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Bogdan Dimitrov Filov
Богдан Димитров Филов

In office
15 February 1940 – 14 September 1943
Preceded by Georgi Kyoseivanov
Succeeded by Dobri Bozhilov

Born 4 October 1883(1883-10-04)
Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
Died 1 February 1945 (1945-02-01) (age 65)
Sofia, Bulgaria
Political party No party

Bogdan Dimitrov Filov (Bulgarian: Богдан Димитров Филов) (9 April 1883–2 February 1945) was a Bulgarian archaeologist, art historian and politician. He was Prime Minister of Bulgaria during World War II. During his service, 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. From May 1, 1906, he worked in the National Archaeological Museum in Sofia. Filov studied archeology and numismatics in Bonn, Paris and Rome in 1907-1909. He was the indisputable leader of "antique" (pre-classical) archaeology in Bulgaria. In 1918 he discovered Trebenishta, a necropolis of Peresadyes, rich with gold and iron artifacts. Between 1910 and 1920 Filov was Director of the National Archaeological Museum. 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. On 7 September, Bulgaria was awarded the southern part of Dobruja by the Treaty of Craiova. On 14 February, 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 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 Preservation of the Nation that was voted on 24 December 1940 in the Parliament. This law was equivalent to the Nuremberg Laws of the Third Reich and deprived the Jews from civil rights. [1] Filov established the Commissariat for Jewish Affairs as executive body about the Jews in Bulgaria. According to government decision in March 1943 the Jews from the New annexed territories, which weren't Bulgarian citizens, were deported by Bulgarian authorities to Death camps of Nazi Germany. So 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 of them survived.[2] However the Nazi-allied government, did not deport its 50,000 Jews, Bulgarian citizens, from the Old lands, after yielding to pressure from the parliament deputy speaker Dimitar Peshev and the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, saving them as well.


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."[3] The whole of Filov's property was confiscated.

The sentence was revoked by the Bulgarian Supreme Court on June 26, 1996.

See also


  1. ^ Holocaust Encyclopaedia: Bulgaria
  2. ^ The Holocaust of Jews from Trakia and Macedonia
  3. ^ "100 Death Sentences", TIME Magazine, February 12, 1945
  • 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
Preceded by
Georgi Kyoseivanov
Prime Minister of Bulgaria
Succeeded by
Petur Gabrovski

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