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Saturday, 4 May 2013

GENERAL HRISTO LUKOV – LIFE AND DEATH

Hristo Lukov, a general of the reserve, was born on 6th January, 1888 in Varna. He graduated from the Military School of His Highness in 1907 and was promoted to the rank of second lieutenant of 27th alumni.


He took part in all the battles in the first and the fifth divisions in World War I as a commander of a detachment. On 23rd November, 1935 he was entrusted with the responsibility of the highest rank in the military hierarchy – Minister of War. He held this post till 4th January 1938.


We will mention his heroic deed in the last days of the World War I. The year was 1918. At that time the communist propaganda is successful in misleading those soldiers, who after leaving the front, headed for the Headquarters of our army in Kjustendil, while others proclaimed the Republic of Radomir, led by the member of the Agrarian Union Raiko Daskalov. Taking advantage of this critical situation for Bulgaria, a Serbian infantry was advancing towards Kjustendil through the valley between Tsarev Vrah and Kalin Kamak and fired shells at the almost deserted positions of the Bulgarians. The commanders were not able to stop our soldiers from retreating their lines. Only Hristo Lukov stayed there with four cannons. At this critical moment the Bulgarian cannons were fired under his command at the advancing Serbs.


They were repulsed. The armistice was declared. The next day lieutenant-colonel Tomich wanted to greet the Bulgarian gunners who had stopped his attack. The soldiers pointed at Lukov whose face was still black from the cannon-fire. “What about the others?” asked Tomich. “They were only a few shepherds and goatherds who handed him the shells.” The Sreb cried angrily, but soon regained his composure and greeted major Lukov with the heroic deed he had accomplished. “In French history there was another one, who was all alone defending his Motherland – marshal Peigh. Bulgaria is blessed with defenders like you.“



IYI

After leaving the army, Lukov, being a very dynamic and restless person, found his way in social life in the lines of the Bulgarian patriots. He realized that the only possible resistance of the left-wing was the Bulgarian nationalism and became leader of the Bulgarian National Legions.
“I remember this as it was yesterday”, says the legionary Jordan Hadjinonev, “ In November, 1942 the National Conference took place in Varna, which was attended by Gen. Lukov , accompanied by members of the Central Leadrship. After accepting all the rules from the regulations, at the conference opening, we proceeded towards miscellaneous organizational issues. One of the delegates asked the question: “General, thanks to Germany, and more precisely to Hitler, now we have Southern Dobrudja, Macedonia, Thrace, and it is right to help our allies.” The best part of the delegates shared his opinion. After expressing his admiration for our willingness for sell-sacrifice in the name of an ideal, he said,”Comrades, General Lukov cannot organize and lead an army out of his own will! We have a tsar, we have a responsible government, too. If they decide to send troops to the East Front and charge me with leading them I will not refuse.”
That is how a decision was made, if the government allowed, to help the African corps of Gen. Romel.


Preparations for this started in the kingdom. A list of a hundred young men, filled with ardent national fervour, was made in Dobrich Legion only. But these dreams did not come true because Gen. Lukov was assassinated only three months after our National Conference.


The year was 1943. The German army was fighting in the USSR, while here in Bulgaria the Communist party by order of Moscow organized “fighting groups”, which should have wiped out “enemies of the people”. One of their victims should have been Gen.Lukov. The day was also fixed – 13th February. On that day at 9.50 p.m. the General was walking towards his house in “Artileriiska” Street. When he opened the front door, his daughter, who had heard her father coming back, peered at the living-room, and went out to welcome him. She was the only witness of the assassination. We know on her evidence that, “Gen. Lukov stepped the threshold of the front door and turned to close it. At the same time a man with large dark glasses stood at the door and shot right at his chest. His daughter screamed, and although wounded, he tried to step inside the house. The murderer went in, following his victim and fired another three shots, then flew away. The General fell dead on the floor.


THE ASSASSINATION WAS FOLLOWED BY AN IMPOSING FUNERAL

The body of Gen. Lukov was moved from his home to the church in the Military School of His Highness. At 12 o’clock at noon several thousands of young legionaries and adherents of the General lined the alley to the school. The church was full of people. The funeral was attended by His Highness the Tsar, His Royal Highness Prince Kiril, senior officers, Ministers, military attaches and plenty of other people.


IYI

That is how General Hristo Lukov died but his life dedicated to his Motherland shows the way to the next generations of Bulgarian nationalists and will always stay alive!

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