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By Evtim Kostadinov

When long and intense political consultations culminated in an agreement to collect and preserve the written legacy of the former Bulgarian secret services for history's sake, under a policy of open and free access, many were skeptical. Domestic audiences were unimpressed with what they believed to be another attempt to dull the collective consciousness and memory with short-lived leg­islation. The law was pronounced dead at conception, and the general opinion was that it would soon be repealed as a failed piece of law-making.

Today, there are hardly any skeptics left to doubt the effects of this action. Within its competence, the Committee has succeeded to effectively and strictly implement the Law on Access to and Disclosure of the Documents and An­nouncement of Affiliation of Bulgarian Citizens to the State Security and the Intelligence Services of the Bulgarian National Army.

Access to the secret world of classified documents is no longer an illusion, but a reality. While some were greatly disappointed with their affiliation to the com­munist secret services being publicly announced, justice was finally restored for others who had been victims of political repressions and persecution.

While the truth hurts, acknowledging the truth in its entirety is the best way for­ward and the only credible instrument to examine past events as objectively as possible. Society's best hope for a better future lies with its ability to engage in an in-depth reflection on its history, analyse and learn from the past.

From the beginning of its mandate, the Committee refused to live up to the expectations to be a judge or a critic. It had the specific task to pull back the curtain and report the truth as it happened. It was left to the audience to choose whether to cheer or jeer the actors dancing on the strings of their SS puppet masters. The curtain is lifted. Government is more transparent now; backstage bargaining of the past takes place less frequently. Members of our society are free to make choices while staying true to their moral compass. What is more democratic than that?!

Evtim Kostadinov is chairman of the Committee for disclosing the documents and announcing affiliation of Bulgarian citizens to the State Security and intelligence services of the Bulgarian National Army. He was born on 11 November 1959. From 2005 to 2007, he was an MP from BSP, elected from the region of Dobrich.

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