Georgi Iordanov Kirkov

Kirkov, Georgi Iordanov


(pseudonym, Maistora). Born Aug. 15, 1867, in Pleven; died Aug. 25, 1919, in Sofia. Prominent in the Bulgarian and international labor movement, one of the founders of the Bulgarian Workers’ Social Democratic Party (Narrow Socialists) (BWSDP[NS]). Writer and pamphleteer, one of the formative influences in Bulgarian proletarian literature. The son of a teacher.

From 1879 to 1886, Kirkov studied in Russia, where he became familiar with the works of the Russian revolutionary democrats and with underground Narodnik (Populist) literature. From 1886 to 1892 he lived in Bulgaria, and from 1892 to 1895 he studied in Vienna, where he took part in the Austrian labor movement. Again in Bulgaria from 1895, he joined the BWSDP the same year. From 1897 to 1905 he edited the central organ of the party, the newspaper Rabotnicheski vestnik. He became a member of the party’s Central Committee in 1898 and was elected and reelected to the National Assembly on the BWSDP slate. He fought to purge the party of opportunist elements and, together with D. Blagoev, advanced a program for building a Marxist proletarian party. From 1905 to 1919, Kirkov was secretary of the Central Committee of the BWSDP(NS). In 1904 he set up a party printing plant in Sofia. He was secretary of the General Workers’ Trade Union from 1905 to 1909. Kirkov took part in the Stuttgart Congress of the Second International in 1907 and the Copenhagen Congress in 1910. In the summer of 1917, in the name of the Central Committee of the BSWDP(NS), he signed the appeal of the Zimmerwald Left in Stockholm. In late 1917 he presented the appeal of the Central Committee of the BWSDP to the Bulgarian people to follow the example of the Russian proletariat.

Kirkov was an orator of talent, a master of words, “artistic and creative by nature” (D. Blagoev, Such., vol. 18, Sofia, 1962, p. 475). His satirical tales in pamphlet form and satirical feuilletons (including the cycle Political Zoology, which was first published in the working-class press), mercilessly exposed the denizens of the bourgeois world. Kirkov was also the author of popular songs, such as “Song of Friendship” and “Workers’ March.”


Izbrani proizvedeniia, vols. 1–2. Sofia, 1950–51.


Blagoev, D. “G. Kirkov.” Suchineniia, vol. 18. Sofia, 1962.
Tsanev, P. Georgi Kirkov-Maistora. Sofia, 1964.