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Sunday, June 26

Batak massacre: Provocation Against Bulgarian National History

Updated on: 02.05.2007, 15:36

Published on: 25.04.2007, 14:38

Author: Olga Yoncheva

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Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov defined as strong provocation against Bulgarian national history the gaining publicity project of the Free University of Berlin, which changes one of the most tragic pages in the history of Bulgaria's April uprising.

The sacrifice of Batak citizens was seen and understood by the most influential intellectuals of that epoch: Dostoevsky and Turgenev, Mendeleev and Darwin, Gladstone and Garibaldi.

This sacrifice was the reason thousands of people around the world to support the Bulgarian liberation cause. This sacrifice made conservative Europe of that time to put the Bulgarian question in its agenda.

More than a century, time has not washed away the memory of our ancestors' fate. Therefore, according to President Parvanov, every attempt to re-write history or artificially to create prerequisites for tension on delicate historical topics, is not only deeply unacceptable but will also meet the repudiation of the whole Bulgarian society.

On 16 May president Parvanov will participate in the traditional marking of the April epic from 1876 in Batak.

The president's reaction has come after the Mayor of Batak Petar Paunov announced that the citizens of Batak would not let a conference on 18 May happen. The reason for their decision is the expected during the conference presentation of a thesis, which claims that the Batak massacre is a myth, its victims are exaggerated, and Turkish slavery is sham.

Authors of the scandalous thesis are Martina Baleva and Ulf Brunbauer from the East Europe Institute of the Free University of Berlin.

The project of the two scientists provides for change of the Batak museum exhibition the main accent of which are the events from 1876.

According to Paunov, the two scientists' project is an attempt to change the history of a sacred for Bulgarians town.

The project of Berlin university is entitled History and present of Bulgarian national stereotypes in the light of the Batak myth.