Aleksandar Tsankov

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Professor Aleksander Tsankov
Александър Цанков
21st Prime Minister of Bulgaria
In office
9 June 1923 – 4 January 1926
Monarch Boris III
Preceded by Aleksandar Stamboliyski
Succeeded by Andrey Lyapchev
Prime Minister of the Bulgarian government-in-exile
In office
16 September 1944 – 10 May 1945
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Position abolished
Personal details
Born (1879-06-29)June 29, 1879
Oryahovo, Bulgaria
Died July 27, 1959(1959-07-27) (aged 80)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Political party Democratic Alliance (1923-1932)
National Social Movement (1932 afterwards)

Aleksander Tsolov Tsankov (Bulgarian: Александър Цолов Цанков) (June 29, 1879 – July 27, 1959) was leading Bulgarian fascist politician between the two world wars.


A professor of political economy at Sofia University from 1910 onwards,[1] he took a leading role in the overthrow of the government of Aleksandar Stamboliyski in 1923 and was chosen to head the coalition that succeeded the deposed premier.[1] The coup was able to succeed as the Bulgarian Communist Party took a neutral attitude towards the Agrarians rather than supporting Stamboliyski.[2] He became Prime Minister of Bulgaria on 9 June that same year and continued in the role until 4 January 1926. During that period he was the leader of the Democratic Alliance. His premiership was marked by deep internal struggles with the Bulgarian Communist Party, which Tsankov repressed mercilessly, declaring martial law and outlawing the Communists in 1925 following an attempt on Tsar Boris's life and a bomb attack on the St Nedelya Cathedral.[1] His actions led to Comintern denouncing the government as a "victorious Bulgarian fascist clique", whilst he later turned his attentions on the Agrarian Peoples Union[clarification needed], who were also suppressed, albeit less ferociously[3]

A brief invasion by Greek troops followed and, although they did not stay long following condemnation by the League of Nations, the country was left crippled by debt and Tsankov was removed from office after failing to secure a loan for the country.[1] By this point any support for Tsankov had dwindled as the people tired of his reign of terror.[4]

After being removed from the political mainstream, Tsankov began to develop an admiration for Fascism and soon became a supporter of Adolf Hitler.[1] In 1932 he set up his own National Social Movement largely in imitation of the Nazi Party.[5] The movement proved fairly unimportant (although it did represent a further fragmentation of the governing coalition), lacking the support of Zveno and failing to secure Nazi approval, which was largely reserved for the Union of Bulgarian National Legions.[1] Nonetheless, Tsankov was appointed by the Nazis in 1944 as prime minister of the Bulgarian Government in Exile set up in Germany in response to Kimon Georgiev's Fatherland Front government.[6] This was despite the fact that Tsankov had been a signatory, one of only two from the right-wing opposition, to Dimitar Peshev's letter calling for an end to the deportation of Jews.[7] After the Second World War Tsankov fled to Argentina and died in Belgrano, Buenos Aires in 1959.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Philip Rees, Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right Since 1890
  2. ^ S.G. Evans, A Short History of Bulgaria, London, Lawrence and Wishart, 1960, p. 161
  3. ^ Nolte, Ernst (1965). Three Faces of Fascism: Action Française, Italian fascism, National Socialism. New York: Mentor. p. 29. 
  4. ^ Evans, op cit, p. 170
  5. ^ Roger Griffin, The Nature of Fascism, London: Routledge, 1993, p. 210
  6. ^ Stanley G. Payne, A History of Fascism 1914-1945, London, Roultedge, 2001, p. 430
  7. ^ Michael Bar-Zohar, Beyond Hitler's Grasp: The Heroic Rescue of Bulgaria's Jews, Adams Media Corporation, 1998, p. 147