From Charles I to Saddam Hussein
It is the historical account which carries the argument. By examining trials of heads of state and government throughout history – figures as different as Charles I, Louis XVI, Erich Honecker, and Saddam Hussein – Laughland shows that modern trials of heads of state have ugly historical precedents. In their different ways, all the trials he describes were marked by arbitrariness and injustice, and many were gross exercises in hypocrisy. Political trials, he finds, are only the continuation of war by other means.
With short and easy chapters, but the fruit of formidable erudition and wide reading, this book will force the general reader to re-examine prevailing opinions of this subject.
11 From Mass Execution to Amnesty and Pardon: Postwar Trials in Bulgaria, Finland, and Greece 153
11 From Mass Execution to Amnesty and Pardon: Postwar Trials in Bulgaria, Finland, and Greece Bulgaria The judicial bloodletting in postwar Europe was severest in Bulgaria. Some 3,000 people were executed as war criminals, and virtually the entire war- time political class was wiped out. The incoming Communists, helped to power by the Allied Control Commission under the chairmanship of a Soviet general (as in Hungary, Romania, and Finland), regarded all their political enemies as ‘fascists’. Even Tito had the honour of this epithet from 1948 onwards. A judicial process was set up to purge the entire coun- try of such ‘fascists’ which naturally included the wartime regime, and as in Romania, Hungary, and elsewhere, these trials were merely part of a wider civil war pitting Communists, backed by the Red Army, against the wartime elites and their supporters. The victims of the purges included three heads of state (the three members of the country’s Regency Council: Prince Kyril of Preslav, Bogdan Filov, and Nikola Mikhov, who reigned in the boy king Simeon’s place on the death of Tsar Boris III on 28 August 1943) and three additional wartime prime ministers (Bogdan Filov having also been prime minister from 1940 to 1943): Petur Gabrovski (who had been prime minister for a week in September 1943), Dobri Bozhilov (prime minister from 14 Sep- tember 1943 until 1 June 1944), and Ivan Bagrianov (1 June to 2 September 1944). They were accused of their role in bringing Bulgaria into alliance with...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.