Family stories help fitting puzzle pieces of the past

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Bulgarian history is a constant source of facts that can always surprise us. The way of presenting these facts, however, is also importantas boring information would destroy the interest of readers.

Almost every Bulgarian family keeps stories of their ancestors and conveys them to the next generation. But these stories remain largely unknown to the wide audience and we cannotfit all the pieces of the puzzle of our past.

The "My Bulgarian History" platform makes this possible, because its goal is to popularize the less known people who have played part in Bulgarian history. Its creators are historians Stefan Kichev and Angel Zlatkov. They are the authors of a series of articles on various topics. In them, they both tell of the role of women in Bulgarian history or of world-renowned compatriots forced to leave the country for various reasons:

Stefan Kichev and Angel Zlatkov Photo: private archive
“It is important to realize that the story is multi-layered and we cannot easily place a judgement on a person about the choices they made. I say this because of the widespread stereotype about Bulgarians abroad. The truth is that we cannotblame these people because they made a conscious choice or were forced to do so. By going abroad, these people have managed to unleash their potential,” Angel Zlatkov says.

Judging peoplefor the choices they make is not right as mistakes we make and successes we achieve have their meaning. That is why it is important to know your history and fill in the white spots in it. Silence on certain topics is not beneficial to society. We need an objective reading of history, which is impossible if we continued to focus just on great victories of the past. According to Zlatkov, every nation searches for these pillars, showing greatness and glory, in order to build national pride and high self-esteem of citizens.

“This is why we focus so much on the Middle Ages, because then Bulgariawas one of the most influential states in Europe. It was the center of Europe. Bulgarian rulers have had a great influence on the continent. We focus on these facts so one can feel proud that they are Bulgarian. The history of the Third Bulgarian Kingdom and the People's Republic of Bulgaria raises more questions, sparks emotions and discussions. There are many people who are personally influenced by the various events that happened in these periods. For example, the People's Court, the September Uprising, the terrorist attack in Sveta Nedelya church, the labor camps. This historydoes not receive the needed attention due to strong emotions that it evokes today.”

English: Alexander Markov
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