Georgi Mikhailovich Dimitrov


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(b. 18 June 1882, d. 2 July 1949).

Prime Minister of Bulgaria 1946–9 Born at Radomir, Dimitrov became a printer and followed his father and brothers into trade‐union activity. In 1902 he joined the Social Democratic Party, which he left in 1903 to join a more radical movement which later became the Communist Party. After completing an eighteen‐month gaol sentence, he left for Moscow, where he was groomed to become an effective Communist Party leader. He returned to lead the abortive 1923 uprising against King Boris III. As head of the Bulgarian sector of Comintern in Berlin from 1929, he was accused of responsibility for the Reichstag fire, but was acquitted after conducting a brilliant defence. He spent World War II in Moscow. In 1945 he returned to Bulgaria to become head of the provisional government. He created a legal and constitutional framework which led to the establishment of the Bulgarian People's Republic in 1946. His ruthless policies of sovietization were an important contributor to Bulgaria's subsequent servility to the Soviet Union. By contrast, his unrealistic plan for a federation of Balkan states collapsed when Yugoslavia broke with the Soviet Union in 1948.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945) — World History.

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