Communist Bulgaria's murder bureau

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Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Alexenia Dimitrova, a writer with a 25 year-long career in journalism. She has worked for one of Bulgaria’s biggest dailies, 24 Hours Daily, for the last 15 years. She is the author of 4 documentary books based on her intensive research in the Bulgarian and American secret service archives from the Cold War era. Since 2002 she has her own column in 24 Hours Daily about finding and reuniting long-lost family members and relatives all over the World. For this series, which is extremely popular in Bulgaria, she received in 2004 the most prestigious award for Journalism in Bulgarian named Tchernorizets Hrabar. The is the author of thenew book, The Murder Bureau, a book describing a total of ten cases of covert foreign operations of the Bulgarian Communist-era secret services against dissident émigrés. She can be contacted at:

FP: Alexenia Dimitrova, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Tell us what inspired you to write The Murder Bureau and what it is about.

Dimitrova: Thanks Jamie.

Let me begin by defining the meaning of SMERSH for your readers: it is a Russian abbreviation and it means “Smert Shpionom” — Death to Spies. This was the name given to a counter-intelligence unit that was responsible for the neutralization of Soviet spies that existed within the Soviet Army in the early 40’s.

The inspiration to write my book came from the suspicions and rumors circulating many years in Bulgaria that a similar SMERSH unit also existed within the BulgarianIntelligence Services during the Cold War....

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