The Ratniks (Ратник), or Warriors for the Advancement of the Bulgarian National Spirit, were members of a far-right Bulgarian nationalist organization founded in 1936. Its ideas were close to those of Germany's Nazis, including antisemitism and paramilitarism, but also loyalty to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. The Ratniks (ratnitsi) wore red uniforms in outright competition with the communists for the hearts and minds of the Bulgarian youth, and also badges bearing the Bogar: a Bulgarian sun cross.

Despite decreeing their loyalty to the Monarchy and King Boris III of Bulgaria he officially dissolved the organisation in April 1939.[1] The ban however was not enforced and they remained in existence.[2] It was soon after the ban that they carried out one of their more notorious acts, the so-called "Bulgarian Kristallnacht" when, on September 20, 1939, the Ratniks marched in Sofia throwing stones at the Jewish shops. Police did not intervene and some shop windows were smashed although ultimately it proved to have much less impact than the German version and was widely condemned by most politicians.[3] Alexander Belev, a leading member of the group, later claimed that the attack had been his idea and that he had personally led the mob.[4]

With the coming of the Red Army and the Bolsheviks into Bulgaria on September 9, 1944, the Ratniks disappeared from the Bulgarian scene. Many of the leaders became members of the Bulgarian national government abroad, some of the young Ratniks become volunteers in the Wehrmacht, while others chose to stay in Bulgaria and fight against the Communists.

Warriors for the Advancement of the Bulgarian National Spirit

Ратници за напредъка на българщината
LeaderProfessor Asen Kantardzhiev
HeadquartersFormerly Sofia, Bulgaria
Bulgarian nationalism
Political positionFar-right
ReligionBulgarian Orthodox Church
International affiliationN/A
Party flag
Flag Ratnik


  1. ^ Stanley G. Payne, A History of Fascism 1914-45, Routledge, 2001 p. 326
  2. ^ Payne, A History of Fascism 1914-45, p. 429
  3. ^ Michael Bar-Zohar, Beyond Hitler's Grasp: The Heroic Rescue of Bulgaria's Jews, Adams Media Corporation, 1998, p. 8
  4. ^ Bar-Zohar, Beyond Hitler's Grasp, p. 51
Alexander Belev

Alexander Belev (Bulgarian: Александър Белев) (1898, Lom, Bulgaria – 9 September 1944, Bulgaria) was the Bulgarian commissar of Jewish Affairs during World War II, famous with his antisemitic and strongly nationalistic views. He played a central role in the deportation of some 12,000 Jews to Nazi concentration camps in occupied Poland. He was also one of the founders of the Bulgarian nationalist Ratniks.

Bulgarian National Socialist Workers Party

The Bulgarian National Socialist Workers Party (Bulgarian language: Българска Национал-Социалистическа Работническа Партия) was a Nazi party based in the Kingdom of Bulgaria.

It was one of a number of anti-Semitic groups to emerge in Bulgaria after the rise of Adolf Hitler in Germany, with other notable groups including the Union of Bulgarian National Legions and Ratnik. The party was established by Doctor Hristo Kunchev or Kuntscheff in 1932, who had studied medicine in Berlin. The party sought to copy the Nazi Party by adopting the National Socialist Program, the swastika and other symbols of the German party. Unlike some of its competitors on the far right like the Union of Bulgarian National Legions and the Ratniks, it was not a very influential group and had a relatively small membership. The party published a newspaper called Attack!, similar to Der Angriff of Joseph Goebbels. After the Bulgarian Communist Party established the People's Republic of Bulgaria the party was banned.

