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How to use the “MEMORY 1944 – 1989” site effectively

This text will provide you with more detailed explanations about how you can use effectively, as wells as the functions and capabilities of its inbuilt expanded search system.

For the English language page, the priority at the moment is to translate the articles in the main menu. The next stage will be to translate the profiles of the individual victims which have been uploaded only in Bulgarian.

The main sections of

The site menus consists of 8 main sections – “MISSION”, “COMMUNISM”, “CRIMES”, “VICTIMS”, “EVIDENCE”, "TESTIMONIES”, “CONDEMNATION”, “MEMORIAL PLACES”. The “MISSION” section will contain information about the project, this article about the method of use, and the “News” section will contain information connected exclusively with the site, including the official presentation, The “News” section will publish references to the largest group of victim profiles to make navigation easier for the readers.

The “COMMUNISM” section will provide information about the ideology propounded by the BCP, its leaders and facts about the three bankruptcies of the communist regime. The "CRIMES” section presents information about the most significant crimes of the communist regime. Each one is published in a separate file.

The “VICTIMS” section differs from the other sections in the site. It systematises the victims in accordance with the type of repression – from murders to “prophylaxis”. The “EVIDENCE" section is designed for the publication of on-line documents which describe a specific case of repression. The “TESTIMONIES” section will contain narratives and recollections of people who survived repression or documents providing testimony.

The “CONDEMNATION” section describes the attempts of condemnation of individual crimes of the communist regime in Bulgaria and abroad, as well as an important text about international condemnation of communism and its crimes. The “MEMORIAL PLACES” section contains information about those place of memorial in Bulgaria connected with the crimes of the communist regime which after the collapse of the totalitarian system have became places of reverence for the victims of communism. Here you will also find articles about memorials and monuments erected in Bulgaria to mark the victims of communism. All the above-mentioned sections are structured with drop-down menus which easily lead the readers to the relevant article.

Particular attention is paid to the “VICTIMS” section

You should pay special attention to the “VICTIMS” section, since it sets out systematically the victims according to the type of repression. For example, when you click on “Murdered”, the link will take you to pages which alphabetically systematise the victims according to the most serious type of repression – murder. If you activate the “Condemned” link, it will take you to pages systematised as condemned persons. This principle is also valid for all the other links in the section.

Upon activation of any of the relevant links in the "VICTIMS” sections, you will be taken to windows/pages, where you will find alphabetical lists of names in the form of links. When activating each of these names, you will be taken to the profile of the relevant victim.

Victim profiles

The relevant victim profile is standard and includes all the gathered information about the relevant person/victim, systematised in accordance with a number of indicators, as well as a photograph of the victim and connected document/s (if such have been found).

For this reason the profiles of many of the victims are not accompanied by photographs or documents. The technical capabilities of the site, however, permit that when additional information about the victim is discovered, including photographs and documents, they can be easily added to an already published profile.

It is important to know that in the “VICTIMS” section, the victims are systematised according to the significance of the repression applied against them. For example, a person may be condemned, but when the condemnation is the death sentence, his profile will be presented not in the “Condemned” section, but in the “Murdered” section. Other example: If a given victim was interned in a camp but killed there, the profile of the victim will be found in the “Murdered” section, not in the “Interned” section.  The victim profile, however, contains full information about the types of repression perpetrated against him or her.

Sources of information

Hristo Hristov, the founder of the site, has paid special attention to authenticating the truth of the published information. Thus the last indicator in each profile is “Source of Information in the Profile”. It contains the source used, or more than one.

With regard to the photographs or documents used in the victims’ profiles, and in some of the main sections, the site strictly complies with the authors’ rights, and indicates the source of the photographs and documents.

Victims contains not only information about the victims who were killed, disappeared, interred or condemned which is used in an attempt to systematise them. For the first time in the site, the field of repressions is expanded to add people who have been forcibly resettled as well as persons pursued by the State Security Services for political reasons.

During his many years of work in the archives, Hristo Hristov, the author of the site, has established that many people were followed, investigated or observed by the State Security Services, without them having information or specific evidence of this, or any idea how the conspiratorial activities of the repressive apparatus of the BCP had affected their lives, careers, social position or their family as a whole.

