THE BULGARIAN INTELLECTUALS AND THE NATIONAL CAUSE IN WORLD WAR ONE THE UNION OF THE BULGARIAN SCHOLARS, WRITERS AND ARTISTS 1917-1918
Velichko Georgiev

(Summary)

The aspirations to liberate and reintegrate Macedonia, Dobrudja and the Morava river valley were among the officially declared motives of Bulgaria to enter the World War One on the side of the Central Powers. In its striving to achieve these goals the government had to seek, although with delay, the organised cooperation of the intellectuals. In their turn, the latter gave their input to the propaganda and the defence of the national cause in their specific way. For that purpose on 25 February 1917 a group of scholars, writers and artists proclaimed the foundation of the Union of the Bulgarian scholars, writers and artists. The writer Ivan Vazov was given the honorary chairmanship of the Union, whose actual leader became prof. Ivan Shishmanov. The Union undertook the task to strengthen the Bulgarian national self-consciousness, as well as to propagate and to defend the rightness of the Bulgarian national aspirations abroad.

In short time the Union of the Bulgarian scholars, writers and artists succeeded to involve more than 150 people in its activities, all among the most prominent intellectuals of Bulgaria scholars from the Bulgarian Academy of Science and University professors, writers, publicists, artists, actors, etc. To ensure the necessary resources for its activities, the Union sought for the financial assistance of wealthy Bulgarians. The governing body drew great plans for action, although it managed to fulfil only a small part of them. The Union published a collection of studies on Dobrudja in Bulgarian, French and German, as well as the books of Simeon Radev on Macedonia and the Bulgarian Renaissance, and of Lubomir Miletich on Macedonia in French, etc. It also supported the publication of a collection of materials about Bulgaria in Sweden. Again with the aim to elucidate and to defend the just Bulgarian aspirations for national unification, the Union launched several missions abroad in Scandinavia, Switzerland, Germany and Austria-Hungary.

The Union of the Bulgarian scholars, writers and artists proceeded with its activities some time after the end of the Great War: meetings were held, reports and protest resolutions against the unjust punishment of Bulgaria by the victorious states were drafted and sent to important international factors, and extensive publishing activities of a patriotic nature were carried out.


[Previous]
[Back to Index]