“… When Careless Hands Touch Our Sanctuaries” – About the Use of Political Myths in Bulgaria Cover Image
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“… Wenn unvorsichtige Hände unsere Heiligtümer anfassen” – Vom Umgang mit historischen Mythen in Bulgarien
“… When Careless Hands Touch Our Sanctuaries” – About the Use of Political Myths in Bulgaria

Author(s): Klaus Roth
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences
Published by: Südosteuropa Gesellschaft e.V.

Summary/Abstract: Historical myths play an important and often destructive role in Southeast Europe. The paper analyses the media scandal that broke out in Bulgaria in April 2007 about a dissertation project of a Bulgarian art historian at the Free University of Berlin in which she wanted to disclose the mechanisms of the construction of the “massacre of Batak” (of May 1876) as the most powerful political myth in Bulgaria. As a consequence of the media scandal which was triggered by a TV broadcast of a popular historian and was raised to the highest political levels, a conference and an exhibition in Sofia in May 2007 had to be called off and the initiators were threatened. The paper describes the development of the scandal and the subsequent response and attempts to elucidate the overt and the hidden causes for the public uproar a few months after Bulgaria’s accession to the EU. Historical myths, the analysis shows, can indeed become destructive when they are used by members of the political or academic elites.

  • Issue Year: 2009
  • Issue No: 06
  • Page Range: 16-29
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: German