Vasil Konstantinov Tanev
Tanev, Vasil Konstantinov
Born Nov. 21, 1897, in Gevgelija, Macedonia (now Yugoslavia); died Oct. 9, 1941, in Evangelistria, Greece. Prominent figure in both the Bulgarian and the international labor movement. Member of the Bulgarian Communist Party from 1919.
The son of a worker, Tanev himself worked as a shoemaker. In 1923 he became a member of the Plovdiv district committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party and served as the committee’s secretary in 1924 and 1925. He took part in the September Antifascist Uprising of 1923. In 1925 he was arrested and sentenced to 12½ years in prison. Amnestied in 1926, Tanev went to the USSR and there attended the International Lenin School. In 1931 and 1932, as a member of the Politburo of the Bulgarian Communist Party’s Central Committee, he worked in the underground in Sofia.
In March 1933, while passing through Berlin, Tanev was arrested by the German fascists and falsely accused of involvement in the Reichstag fire. He thus appeared as a defendant at the Leipzig trial of 1933. However, G. Dimitrov’s exposure of the Hitlerite conspiracy forced the court to acquit the Communists, and the USSR granted Soviet citizenship to Tanev and Dimitrov. On the night of Oct. 5, 1941, Tanev departed for Bulgaria, together with other members of a special group organized for action in the rear of the fascist troops. The plane, however, landed by mistake in Greece, where Tanev died in combat.