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Bogdan Filov
Богдан Филов
Богдан Филов.jpg
28th Prime Minister of Bulgaria
In office
16 February 1940 – 9 September 1943
MonarchBoris III (– 28 August 1943)
Simeon II (28 August 1943 –)
Preceded byGeorgi Kyoseivanov
Succeeded byPetur Gabrovski (acting)
Regent of Bulgaria
In office
28 August 1943 – 9 September 1944
MonarchSimeon II
Prime MinisterHimself
Petur Gabrovski (acting)
Dobri Bozhilov
Ivan Ivanov Bagryanov
Konstantin Muraviev
Preceded byRegency established
Succeeded byTodor Pavlov
Venelin Ganev
Tsvyatko Boboshevski
Personal details
Born(1883-04-10)10 April 1883
Stara Zagora, Eastern Rumelia (today Bulgaria)
Died1 February 1945(1945-02-01) (aged 61)
Sofia, Bulgaria
Cause of deathExecution by firing squad
Political partyIndependent
Spouse(s)Evdokia Peteva-Filova

Bogdan Dimitrov Filov (Bulgarian: Богдан Димитров Филов) (10 April 1883 – 1 February 1945) was a Bulgarian archaeologist, art historian and politician. He was prime minister of Bulgaria during World War II. During his tenure, Bulgaria became the seventh nation to join the Axis Powers.

Early life

Born in Stara Zagora, Filov was partly educated in Imperial Germany at Leipzig, Freiburg, and Würzburg. His Ph.D. dissertation from Freiburg was published as a book – a supplement to the prestigious German magazine Klio in Leipzig.[1] Beginning May 1, 1906, he worked in the National Archaeological Museum in Sofia. Filov studied archeology and numismatics in Bonn, Paris and Rome from 1907 to 1909. He was the indisputable leader of "antique" (pre-classical) archaeology in Bulgaria. In 1927 he published the finds from Trebenishta, a necropolis of Peresadyes, rich with gold and iron artifacts. Between 1910 and 1920 Filov was director of the National Archaeological Museum.[2] He conducted the first studies of the ancient city of Kabile, near Yambol, in 1912. In 1920 Filov became a professor of archeology, and of art history, at Sofia University. In 1920 a chair of archaeology was established at the university, and Filov was appointed to it. The Archaeological Society in Sofia developed into an Archaeological Institute with a Department of Antique Archaeology. In 1937, Filov was elected chairman of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

Prime minister

On 15 February 1940, following the resignation of Georgi Kyoseivanov, Filov was appointed prime minister of the Kingdom of Bulgaria. Filov was an ally of Tsar Boris III of Bulgaria. On 7 September, Bulgaria was awarded the southern part of Dobruja by the Treaty of Craiova. On 14 February of the following year, Bulgaria signed a non-aggression pact with the Axis powers and on 1 March joined the Tripartite Pact. On Bulgaria's Independence Day, March 3, German troops crossed into Bulgaria on the way to invade the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the Kingdom of Greece. Though a titular member of the Axis, Bulgaria stayed out of the war as much as possible during the regime of King Boris and Premier Filov. After the death of Boris in August 1943, Filov became a member of the Regency Council established because the new tsar, Simeon II, was underage.

Antisemitic law and pro-Nazi policy

In November, 1940, the government of Bogdan Filov proposed the Law for Protection of the Nation; Parliament voted its approval on December 24, 1940. This law was equivalent to the Nuremberg Laws of the Third Reich and deprived the Jews of civil rights.[3]

Filov established the Commissariat for Jewish Affairs as executive body concerned with Jews in Bulgaria. In accordance with a governmental decision made in March 1943, Jews from the "newly annexed territories", who were not Bulgarian subjects, were deported by Bulgarian authorities to German extermination camps: in total, 11,343 Jews from then occupied northern Greece and Vardar Banovina were deported to German custody and later to the Treblinka killing centers; almost none survived.[4] However, yielding to pressure from the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and from the deputy speaker of Parliament, Dimitar Peshev, the Nazi-allied government did not deport its 50,000 Jews, Bulgarian subjects, from the "old lands" (antebellum Bulgaria), thus saving them.


Following the armistice with the Soviet Union whose forces had entered Bulgaria in 1944, a new Communist-dominated government was established and the Regency Council members were arrested. Filov and ninety-two other public officials were sentenced to death by a "People's Tribunal" on the afternoon of 1 February 1945 and executed by firing squad that night in Sofia cemetery. They were then buried in a mass grave that had been a bomb crater. The former professor was described in one obituary as a man who had mistakenly "preferred making history to teaching it".[5] Filov's property was confiscated and his wife exiled.

The sentence was revoked by the Bulgarian Supreme Court on June 26, 1996.[6] His diary was first published in 1986.

See also


  1. ^ Die Legionen der Provinz Moesia von Augustus bis auf Diokletian: Inaugurraldissertation zur Erlangung der Doktorwürde der Philosophischen Fakultät der Albert-Ludwigs-Universität zu Freiburg .i.B. eingereicht von Bogdan Filow aus Stara Zagora - Bulgarien. Leipzig: Druck von G. Kreysing. 1906. Retrieved February 28, 2018 – via Internet Archive.
  2. ^ Early Bulgarian Art by Professor Dr. Bogdan D. Filov, Director of the National Museum in Sofia. Berne: Paul Haupt Academical Book Store. 1919. Retrieved February 28, 2018 – via Internet Archive.
  3. ^ Holocaust Encyclopaedia: Bulgaria Archived May 6, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "The Holocaust of Jews from Trakia and Macedonia". Archived from the original on 2010-01-27. Retrieved 2009-05-28.
  5. ^ "100 Death Sentences". Time. February 12, 1945.
  6. ^ Ташев, Ташо. Министрите на България 1879-1999. София, АИ „Проф. Марин Дринов“ / Изд. на МО, 1999. ISBN 978-954-430-603-8, с. 430.


  • Bulgaria in the Second World War by Marshall Lee Miller, Stanford University Press, 1975.
  • Royalty in Exile by Charles Fenyvesi, London, 1981, pps:153-171 - "Czar Simeon of the Bulgars". ISBN 978-0-86051-131-1
  • Boris III of Bulgaria 1894-1943, by Pashanko Dimitroff, London, 1986, ISBN 978-0-86332-140-5
  • Crown of Thorns by Stephane Groueff, Lanham MD., and London, 1987, ISBN 978-0-8191-5778-2
  • Un archeologo al servizio della monarchia bulgara. La parabola politica di Bogdan Filov (1940–1944) by Alberto Basciani, in Francesco Guida (ed) Intellettuali versus democrazia. I regimi authoritari nell'Europa sud-orientale (1933–1953), Roma, Carocci, 2010, ISBN 978-88-430-5239-4
  • Z Čech do Pompejí by Karel Sklenář, Praha, 1982.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by Prime Minister of Bulgaria
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 19 December 2021, at 03:35
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