Summary: There is a marvelous photograph taken by Yevgeny Khaldei in Bulgaria in 1944. Soviet troops, having just entered the capital of Sophia, are looking in amazement at a monument to Alexander II in the city’s main square. The base of the monument reads, “to the Tsar Liberator.” These young men, having received a Stalin-era Soviet education, undoubtedly found it strange to see a monument to any monarch, to say nothing of one of the Russian tsars, all of whom their official history had put down as exploiters and tyrants. The Bulgarians, it turned out, saw things differently.
This article appeared in the May/June 2011 issue of Russian Life. The text of this article is not available online. Follow the link to the full issue listing to see if the back issue is available through our webstore.