Georgi Purvanov Damianov
Damianov, Georgi Purvanov
Born Sept. 23, 1892, in the village of Lopushna, in Mikhailovgrad Okrug; died Nov. 28, 1958, in Sofia. A leader of the Bulgarian revolutionary workers’ movement, statesman, and Hero of Socialist Labor of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria (1957). Born into the family of a poor peasant.
After graduating from the Gymnasium in Vrats, Damianov worked as a teacher, then as a postal official. In 1912 he entered the Bulgarian Workers’ Social Democratic Party (Narrow Socialists), which in 1919 was renamed the Communist Party. During World War I he directed revolutionary work among soldiers at the front. He was one of the leaders of the September antifascist uprising of 1923 in the Vra-chansk Okrug. After the revolt was defeated he emigrated to Yugoslavia; in 1924 he illegally returned to Bulgaria, where he took part in the establishment of an illegal party organization. He was twice sentenced to death in absentia for his revolutionary activity. In 1925 he again emigrated to Yugoslavia, then to the USSR. In 1929 he graduated from the M. V. Frunze Military Academy in Moscow; from 1932 to 1934 he was an instructor at this academy. He, G. Dimitrov, and V. Kolarov struggled against left sectarianism in the Communist Party. In 1935 he entered its Central Committee and illegally went to Bulgaria, where he greatly aided the creation of a united popular antifascist front. In 1937 he again returned to the Soviet Union. He was a member of the Foreign Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Bulgaria and worked as a leader of the apparatus of the Executive Committee of the Communist International.
Immediately after the victory of the popular armed uprising of Sept. 9, 1944, Damianov returned to Bulgaria and took command of the military section of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. In May 1945 he became a member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. From November 1946 to May 1950 he was minister of national defense. In May 1950 he became president of the Presidium of the National Assembly of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria. He was awarded the Order of Lenin and two Orders of Georgii Dimitrov.