Hristov Lukov in full military regalia
|Died||February 13, 1943 (aged 56)|
|Cause of death||Assassination by gunshot|
|Political party||Union of Bulgarian National Legions|
Hristo Nikolov Lukov (Bulgarian: Христо Николов Луков; January 6, 1887 in Varna – February 13, 1943 in Sofia) was a Bulgarian lieutenant-general, politician, and 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 members of the Bulgarian resistance movement, 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.
Second World War
During the Second World War he was a key supporter of the Axis powers, particularly Nazi Germany. This was largely due to his close relations with the Third Reich and his activities as leader of UBNL. Lukov was considered one of the most prominent advocates of antisemitic ideas in Bulgaria.
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 Jewish resistance fighters 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'
From 2003 through 2019, the far-right Bulgarian National Union hosted an annual 'Lukov March' to commemorate "fallen heroes of Bulgaria" with a torch march, taking place in February in Sofia. It persistently caused controversy and was subject to multiple court bans. Finally in 2020, the Supreme Administrative Court upheld a ban by the Sofia municipality so that the evening torchlight procession was cancelled, although less than 200 supporters of Lukov's ideology still gathered for laying of wreaths at the house where Lukov was killed. A few hundred people gathered for a counter-protest in central Sofia earlier in the day, promoting “No Nazis on the streets”.
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" [must] 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
- "Far-right torchlight parade in Sofia hit by court ban". Reuters. 2020-02-22. Retrieved 2020-02-23.
- "Lukov March 2017 goes ahead in spite of mayoral ban over foreign neo-Nazi involvement". The Sofia Globe. 2017-02-18. Retrieved 23 February 2017.