Bulgaria’s Dossier Commission on communist-era secret agents to hold Open Day

Bulgaria’s Dossier Commission, the body charged by law with disclosing the identities of people in various walks of public life who worked for the country’s communist-era secret services, is to hold an Open Day on October 23.

From 9am to 4pm, the doors of the Dossier Commission’s central archive in Bankya, 18km from central Sofia, will be open to the public.

The Commission said that a bus would run every hour from 9am to 3pm from central Sofia to Bankya.

The tours will be conducted in groups that will have the chance to see the archives, being opened for the first time for viewing by the general public. A tour for the media is being held at 11am.

The central archive of the commission stores more than 13km of archival documents from State Security and the military intelligence service of the Bulgarian People’s Army.

The Commission’s Ekaterina Boncheva told Bulgarian National Television on October 22 that there were 22 archive repositories for paper documents alone. In all, there were more than three million documents in different media.

The head of the archives directorate, Maria Boneva, showed the cards that proved affiliation to State Security, including those of former president Georgi Purvanov (Agent Gotse) and Defence Minister Krassimir Karakachanov (Agent Ivan).

“We deliberately picked out the cards of famous people to show the public that we do not invent things,” Boneva told BNT.

She said that the Dossier Commission was gradually digitalising its archives. “We cannot publish them on the internet because of the Access to Public Information Act says that third-party data must be erased, but we do not have the staff to do the job. But digitisation of the archive is being carried out constantly.”

Since it was founded by a 2006 statute, Bulgaria’s Dossier Commission has announced thousands of names as having worked for the country’s communist-era secret services, as agents or collaborators.

These have included, apart from politicians in various parties, also ambassadors abroad, public opinion pollsters, business association leaders, trade union leaders, top clergy of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and other religious groups, journalists and credit millionaires, as well officials at various levels of government.

In April 2018, a poll found that about 61.4 per cent of Bulgarians believe that people holding elected office or who are in positions of leadership should be checked to see whether they worked for the country’s communist-era secret services State Security and military intelligence.

This was according to a poll by the Exacta Research Group, which found that only 16 per cent of those surveyed did not believe this was necessary, while 22.6 per cent were undecided.

An archive photo of a visit to the Commission by a group of university students.

(Photos: Dossier Commission)



The Sofia Globe staff

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