Bulgarian general who was the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bulgaria from 1934 to 1935 and again from 1944 to 1946.

Bulgarian Fatherland Front Political party in Bulgaria

The Fatherland Front began as a Bulgarian Bolshevik political resistance movement during World War II. The Zveno movement, the communist Bulgarian Workers Party, a wing of the Bulgarian Agrarian National Union and the Bulgarian Social Democratic Workers Party, were all part of the OF. The constituent groups of the OF had widely contrasting ideologies and had united only in the face of the pro-German militarist dictatorship in Bulgaria. At the beginning, the members of the OF worked together, without a single dominating group. Professional associations and unions could be members of the front and maintain their organisational independence. However, the Bulgarian Communist Party soon began to dominate. In 1944, after the Soviet Union had declared war on Bulgaria, the OF committed a coup d'état and they declared war on Germany and the other Axis nations. The OF government, headed by Kimon Georgiev (Zveno), immediately signed a ceasefire treaty with the Soviet Union.

Damyan Velchev or Velcev was a Bulgarian politician and general.

Ivan Mihailov

Ivan Mihailov Gavrilov, sometimes Vancho Mihailov, was a Bulgarian revolutionary in interwar Macedonia, and the last leader of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO). Under Mihailov, the IMRO identified itself closely with Bulgarian nationalism. He also cooperated actively with Mussolini's Fascist Italy, Admiral Horthy's Hungary and Hitler's Nazi Germany. He changed the organization's tactics from guerrilla campaigns to individual terrorist acts. Numerous terrorist attacks were carried out by IMRO against Yugoslav officials under his leadership, the most spectacular of which was the assassination of Alexander I of Yugoslavia, in collaboration with Croatian Ustaše. During the last stage of the Second World War he tried to realize the IMRO plan about Independent Macedonia, however he abandoned this idea due to the lack of real German military support. At the end of the Cold War, only a months before his death in 1990, he kept insisting: I am Bulgarian from Macedonia. Thus, rejecting the 20th century Macedonian national separatism, he is considered a bulgarophile traitor in North Macedonia.

Peoples Republic of Bulgaria Socialist republic ruled by the Bulgarian Communist Party (1946–1990)

The People's Republic of Bulgaria was the official name of Bulgaria, when it was a socialist republic from 1946 to 1990, ruled by the Bulgarian Communist Party (BCP) together with its coalition partner, the Bulgarian Agrarian People's Union. Bulgaria was closely allied with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, being part of Comecon as well as a member of the Warsaw Pact. The Bulgarian resistance movement during World War II deposed the Kingdom of Bulgaria administration in the Bulgarian coup d'état of 1944 which ended the country's alliance with the Axis powers and led to the People's Republic in 1946.

After the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878, the 1878 Treaty of Berlin set up an autonomous state, the Principality of Bulgaria, within the Ottoman Empire. Although remaining under Ottoman sovereignty, it functioned independently, taking Alexander of Battenberg as its first prince in 1879. In 1885 Alexander took control of the still-Ottoman Eastern Rumelia, officially under a personal union. Following Prince Alexander's abdication (1886), a Bulgarian Assembly elected Ferdinand I as prince in 1887. Full independence from Ottoman control was declared in 1908.

Kingdom of Bulgaria State in southeastern Europe from 1908 to 1946

The Tsardom of Bulgaria, also referred to as the Third Bulgarian Tsardom, sometimes translated in English as Kingdom of Bulgaria, was a constitutional monarchy in Southeastern Europe, which was established on 5 October 1908, when the Bulgarian state was raised from a principality to a Tsardom.

Aleksandar Tsankov 21st Prime Minister of Bulgaria (1923-26)

Aleksander Tsolov Tsankov was a leading Bulgarian politician during the interwar period between the two world wars.

Bulgaria during World War II Involvement of Bulgaria in World War II

The history of Bulgaria during World War II encompasses an initial period of neutrality until 1 March 1941, a period of alliance with the Axis Powers until 8 September 1944, and a period of alignment with the Allies in the final year of the war. Bulgarian military forces occupied with German consent parts of the kingdoms of Greece and Yugoslavia which Bulgarian irredentism claimed on the basis of the 1878 Treaty of San Stefano. Bulgaria resisted Axis pressure to join the war against the Soviet Union, which began on 22 June 1941, but did declare war on Britain and the United States on 13 December 1941. The Red Army entered Bulgaria on 8 September 1944; Bulgaria declared war on Germany the next day.

1923 Bulgarian coup détat 1923 military coup in Bulgaria against the Agrarian National Union government

The 1923 Bulgarian coup d'état, also known as the 9 June coup d'état, was a coup d'état in Bulgaria implemented by armed forces under General Ivan Valkov's Military Union on the eve of 9 June 1923. Hestitantly legitimated by a decree of Tsar Boris III of Bulgaria, it overthrew the government of the Bulgarian Agrarian National Union headed by Aleksandar Stamboliyski and replaced it with one under Aleksandar Tsankov.

