On April 15, 2020, unidentified perpetrators committed an act of vandalism against a memorial dedicated to Soviet soldiers who died liberating the town during WWII. The perpetrators, assumedly at night, poured white and pink paint on the monument in the town’s St.George park.
The barbaric act was not the first committed against the monument: the previous attack took place on April 8, the vandals leaving inscriptions on the monument, such as “Death to occupiers!” and “Death to Alyoshas!”
Dobrich authorities reacted in an official statement saying, “In recent years, monuments and plates have become a target for vandals. An act like this is totally inappropriate since monuments are both sites of our collective memory and personal memory of our contemporaries. Such actions manifest not only aggression but also the low level of self-consciousness of those who committed them, since vandalism is not an attribute of a civic stance, but speaks of an absence of such stance.
According to an official statement by Russia’s Foreign Ministry, “this looks especially cynical taking into account that the desecrated site is a mass grave of 45 soldiers and officers. We expect that the city authorities will take all measures necessary to put the monument into shape and prevent such incidents from happening in the future, and the perpetrators of the crime will be found and receive the punishment they deserve.”
There has been a rise of Russo-phobic and nationalist sentiments in Bulgaria in recent years. For example, starting from 2011, the country has celebrated the so-called “memorial day for victims of communism” which, in particular, includes pro-Nazi collaborators. The recent years also saw an increase in the number of barbaric acts committed against monuments, among them multiple cases of desecration of the Soviet Army Memorial in Sofia, as well as another monument (‘Alyosha’) in Plovdiv, by unknown perpetrators.
The multiple cases of desecrated Soviet monuments are outlined in a report by the Russian Foreign Ministry “Regarding the situation with the glorification of Nazism and the spread of Neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.”
Tags: Bulgaria, monuments, neo-Nazism, Great Patriotic War