Fani Popova-Mutafova

Fani Popova–Mutafova (Bulgarian: Фани Попова-Мутафова; October 16, 1902 – July 9, 1977) was a Bulgarian author who is considered by many to have been the best-selling Bulgarian historical fiction author ever.The daughter of Dobry Popov, an officer in the Bulgarian army, she was born in Sevlievo and was educated there, in Sofia and in Turin, Italy, where she also studied piano music. From 1922 to 1925, she studied music in Germany. She first published her work in the journals Vestnik na Zenata, Bulgarska misul and Zlatorog.Her books sold in record numbers in the 1930s and the early 1940s. In 1936 she took part in the foundation of the Ratniks and was considered one of their main ideologists.Popova–Mutafova joined the European Writers' League (Europäische Schriftstellervereinigung), which was founded by Joseph Goebbels in 1941/42.She was eventually sentenced to seven years of imprisonment by the Bulgarian communist regime because of her writings, and though released after only eleven months for health reasons, was forbidden to publish anything between 1943 and 1972. She translated books and plays from Italian for a living then.She was married to another Bulgarian writer, Chavdar Mutafov.Popova-Mutafova died in Sofia at the age of 74.

Fascism in Europe

Fascism in Europe was composed of numerous ideologies that were present during the 20th century and they all developed their own differences with each other. Fascism was born in Italy, but subsequently several fascist movements emerged across Europe and they borrowed influences from the Italian Fascism. The origins of fascism in Europe began outside of Italy and can be observed in the combining of a traditional national unity and revolutionary anti-democratic rhetoric espoused by integral nationalist Charles Maurras and revolutionary syndicalist Georges Sorel in France. The first foundations of fascism can be seen in the Italian Regency of Carnaro, many of its politics and aesthetics were taken from Gabriele D'Annunzio's rule and they were subsequently used by Benito Mussolini and his Italian Fasci of Combat which he had founded as the Fasci of Revolutionary Action in 1914. Despite the fact that its members referred to themselves as "fascists", the ideology was based around national syndicalism. The ideology of fascism would not fully develop until 1921 when Mussolini transformed his movement into the National Fascist Party which then in 1923 incorporated the Italian Nationalist Association. The INA was a nationalist movement that established fascist tropes, colored shirt uniforms for example, and also received the support of important proto-fascists like D'Annunzio and nationalist intellectual Enrico Corradini.

The first declaration of the political stance of fascism was the Fascist Manifesto written by national syndicalist Alceste De Ambris and futurist poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti published in 1919. Many of the contents of the manifesto such as centralization, the abolition of the senate, formation of national councils loyal to the state, expanded military and support for militias (Blackshirts for example) were adopted by Mussolini's regime whilst other calls such as universal suffrage and a peaceful foreign policy were abandoned. De Ambris would later become a prominent anti-fascist. In 1932 The Doctrine of Fascism was published written by Mussolini and Giovanni Gentile providing an outline of fascism that better represented Mussolini's regime.

List of fascist movements by country A–F

A list of political parties, organizations, and movements adhering to various forms of fascist ideology, part of the list of fascist movements by country.

Petar Gabrovski

Petar Dimitrov Gabrovski (Bulgarian: Петър Димитров Габровски) (9 July 1898 – 1 February 1945) was a Bulgarian politician who briefly served as Prime Minister during the Second World War. Gabrovski was a lawyer by profession. He was also a member of the Grand Masonic Lodge of Bulgaria.

Political uniform

A number of political movements have involved their members wearing uniforms, typically as a way of showing their identity in marches and demonstrations. The wearing of political uniforms has tended to be associated with radical political beliefs, typically at the far-right or far-left of politics, and can be used to imply a paramilitary type of organization.


Ratnik (Russian: Ратник: warrior) can refer to:

Ratniks, a Bulgarian nationalist organization

Ratnik (program), Russian infantry combat system

Kamerton-N Ratnik, Russian autogyro

Ratnik_(program), Russian military infantry combat system


A shirt is a cloth garment for the upper body (from the neck to the waist).

Originally an undergarment worn exclusively by men, it has become, in American English, a catch-all term for a broad variety of upper-body garments and undergarments. In British English, a shirt is more specifically a garment with a collar, sleeves with cuffs, and a full vertical opening with buttons or snaps (North Americans would call that a "dress shirt", a specific type of "collared shirt"). A shirt can also be worn with a necktie under the shirt collar.

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