“Racism under the Protection of Biology” – A Controversy among Bulgarian Scholars about “Race”, “Nation”, and „Biology” on the Eve of the Second World Cover Image
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“Racism under the Protection of Biology” – A Controversy among Bulgarian Scholars about “Race”, “Nation”, and „Biology” on the Eve of the Second World
“Racism under the Protection of Biology” – A Controversy among Bulgarian Scholars about “Race”, “Nation”, and „Biology” on the Eve of the Second World

Author(s): Christian Promitzer
Subject(s): Cultural Essay, Political Essay, Societal Essay
Published by: ЮГОЗАПАДЕН УНИВЕРСИТЕТ »НЕОФИТ РИЛСКИ«

Summary/Abstract: “Racism under the Protection of Biology” – A Controversy among Bulgarian Scholars about “Race”, “Nation”, and „Biology” on the Eve of the Second World War / The paper argues that the inquiry of 1937, where prominent Bulgarians of high esteem – actors, politicians, scholars – declared themselves opposed to anti-Semitism and racism, the repudiation of both hardcore and softer variants of Bulgarian racism by the philosopher Dimitar Mihalchev in 1938 and 1939, and the civilian protests against the deportation of the Bulgarian Jews in 1943 have to be viewed under a common framework. The core issue of the paper is a revised narration of the Bulgarian debate on race, nation and racism on the eve of the Second World War. Against the two other participants of the controversy – the biologist Metodiy Popov and Dimitar Mihalchev – the paper gives the third participant Stefan Konsulov, a biologist who was a proponent of racism and Fascism, a far higher share in the controversy, as has been acknowledged by historiography so far, because Konsulov did not only write brochures and articles under his own name, but also anonymously and under a pseudonym, respectively. The importance of the whole controversy is based on the circumstance that, as opposed to the situation in Germany, where the anti-racist side had been silenced or driven into emigration at a rather early stage, in Bulgaria – at least at inception – we encounter one of the few examples of an open debate between advocates of racism and anti-racists of which both fractions occupied important positions in academia in their country.

  • Issue Year: 2015
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 237-251
  • Page Count: 15
  • Language: English