Maria Popova – Journal of Narrative Politics – My grandfather said “Screw the Communists, but we all have to vote for them”

Read Maria Popova’s article on Open Journal Systems.

History books say Bulgaria’s Communist regime collapsed in November 1989. My grandfather could not believe this basic fact for most of the 1990s. What many Bulgarians perceived as genuine change, for better or for worse, he saw as moves in a long game played by the regime. The roundtable negotiations, the demonstrations, the mouthy media, the multiparty elections were all ploys to unveil the disloyal. At an opportune moment, the regime would drop the charade, round up the naïve fools who believed in democracy and punish them. Some would go to labour camps or to prison, the luckier would only lose their jobs, but all would have permanent stains on their biographies. As several governments came and went, he spent the 1990s dreading the day of authoritarian restoration.

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