1926-1934 World War II

Bulgaria 1934-1939

Administration . In 1934 PM Georgiev attempted to establish a dictatorship and, among others, reduce the authority of Tsar Boris. On Jan. 22nd 1935 Georgiev resigned, and Tsar Boris III. emerged as the dominant figure. In order to reduce the officers' influence on politics, Tsar Boris appointed a succession of prime ministers, ruling through them, from 1935 to 1940 through Georgi Kyoseivanov. A constitutional reform was passed in 1937. General Elections (the first since 1931) were held in 1938.

Foreign Policy . Bulgaria and the USSR established diplomatic relations in 1934.
In foreign policy, the King had given up the hope to regain territory lost in 1913 and 1919 in favour of finding allies; in Jan. 1937 a non-aggression pact with old enemy Yugoslavia was signed.
In 1938 the Munich Pact revised the borders drawn an the Paris Peace Conference, and the wind of change was blowing. King Boris III. of Bulgaria's policy was for his country to stay out of trouble. This meant a course of neutrality. On July 31st 1938 Bulgaria signed a pact with the Balkan Pact, pledging to settle mutual disputes by peaceful means; in return the Balkan Pact renounced the right to enforce the stipulations of the Treaty of Neuilly limiting the size of Bulgaria's army (NIYB 1938 p.111).

Political History . Following the 1934 coup, IMRO was banned and disarmed. In October 1935 martial law was declared (AAnn 1936 p.105).
In 1938 the Bulgarian Communist Party and the Workers' Party (Socialist), both banned, merged to form the Bulgarian Workers' Party (in 1948 renamed Bulgarian Communist Party).
The Bulgarian Airforce was (re-)established in 1937. On Oct. 10th 1938 the Chief of Staff of the Bulgarian Army, Gen. Yordan Penev, was assassinated (NIYB 1938 p.111).

The Economy . Dictator Kimon Georgiev (1934-1935) introduced the corporate economy.
In 1936 there were 3270 km of railroad and 25,650 km of roads. In 1938 there were 2,478 cars, 504 busses and 1,005 trucks in Bulgaria. Both state revenues for 1936 amounded to 7,965,000 Leva, expenses to 7,643,000 Leva. The most important trading partner, for both imports and exports, was Germany, the most important export products tobacco, eggs, wheat. The leading import articles were textiles, metals/metalware and machinery. Sofia International Airport was constructed in 1937.
In 1934, Bulgaria produced 1.078 million metric tons of wheat, in 1939 1.857 million metric tons (IHS p.261).

Social History . The 1934 census counted 6.077 million Bulgarians; the population estimate for 1939 is 6.458 million (Lahmeyer).

Cultural History . Bulgarian athletes participated in the Summer Olympics of Berlin 1936.

Articles Bulgarian Communist Party, List of Prime Ministers of Bulgaria, Georgi Kyoseivanov, Bulgaria at the 1936 Summer Olympics, Elections in Bulgaria, Tsar Boris III. of Bulgaria, Kimon Georgiev, Zveno, IMRO in the Interwar Period, from Wikipedia
Library of Congress, Country Studies : Bulgaria
Bulgarian Museum of Aviation, Plovdiv, from All Bulgaria Virtual Guide
Hikmet Öksüz, The Reflections of the Balkan Pact in Turkish and European Public Opinion, in : Turkish Review of Balkan Studies 2007 pp.147-171
DOCUMENTS Table of Bulgaria's Prime Ministers, 1879-present, from Bulgaria Online
World Statesmen : Bulgaria, from Ben Cahoon
Historical Population Statistics : Bulgaria, from Population Statistics (Jan Lahmeyer)
Bulgarian banknotes, from Ron Wise's World Paper Money
REFERENCE B.R. Mitchell, International Historical Statistics. Europe 1750-1988, NY : Stockton Press 1992 [G]
R.J. Crampton, A Concise History of Bulgaria, Cambridge Concise Histories 1997 pp.163-169 KMLA Lib.Sign. 949.7 C889a
Article : Bulgaria, pp.623-636, in : Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th edition, Macropaedia vol.14, KMLA Lib.Sign. R 032 B862n v.14
Raymond Detrez, Historical Dictionary of Bulgaria, Lanham Md. : Scarecrow 2006, KMLA Lib.Sign. R 949.9003 D 483h
Hübner's Weltstatistik, 73. issue, edited by Ernst Rösner, Wien 1939
Chapter XXXII : Balkan Kings, pp.468-476, in : John Gunther, Inside Europe, 1940 War Edition, NY : Harper & Bros. 1940 [G]
Article : Bulgaria, in : Statesman's Yearbook 1937 pp.748-757 (data of 1935-1937) [G]
Article : Bulgaria, in : Americana Annual 1936 pp.104-105; 1937 pp.92-93; 1938 pp.92-93; 1939 pp.100-10 [G]
Article : Bulgaria, in : New International Year Book 1935 pp.106-107, 1938 pp.110-112, 1939 pp,98-100 [G]
Article : Bulgaria, in : Funk & Wagnalls New Standard Encyclopedia Year Book 1935 pp.105-107, 1936 pp.92-94, 1937 pp.90-92, 1938 pp.92-94, 1939 pp.82-84 [G]

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First posted in 2000, last revised on June 6th 2008

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