Genesis / Matter and Oblivion
In response, Zhelev wrote to the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party, Todor Zhivkov, and to the President of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Academician L. Krastanov, on 27 April 1964. In his letter he asked "for your intervention to stop the attempt to deal with my article. I'm about to defend my dissertation and this article is a part of it." One month later, he received a response to his appeal by academician Todor Pavlov, honorary chairman of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Director of the Institute of Philosophy, and long-time member of the Presidium of the National Assembly. Pavlov qualified Zhelev's appeal as "an inexcusable misleading of the First Secretary of the Party." He called Zhelev's theses "a retreat from dialectical materialism to Hegel's idealistic system" and ended by urging the PhD student "not to use in future such diversions and not to abuse the time, trust and goodwill of the First Secretary of our Party."
Zhelyu Zhelev's article was not published. On the contrary, this episode became the starting point of near-constant surveillance and periodic repression of Zhelev by the government and the State Security. He was not permitted to defend his dissertation, was expelled from the Party and with his wife was forced to leave Sofia (until 1972).The documents which make up this featured item show the workings of an independent mind and how an oppressive state responded, as well as demonstrating the means which the government used to silence Zhelev (though unsuccessfully).
Sofia, Moskovska Str. N 5
- Central state archive, Fund 1512, op. 1, archival unit 86
- Kasabova, Anelia Dr.