The Bulgarian coup d'état of 1934, also known as the 19 May coup d'état, was a coup d'état in the Kingdom of Bulgaria carried out by the Zveno military organization and the Military Union with the aid of the Bulgarian Army. It overthrew the government of the wide Popular Bloc coalition and replaced it with one under Kimon Georgiev.

1944 Bulgarian coup détat September 1944 coup détat in Bulgaria

The 1944 Bulgarian coup d'état, also known as the 9 September coup d'état, was the forcible change of the government of Kingdom of Bulgaria carried out on the eve of 9 September 1944. In Communist Bulgaria it was called People's Uprising of 9 September – on the grounds of the broad unrest, and Socialist Revolution – as it was a turning point politically and the beginning of radical reforms towards socialism.

Independent Macedonia (1944)

In September 1944, Nazi Germany briefly sought to establish an Independent State of Macedonia, a puppet state in the territory of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia that had been occupied by the Kingdom of Bulgaria following the invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941. When Soviet Union forces approached the borders of Bulgaria near the end of August 1944, Bulgaria declared neutrality and briefly sought to negotiate with the Western Allies. As the Bulgarian government was not impeding the withdrawal of German forces from Bulgaria or Romania, the Soviet Union treated it with suspicion. On 2 September, a new pro-Western government took power in Sofia, only to be replaced a week later by a pro-Soviet government after a Fatherland Front–led revolt. However, on 5 September 1944, the Soviets declared war on Bulgaria.

Yugoslav irredentism refers to an irredentism that promotes a Yugoslavia that unites all South Slav-populated territories within it, comprising its historically united territories of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia; merged with territories claimed by Yugoslavists that had not been incorporated within the state of Yugoslavia, including Bulgaria, Western Thrace and Greek Macedonia and in some proposals other territories. The government of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia sought the union with Bulgaria or its incorporation into Yugoslavia. The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia under Josip Broz Tito sought to create an integral Yugoslavia that would incorporate within Yugoslavia's borders: Greek Macedonia and Thrace, Albania, Bulgaria, at least a portion of Austrian Carinthia or all of it, and for a time beginning in November 1943 had claimed the entire Italian region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

Kiril Nikolov Stanchev was a Bulgarian general, commander of the Bulgarian Second Army during World War II.

Dimo Kazasov

Dimitar (Dimo) Totev Kazasov was a Bulgarian politician and journalist, initially from the Bulgarian Workers' Social Democratic Party (BRSDP), and later from several other organizations. He joined the governments formed after the 1923 and 1944 coups. He was MP in the XVIII (1919-1920), XXI (1923-1927), XXVI (1945-1946) National Assembly and in the VI Grand National Assembly (1946-1949).

Petar Traykov Girovski was a Bulgarian Army officer, later activist of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization. Afterwards he became close to some communist circles and after the Second World War participated in Yugoslav and Bulgarian politics.

Fascist organizations in Bulgaria never became a mass movement. A scientific consensus has been reached that Bulgaria's agrarian society and its monarchic system were the barriers before the fascist practices. Despite that due to the authoritarian regime Boris III introduced in 1935 and Bulgaria’s accession to the Axis powers during WWII, the Bulgarian marxist historiography labelled this era as monarcho-fascism and demonized the interwar rightist movements. In fact fascists in interwar Bulgaria were split into a several small movements as the National Social Movement, the Union of Bulgarian National Legions and the Ratniks. They were unable to become prominent political forces in the country. Bulgarian fascist movements faced problems differentiating their goals from other elements of the far right political authoritarian movements. The temporal power of conservative authoritarian rivals who were in control of the government from 1934 to 1944, contributed to the weakness of these fascist groups. The National Social Movement (NSM) founded by Aleksandar Tsankov as a genuinely fascist group was taking inspiration from the NSDAP and rose by the early to mid 1930s. The second fascist movement, the Union of Bulgarian National Legions, was started by general Hristo Lukov and later became an ally of the NSM, though being more ideologically radical. The third fascist movement, the Union of the Ratniks, was founded by Professor Asen Kantardzhiev. It was also closer to the German Nazis than to Italian Fascism.

References

  1. Sygkelos, Yanis (2011). Nationalism from the Left. BRILL. p. 254.
  2. Khristo Angelov Khristov. Bulgaria, 1300 years. Sofia, Bulgaria: Sofia Press, 1980. Pp. 192.
  3. Plamen S. T︠S︡vetkov. A history of the Balkans: a regional overview from a Bulgarian perspective. EM Text, 1993. Pp. 195.