January 6, 1887|
Varna, Kingdom of Bulgaria
February 13, 1943 (aged 56)|
Sofia, Kingdom of Bulgaria
Hristo Nikolov Lukov (Bulgarian: Христо Николов Луков; January 6, 1887 in Varna – February 13, 1943 in Sofia) was a Bulgarian lieutenant-general and politician, Minister of War, who led the nationalistic Union of Bulgarian National Legions (UBNL), an organisation largely supportive of Nazi ideology. Lukov was assassinated in 1943 by two anti-Nazi fighters, Violeta Yakova and Ivan Burudzhiev.
Military and political career
First World War
Hristo Nikolov Lukov was promoted during World War I to the rank of a major and a commander of an artillery battalion. Abroad he is incorrectly thought to be the commander of the 13th Infantry division during World War I. In fact that was major-general Hristo Tsonev Lukov, a native of Gabrovo.
During the interwar period Hristo Nikolov Lukov became the commander of the Army School of Artillery, of the Training Section of the General Staff's Artillery Inspection, and of the 2nd and 3rd Infantry divisions.
Between 1935-1938 Lukov served as Minister of War, in which position he created close ties to high-ranking Nazi officials.
Second World War
Due to his close relations with the Third Reich and his activities as leader of UBNL, Lukov is considered as a promoter of antisemitic ideas. After retiring from his position as Minister of War in 1938, Lukov used his substantial political influence in order to support a Bulgarian version of the Nazi Nuremberg Laws, which stripped the Bulgarian Jews of their civic rights, introduced a financial penalty tax, and later were used as a justification for the deportation of 11,343 Jews from Northern Greece and today Republic of Macedonia to Treblinka.
Lukov was assassinated by Communist partisans on the 13th of February 1943 in Sofia. According to the book "In the name of the people", he was ambushed by two people in front of his apartment in Sofia. Although struck by one bullet, he fought back one of the partisans, Ivan Burudzhiev, but the second one, Violeta Yakova, fired two more shots and killed him.
Neo-Nazi 'Lukov March'
Neo-Nazi groups are honoring Lukov every year with a torch march in February.
Awards and decorations
- Order of Bravery, 4th degree, first and second class
- Order of St Alexander, 3rd class without swords and 4th class with swords
- Order of Military Merit, 1st class
- Iron Cross of 1939, 2nd class (Germany)
- Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right Since 1890 edited by Philip Rees, 1991, ISBN 0-13-089301-3
- Robert Singer, Bulgaria must stop this neo-Nazi Lukov march, EUobserver, 1 February 2018 ; quote: "Lukov was a top Bulgarian military and political figure who led the ultra-nationalist Union of Bulgarian National Legions from the 1930s until his assassination in 1943. He served as minister of war from 1935-1938, during which he fostered close ties with senior Nazi officials in Germany; after retiring, he remained highly influential and strongly advocated for the Bulgarian Law for the Protection of the Nation, modelled on the infamous 1935 Nuremberg Laws in Germany that stripped Jews of their civic rights."
- Miller, L. (1975). Bulgaria during the Second World War. Stanford: Stanford University Press, pp. 73-5. ISBN 0-8047-0870-3
- Chary, F. B. (1972). The Bulgarian Jews and the Final Solution, 1940-1944. London: University of Pittsburgh Press, pp. 8-9. ISBN 0-8229-8443-1
- Chary, F. B. (2011). The history of Bulgaria. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, pp. 81-2. ISBN 0-313-38446-0
- Press Release, Sofia, 12 February 2011: European Network against Racism insists "Lukov March" to be canceled, www.Enar-EU.org, 12 February 2011, retrieved 23 January 2017,
On 11 February 2011 Secretariat of European Network against Racism (ENAR) in Brussels sent a letter to Mrs. Jordanka Fandakova, the Mayor of Sofia Municipality. With this letter ENAR insists the Lukov March scheduled for tomorrow (12 February 2011) to be canceled. ENAR also is calling on the Municipality of Sofia to forbid such public demonstrations of racial and neo-Nazi ideas in the futures. [...]
- In the name of the people, a book by Mitka Grabcheva, pp 187-194, in Bulgarian
- Sofia Globe, Sofia, 18 February 2017: European Network against Racism insists "Lukov March" to be canceled, retrieved 23 February 2017