On the occasion of 26-th of June this year, we decided to address students from Bulgarian universities in order to understand about their perception of the political persecution and torture as well as whether they have heard of people who have been victims of torture. We ask them to reflect about the consequences of torture and political persecution. The students were invited to think if any reassessment of the past is necessary and in what way the violence has been transformed into trauma. Another question was how we can preserve, on personal and on social level, the memory of the sufferings and transmits it to the next generations.
A jury consisting Mr. Emil Dimitrov, Mrs Malina Tomova and Mrs Mimoza Dimitrova awarded the essay submitted by Stefka Hristova Puleva, a student at New Bulgarian University. The ground for award is her skilful handling of documents, profound understanding of the essence of violence and a sincere compassion for human suffering.
Ms. Puleva presents a good knowledge of the State Security system, revealing in details its mechanisms for the imposition of political violence. The material on which the essay is based is the personal secret file of Mr. Jeko Stoyanov. Together with the personal dimension of suffering, “Jeko Stoyanov’s file helps us to see the clear bond between the terms state, power and violence”.
The problem of the victims is linked to the problem of the memory as a moral consciousness and civic duty, as well as a source of social wisdom, because “ the painful past experience should not be forgotten or denied, but turn into knowledge for the society”.
The essay ends up with an appeal for justice save from revanchism, for an outright and critical look at the past, in which “the condemnation of communism should be moral, excluding any type of hate and malice, as well as any idea of vengeance. The violent past is a closed page and so shall it be left forever.”