“Lustration! We demand the exclusion of former members of the Bulgarian Communist party BKP, by agents of the former state security and of the former Communist elites in politics and society.” Almost 30 days, the protests against the Bulgarian government to take, now, Call how the organization “BOETZ” to a “Lustration” louder and louder. And also the former Chairman of the Stasi records 2001 Commission, Metodi Andreev, announced in an Interview with “Radio Plovdiv”, the lack of Lustration as a cause for the “Mafia-state”.

Lustration – what is it?

Lustration (from the Latin lustrare, “bright” or “clean”) refers to the systematic removal of politically charged people in public Offices. There is little historical examples: the – anon – exclusion repealed-former national socialists of Offices in Germany after 1945; or to hold the 1990 ban for members of the East German secret police, public Offices in the reunified Germany. With the de facto Lustration entered Germany 1990, unlike the countries of the former Eastern bloc – a special path.

Lustration, files and archives

a prerequisite for Lustration, the Opening of archives. What affects normal citizens, such as a dusty pile of waste paper, has enormous explosive force: documentation of torture, murder, spying, Psycho-Terror, robbery, embezzlement, smuggling, or money laundering can be found here. Not by coincidence, all of the socialist state started the security services and the Communist parties in 1989 with the destruction of their archives.

In Berlin, protesters stormed on the 15th. January 1990 the Stasi’s Headquarters, in order to secure exactly these archives. In Bulgaria, the protesters sought out in 1990, the party Central of the BKP as the goal, while the state security destroyed the DS until the summer of 1990, almost 40% of its archives. Outside of Germany, it took up to the two EU Eastern enlargements of 2004 and 2007, almost all former socialist States made the documents of the former secret police forces accessible. In Bulgaria, such projects had failed previously several times.

The connection: national security – Mafia – corruption

Why is moving but the question of the former Communist cadre in Bulgaria, even after 30 years, so many minds? This question refers to the multi-faceted role of the Bulgarian state security in the period of Transformation. Under experts such as Momchil Metodiev, researcher of the Sofia-based Institute for contemporary history, there can be no doubt that the cadres and networks of the Communist state security are the key to the emergence of the modern “Mafia-state”. About networks and cliques between the officers of the state security, party and economic functionaries millions and millions from the party and state’s assets in the wild turn of years, disappeared after 1990.

the Soviet secret service KGB was a Defector that, in 1980, over 1000 millionaires in Bulgaria, the by your state Post and had wealth gives. In the 1990s, a number of were added. In “red bags” to the Prime Minister, Andrey Lukanov have millions of leva to a hand-picked cadre from the party and the state security distributed, to found companies, media, shops, Hotels, banks, or insurance companies. State money to private, officers of the state security and party cadres, a start-up got help for the new time. As the forced enjoyed fall of communism, the old party and the secret service, their political Power partly to give up, secured as economic and social influence.

The Reviews of today’s “Commission for the dossier” to show a clear picture of the enforcement of the Bulgarian politics, the economy and society with official and unofficial employees of the state security. Symbolically, this membership is also available after more than 30 years for the combination of Communist cadres, cliques, criminal networks, corruption, enrichment and back-room deals.

Failure of Lustration in Bulgaria

This evil cycle has been broken in Bulgaria, never. In the summer of 1990, re-elected Bulgarian Socialist party managed to torpedo claims to files openings and Lustration again and again. And also the Opposition failed in 1997 and 2001, the government of Ivan Kostovs archive openings and Inspections, the failed tried. Particularly piquant: constitutional judges blocked the laws, were themselves former Supergrass the security of the state.

So the files opening up to the EU deported to Bulgaria’s 2007 accession to the EU. At the time, was hurriedly called the present “Commission for the dossier – KOMDOS” to life. While they managed KOMDOS for the first time, to collect a majority of the remaining documents in a private archive and open it. A Lustration or the legal consequences do not have to fear the former secret service agent but.

in 2010, it came to a telling case: a Mass was revealed high-level Bulgarian diplomats as former employees of state security. There are layoffs followed for the first and only Time. These “silent Lustration” was, however, repealed by the administrative court, because there was no legal basis for it.

The lack of Lustration in Bulgaria, a collective Trauma. “The Opening up of the archives and Lustration at the beginning of the Transformation would have been able to prevent the old boy network and the dependencies that exist until today, and the Basis of today’s corruption, or at least restrict,” says Momchil Metodiev. The long shadow of these failures haunts for the past three decades by the Bulgarian politics and society. Now he has – once again – the mass protests achieved.

a model for the Future Lustration?

But a Lustration in the year 2020 is a realistic Option? Experts like Metodiev are sceptical: “It is difficult to say what the results would have a Lustration today.” The old guard of the party and state security are already retired and have handed her scepter to the next Generation.

the New elites, such as they are calling today’s protests will not bring a Lustration shows. 30 years after the fall of communism, the only symbolic meaning. A Lustration could but form the moral Basis for the establishment of new elites. And the longing for new elites in all circles of the Bulgarian society, obviously.

author: Christopher Nehring

*The contribution of “state security, Lustration and the Mafia-state” published by Deutsche Welle. Contact with the executives here.

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