Papers of BAS Humanities and Social Sciences
Vol. 4, 2017, No 2

INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS AND THE “FIGHT AGAINST THE CLASS ENEMY” DURING THE YEARS OF CLASSICAL STALINISM IN BULGARIA

Daniel Vatchkov

Abstract. In the late 1940s, the Communist regime in Bulgaria undertook a policy of accelerated industrial development. In following the Soviet model, the construction of many heavy industry enterprises began. The harsh working conditions and the effort to meet the production plan deadlines resulted in a drastic rise in the number of industrial breakdowns and fatal workplace accidents. Contributing to this was the sharp increase in the number of workers and engineers lacking the necessary professional qualification and experience. But in the context of widespread persecution and purges taking place in Bulgarian society during in the time of Stalinism, the authorities looked upon industrial accidents as entirely due to sabotage on the part of the “class enemy”. Following the So- viet model again, trials were held, in which the accused “confessed” their hostile activity. Hundreds of people were repressed in connection with industrial accidents. The fight against wrecking activities would largely contribute to the establishment of full Party control over the economy.

Keywords: industrial accidents, sabotage, wrecking, class enemy