ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Hungarian and Bulgarian Interwar Revisionism: Part 14

Updated on May 23, 2012
Vasil Radoslavov
Vasil Radoslavov | Source

Though the Allies were guilty of back-door dealings concerning various territorial promises to Central European states as mentioned above, Germany was not above this behavior either. In fact, it was their offers and promises to Bulgaria that helped in its decision to join the Central Powers.Vasil Radoslavov, the Bulgarian Prime Minister during the First World War, faced many disappointments towards the end of the conflict in the countries foreign policy.

As the internal situation deteriorated Radoslavov was faced with unexpectedand unusual difficulties on the diplomatic front.

For King Ferdinand things went from bad to worse. He finally realized the game was up with the release of Stamboliiski from prison. The Bolshevik Agrarian leader was to divide Bulgarian society just as Károlyi and Kun had divided Hungarian society. Chronic shortages on the front and at home in the countryside and cities broke the will of Bulgarian soldiers and civilian population to continue with the war.

Serbia occupied Serbian Macedonia in 1915, and made some advances on Greek territory in 1916. These fronts stayed relatively the same until the summer of 1918. By this time huge food shortages and a generally very inefficient supply system caused disquiet amongst soldiers and civilians along.

Following the Armistice Bulgaria had to retreat behind boundaries established after the Second Balkan war and surrender southern Dobrudja to the Romania. Bulgaria, though having lost nothing in comparison to Hungary in terms of territory, natural resources, and it’s own ethnic population after World War I, still pursued a revisionist foreign policy, though not to the obsessive level of the Hungarians. About 1 million ethnic Bulgarians (16% of total) were outside Bulgaria’s post-war borders.

Macedonia thus became the thorn in the side of Bulgarian interwar politics. In effect it was a pre-war revisionist problem that was never solved despite Bulgarian belief that joining the Central Powers would allow them to reacquire this historically important region.

The early interwar years under Stamboliiski was one in which the Agrarian leader tried to stabilise the country economically in a socialist form, but in this he was undermined by the I.M.R.O. Officially in the international affairs of Bulgaria rejected revisionism.

This can be compared to the Danubian Federation dreamt about by the Hungarian Oszkár Jászi amongst the states of the old Hungarian Kingdom. Neither federation ever materialized in this time of ethnic nationalism. Many Macedonians refused to accept the fact that Macedonia was a part of Serb dominated Yugoslavia.

It is interesting to note also that Bulgarian revisionism did not start with the post-World War I peace treaties in Paris.

Just a simple changing of some dates, locations and ethnic groups in the above passage and it could apply to the Hungarian case as well. Another interesting element in Bulgarian politics in the early interwar years was the part played by Russians who made up parts of the anti-Bolshevik White Armies and now found themselves in Bulgaria. They played their part against Stamboliiski as well.

The influence of the Macedonian extremist terrorist groups in Bulgaria was the reason for such vehement focus on “regaining” Macedonia.

I.M.R.O was first founded in 1893. Though a truly extremist Macedonian organization, it nonetheless pulled towards towing the Bulgarian line concerning the realistic fate of Macedonia as an independent state – however, this was highly unlikely any time soon. Here it is interesting to note that most territories demanded by countries are roughly those that they possessed at the time of their largest reach, despite the fact that this may only have lasted a few years at most, and quaintly disregarding any overlapping claims made by other states. The 1913 Balkan War, which pushed the Ottomans in Europe to a small spit of land across from Constantinople, saw major disputes arise between Greeks, Serbs, Bulgarians, and Romanians. The Second Balkan War, started when Bulgaria attacked Serbia and Greece without warning in June 1913, ended in a month due to the Ottomans, Romanians, and Montenegrins also joining in against the Bulgarians. During the early interwar years some Bulgarians also looked to Italy (as Hungary had done) as a potentially useful ally for its revisionist aims. Though not as central a focus in Bulgarian politics as in Hungary, revisionism of the Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine was always an important issue.

With the 1938 Vienna Awards, Bulgaria became the only losing Central Power from the first war which did not get back any of its lost territories. It would not be until 1940 that Bulgaria’s first revisionist dreams came true, but only because of an agreement between the Germans and Soviets. Bulgaria finally decided to join the war on Germany’s side in 1940, by allowing German troops to cross Bulgarian territory in March on their way to invade Greece. By April 1941 further revisions awarded Bulgaria its ex-territories in Thrace, plus large parts of Serbian Macedonia. Bulgarian trrops carried out massacres of local Greeks in Thrace after the beginning of a revolt (much as Hungarian troops massacred Serbs and Jews in Vojvodina); and Bulgarian troops were largely welcomed in Macedonia as liberators (much as Hungarian troops were welcomed as liberators in the Hungarian majority areas of Slovakia and Romania). However, until his death in 1943, King Boris refused to become fully embroiled on Germany’s side, and managed to keep limited tasks within the Balkans to aid the Germans (such as garrisoning parts of Serbia Germany had to leave; guarding railways etc) but not get too involved. From here on it is enough to mention that Bulgaria switched sides in the war on September 8 1944 as the last Germans were leaving and after the Soviets had declared war on them. Thus Bulgaria became occupied by the Soviets, and many Bulgarians fought with the Red Army all the way into Germany. Following the war Bulgaria’s borders went back to those of the interwar years. Both Bulgarian and Hungarian revisionism came with German help, and thus both failed after Germany’s defeat.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • frantisek78 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @mwilliams66 : glad that you find it interesting. Thanks for your comment!

    • mwilliams66 profile image


      6 years ago from Left Coast, USA

      This is not a subject that I am versed in so I found your hub to be very interesting.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)