For this reason the site aims to investigate and collect information about the victims who for political reasons were targets of repression for the SSS or the intelligence services of the Bulgarian National Army. Such people can be classified as “passive" victims. They are different from those who were murdered, condemned or interred, but their lives were also part of the global repressions of the communist regime against Bulgarian society and should not be underestimated or ignored. Readers of the site will find profiles of such victims here. They can be found using the expanded search category, “State Security Service Targets”.

It is quite probable that some of these so-called passive victims had no idea that they were targets of the repressive apparatus of the BCP or that their activities were under observation. However, this information is important both for the overall investigation of the scope of the repressions of the communist regime, as well as for the families of such people and their descendants.

Using the expanded search system

A very important element of the philosophy of the site is its ability to provide a maximum level of profiled information about the victims. This is achieved by the creation of an expanded search system. “EXPANDED SEARCH FOR VICTIMS” is a special inbuilt search facility in (see link – HERE), which you will find to the right of the home page in the “Search” section. It represents an expanded search system for victims based on more than 110 indicators.

These indicators are grouped in 8 main expanded search categories, i.e:
  • Groups persecuted by the communist regime;
  • Party membership;
  • Religious belief;
  • Victims of the “People's Court”;
  • Regions;
  • Camps;
  • Prisons;
  • State Security Facilities.

"Intelligence" and “Former People”

Note that if you decide to search in accordance with “Groups persecuted by the communist regime”, and in particular the “Intelligentsia” category, the separate “Intelligentsia” category will be activated. Here you will be able to search victim profiles amongst writers, actors, artists and other representatives of the artistic or academic intelligentsia.

This principle is also applicable to “Former People” where a subcategory is activated which will guide you to a choice between bankers, merchants, industrialists, lawyers, state officials and others.

Combined search

The expanded search system not only permits search based on one indicator, but also combine the 8 main categories listed above.

For example, you may carry out a search of those persons interred in the Belene camp. This will show you the profiles published on this site who were interred in this camp.

The search engine allows you to make another narrower search of persons interred in Belene. For example, you can combine this with a search of persons persecuted by the regime, party membership and according to region. You can also apply search filters such as “Belene”, “Politicians”, “Agrarians”, “Sofia – city”. The search tool will filter out those victims which correspond precisely to these criteria.

Other example: If you want to understand which of the victims imprisoned in Stara Zagora prison are from Plovdiv. In this case, you have to activate these two filters and you will receive the desired result.

If a zero result is returned, this means that at the present moment there is no profile uploaded which corresponds to these criteria. As the data base of victims expands, the capabilities of the search engine will also expand. The site also includes a counter which shows you how many victim profiles have been uploaded to This will serve as information for the readers.

The expanded search system also allows you to combine certain elements. In the search criteria for “Camps”, “Prisons” and “State Security Facilities” you can choose one or more indicators. This is done by holding down the “Ctrl” button and choosing the desired criteria. This option has been envisaged due to cases when a victim has been in more than one prison or camp, or was a different type of target (observation, investigation or verification etc.).

For example, in the “Camps” criteria, you can activate “Belene” and “Bogdanov Dol” (or other combination, and the search engine will filter information about victims who were in both camps).

It is important note that at the beginning of the site when there are fewer victim profiles uploaded, some of the possible parallel searches will not provide results.

Searching for “People’s Court”

There is a separate category for the victims of the “People’s Court” which offers the possibility to search references to each one of the 13 supreme court commissions. Due to the large number of district courts, all of the victims sentenced by them will systematised in a sub-category “Regional Courts”.

Due to the huge volume of archives of the “People’s Court” and the small team of, the priority at this moment is to process the information about the victims of the supreme courts, and in particular the First and Second Supreme Commissions which sentenced the regents, royal advisors, ministers and deputies.

Search by name or key word

If you are interested in a specific victim, the fastest way to find them is to use the “SEARCH THE SITE” option. You can find this position in the “SEARCH” site to the right on the home page. In the “Key Word” field, you will need to type the name you are searching for and activate the search button.

The search systems built into provide exceptionally broad capabilities for searching, selecting and discovering specific information about the victims of communist in different groups of the society, type of repression, places of repression (camps and prisons), regions of the country and others. This allows the site to be as useful as possible for its readers.

Contacts with “MEMORY 1944-1989” site

If you wish to contact, you can do this by activating the “Send your story or recollection/Contacts” section. Letters will be personally reviewed by Hristo Hristov, the founder of the site and journalist, who shall reply to them. Confidentiality of the correspondence is guaranteed.