Declaration of the Initiative Committee and the Council of Honour for Dismantling of the Soviet Army Monument in Sofia
The citizens’ initiative for dismantling of the Soviet army monument in Sofia exists since September 2010. It began as a movement and a petition over the Internet, backed by people, sharing the common idea that the Soviet army monument needs to be dismantled and removed from the „Prince garden“ (Kniajeska gradina). After several open air events, discussions, and studies of the archives over the status of the monument, the initiative registered itself as a non-profit organization. The organization consists of an Initiative Committee, acting as an executive organ, and a Council of Honour, composed of well known and respected people. The members of the Council of Honour do not represent any political party or movement, and all they are sharing the main goal of the initiative – the removal and the displacement of the Soviet army monument.
Why should the Soviet army monument be dismantled?
The Soviet army monument was constructed in 1954, 10 years after the end of World War II. The discussions for it in The City Council and The Council of Ministers began in 1946 and the main subjects in these discussions were the size and the future location of the monument. The expressed goal for the monument was „to dominate“ and to be placed „on a central location, in order to achieve the maximal possible political and educational effect“ (Vl. Yonkov). Today the „political and educational“ dominance of this enormous monument is fully accomplished. Many young people think that the monument is honouring the liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman rule (which happened in 1878) and do not have a clue what it is representing in reality.
We, the members of the citizens’ initiative for dismantling of the Soviet army monument in Sofia, consider that the monument is a symbol of:
THE CRUEL TERROR, over the Bulgarian people, which began after the occupation of the country by the USSR on 8.09.1944. As a result of this occupation, the Bulgarian Communist Party (declared „illegal organization“ by the Bulgarian Parliament in 2000) was put into power. 30 000 people were killed, without sentence, in Bulgaria in less than 2 months. The terror of 1944-1945 is without precedence in the history of Bulgaria and it resulted in the establishment of a totalitarian regime, lasting for the next 45 years.
THE DOMINANCE of one single political party, responsible for the violation of human rights in Bulgaria for over four decades. Today this monument still dominates one of the most beautiful gardens in the historical centre of free and European Sofia.
THE VIOLENCE, which is expressed by the gun, risen high in the skies over Sofia. A violence, requiring to pay a tribute. The presence of this monument in our capital renders impossible to condemn the obscurantism of the totalitarian regime. And the lack of condemnation of the violence provokes another violence. In the 21st century this is unacceptable. It is unacceptable to not be able to condemn the violence and to still let it be honoured.
THE VIOLATION OF NATIONAL DIGNITY, because of the conversion of our country into a satellite of the USSR and its ideological and political interests. For the entire period of its power, the Bulgarian Communist Party served mainly to the Communist Party of the USSR, by de-facto selling entirely the sovereignty of Bulgaria and misspending the lifes of two generations.
THE LIE for the liberation of Bulgaria by the Soviet army, which enters the country in a moment, when Bulgaria is in a state of war with Germany, and is ruled by a legal and democratically elected government. The invasion of the Soviet army is followed by an occupation, lasting for the next 3 years, and leading to lots of casualties and a financial collapse. The huge inscription on the monument is a historical lie, which renders possible to forget the victims of the communism.