CULTURAL POLITICS OF NATION-BUILDING IN EASTERN MACEDONIA AND WESTERN THRACE DURING BULGARIAN ADMINISTRATION (1941-1944)
Études balkaniques (Sofia) 2023, N 3
University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki
Abstract: During the period of 1941-1944, Eastern Macedonia and Western Thrace were occupied by the Bulgarian army and incorporated administratively in the Bulgarian state. Bulgarian Ministry of National Education in order to national homogenize the inhabitants and to nation – build in this region gradually developed the primary and the secondary education school network, the National “Chitalishta” network, it organized choirs and school orchestras, museums and finally established theatre. This paper presents this cultural policy focusing on how it was implemented by the Bulgarian Ministry of National Education on the different ethnic, national, religious, etc. groups in Eastern Macedonia and Western Thrace during World War II. It also aims to shed light on how the cultural politics were politically instrumentalized in order to promote a Bulgarian ethnicity policy in the region and a strong Bulgarian identity in the public sphere.
Keywords: Eastern Macedonia – Western Thrace, World War II, Bulgarian school, choirs, museum, theatre, ethnicity