An invaluable source of knowledge about the recent past of Bulgaria are the personal life stories of people who made up the ‘silent majority’ during communist times. Regrettably so, more than 20 years after the fall of the communist regime, historians have not been able to overcome the dominant reluctance of the larger part of Bulgarians to speak up and break the silence over the past. The highly qualified team of the Institute for Studies of the Recent Past will use the tools of ‘oral history’ to delve deeper into the labyrinths of socialist society and unveil the reasons for its endurance. It will conduct some 180 – 200 in-depth interviews with people of all walks of life – supporters of the regime in its ‘second ranks’, or people who silently opposed it, or those who developed intricate surviving strategies, based on hypocrisy and double standards; written life narratives or authentic personal diaries from the 1944 – 1989 period will also be collected. These two approaches complement and validate each other to give us as detailed and precise as possible picture of Bulgarian communism to serve as a solid basis for in-depth research by the future generation of historians.
All testimonies gathered under this project can be used for educational or scientific purposes only upon the approval of their owner.