Kolarov, Vasil Petrov

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kolarov, Vasil Petrov


Born July 16 (28), 1877, in Shumen; died Jan. 23, 1950, in Sofia. A leader of the Bulgarian and international workers’ movement. Politician and statesman of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria. Doctor of economic sciences (1935), academician of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (1946). The son of an artisan.

Kolarov joined the socialist movement in his youth. From 1895 to 1897 he taught in a primary school in Nikopol; he was fired for propagating socialist ideas. He joined the Bulgarian Workers’ Social Democratic Party (BWSDP) in 1897. From 1897 to 1900 he studied at the law school of the University of Geneva, where he was one of the organizers of an international Marxist circle. Kolarov was then secretary of the Social Democratic organization of the city of Shumen from 1902 to 1904 and a leader of the BWSDP (Narrow Socialists) organization in Plovdiv from 1904 to 1919. He became a member of the central committee of the BWSDP(NS) in 1905 and was the secretary of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party (Narrow Socialists) from 1919 to 1923.

Kolarov took part in the Stuttgart (1907) and Copenhagen (1910) Congresses of the Second International. He was a deputy to the National Assembly from 1913 to 1923. Brought to trial in 1915 for antiwar agitation among the soldiers, he escaped and went underground. Kolarov took part in the work of the Zimmerwald Conference, where he met V. I. Lenin for the first time. He was a delegate to the Third through Seventh Congresses of the Comintern. He became a member of the Executive Committee of the Communist International (ECCI) in 1921, becoming a member of its Presidium in 1922 and being general secretary from 1922 to 1924. Kolarov and G. Dimitrov led the September antifascist uprising of 1923. After it was suppressed, he emigrated, first to Yugoslavia and then to Vienna, where, together with other Bulgarian émigrés, he formed the Provisional Foreign Representation of the BCP(NS).

Kolarov moved to the USSR in October 1923 and was a member of the Foreign Bureau of the Central Committee of the BCP from 1923 to 1944. He was editor of the journal Kommunistichesko zname (Communist Banner), the organ of the BCP, from 1926 to 1929. Kolarov was head of the Balkan Secretariat of the ECCI in 1928–29, directed the International Agrarian Institute from 1931 to 1941, and was editor in chief of the journal Agrarnyeproblemy (Agrarian Problems) in 1934–35 in Moscow. He was a leader of the Peasants’ International from 1931 to 1935 and headed the section of the ECCI for work in the countryside. During World War II, Kolarov was one of the leaders of the struggle of the Bulgarian people against fascism and for the creation of a united antifascist front of the democratic forces of Bulgaria. Kolarov was chairman of the 26th National Assembly in 1945–46 and chairman of the Great National Assembly from 1946 to 1950. He was provisional president of the republic in 1946–47, deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers and minister of foreign affairs from 1947 to 1949, and chairman of the Council of Ministers of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria from July 1949 to January 1950.

Kolarov was a prominent theoretician of the BCP. He wrote theoretical studies, the most significant of which dealt with agrarian problems. Kolarov and Dimitrov joined in working out the strategy and tactics of the united front and of the party’s economic policy, devoting especially great attention to consolidating the alliance of the working class and the peasantry.


Izbrani proizvedeniia, vols. 1–3. Sofia, 1954–55.


Vasil Kolarov: Biobibliografiia. Sofia, 1947.
Gusev, N. Vasil’ Kolarov. Moscow, 1963.
Vasil Kolarov, 95 godiny ot rozhdenieto mu: Letopis i preporuchitelna bibliografiia. Compiled by G. P. Edreva. Sofia, 1972.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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