1. The Sveta Nedelya bombing

Summary

In 1925, Orthodox Easter is April 19th, and Bulgaria is an Orthodox country. Five days before the holiday, on April 14th , a reserve general is shot in the center of Sofia. The assassins manage to escape.

The dead general’s body is actually bait. The Tzar and ministers, as well as many members of the ruling majority at the Parliament, are expected to attend the funeral service on Thursday. It’s them who are the real target of the assassins. The illegal-at-the-time Bulgarian Communist Party wants to behead the state with a single swing. Under the main cupola of the Cathedral there are 25 kilograms of explosive, mainly trotyl.

On the afternoon of April 16th , shortly after the start of the funeral, a small group of communists detonate the bomb. The church explodes in flames. 134 people die, three deputees and ten generals among them, and the wounded are 343 – the premier and a few ministers included. For its time, this is the biggest terrorist attack in the world. April 16th remains in history as the Bloody Holy Thursday.

Even though the bombing is successful, the assassins fail to achieve their ultimate goal. Instead of having anarchy ensue, the government introduces a state of martial law. Most of the terrorists are caught, tried and hanged publicly. The Comparty is crushed.

The Bulgarian Tzar Boris III’s precise course of action at this moment of tumult remains under the veil of history. He did not appear at the funeral. Was his lateness a coincidence, or did he get a warning? And if knew or suspected anything, why didn’t he try to prevent it? This is one of the biggest mysteries in Bulgarian history.