Postbellum

Memory of Nation

 

Vasil Samokovliev (1946)

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 Vasil Samokovliev (1946)
They brainwashed us with Communism from childhood

Bulgarian reactions to the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia

“Most Bulgarians believed the Russians. Thanks to propaganda. People believed that the Russians had to save our camp and that there was the danger of counter-revolution. Otherwise only the intelligentsia reacted. A few writers protested the invasion and lost their membership in the Writers’ Union. Rally only a few artists reacted to it. Otherwise Bulgarians saw it as correct Soviet policy, to save the camp. [Q: And you, students of Czech, who a more personal attachment to Czechoslovakia, what opinion did you have?] We were rooting for the Czechs. As you became more experienced, you could see that the Socialsm they were forcing on us so much was a utopia. That it couldn’t happen. The things that Dubček wanted - Socialism with a human face - that showed more promise.”

  • born 22 July 1946 in Pomorie, Bulgaria
  • 1964, graduated from a Russian grammar school in Plovdiv
  • 1966, began studying Czech at the university in Sofia
  • 1967, visited Prague for the first time as a student of Czech
  • during the holidays, worked as a tourist guide in Sunny Beach, Bulgaria
  • August 1968, experienced the occupation of Czechoslovakia with Czech tourists in Bulgaria
  • 1970, started visiting Czechoslovakia regularly every year
  • 1996, permanently moved to Prague
  • worked in the travel industry and as a translator
  • translated more than twenty major works of Czech literature into Bulgarian
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