Bulgaria’s 1,300 Years and East Berlin’s 750 Years: Comparing National and  International Objectives of Socialist Anniversaries in the 1980s Cover Image
  • Price 4.00 €

Bulgaria’s 1,300 Years and East Berlin’s 750 Years: Comparing National and International Objectives of Socialist Anniversaries in the 1980s
Bulgaria’s 1,300 Years and East Berlin’s 750 Years: Comparing National and International Objectives of Socialist Anniversaries in the 1980s

Author(s): Elitza Stanoeva
Subject(s): Diplomatic history, Sociology of Culture, Post-War period (1950 - 1989)
Published by: Centre for Advanced Study Sofia (CAS)
Keywords: communism; Bulgaria; GDR; détente; cultural diplomacy; national turn; German question; “Revival Process”

Summary/Abstract: This paper is a comparative study of two nationwide anniversaries staged by the socialist regimes of Bulgaria (1981) and the GDR (1987) with the dual ambitions to secure legitimacy at home and international recognition abroad, particularly in the West. The anniversaries are discussed, on the one hand, as vehicles of national consolidation through identity building and, on the other hand, as venues of international image-making campaigns. These two sets of political objectives were not easy to reconcile, and this paper focuses on their inherent contradictions which disrupted the anniversary programs and caused diplomatic conflicts with neighboring states. While the anniversaries’ internationalism tapped in the achievements of European détente, their agenda of national unity built upon historiographic revisionism that elaborated a longue durée vision of national autonomy and progress culminating in present-day socialism. Thus, the anniversaries exemplified both the Cold War dynamics and the national turn across Eastern Europe in the 1970s and 1980s.

  • Issue Year: 2017
  • Issue No: 9
  • Page Range: 1-40
  • Page Count: 40
  • Language: English