The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria sadly learned of the death of Savo Kotsarev, one of the most respected fighters for the Bulgarian cause in the Republic of Northern Macedonia and a political prisoner who went through the hell of camps in the former Yugoslavia. We express our sincerest condolences to the family of Savo Kotsarev, who was buried today in his hometown of Ohrid.
Because of his Bulgarian identity, Savo Kotsarev was persecuted by the security services in the former Yugoslavia and was held in the Idrizovo prison (now northern Macedonia) and the Doboj camp (now Bosnia and Herzegovina). He is a nephew of Iliya Kotsarev, who was mayor of Ohrid during World War II and managed to save the city from destruction. After the war, the mayor was arrested, and his brother’s sons, Savo, Ljupcho and several other cousins of the Kotsarev family, were convicted as enemies of the state and sentenced to many years in prison.
The fate of Savo Kotsarev is another example of why it is so important for the victims of the communist regime to receive, albeit belatedly, their rehabilitation, including in the public consciousness of today’s Northern Macedonia. This is not necessary in Bulgaria – for us they have always been an example of heroism and a role model, and with humble pride that there was a man like Savo Kotsarev among us, we honor his last path.
We remind you that the issue of rehabilitation of victims and repressed by the Yugoslav communist regime because of their Bulgarian identity, as well as providing access to files of the security services of the former Yugoslavia in the period 1945-1992 is part of the package of political issues considered between Bulgaria and Northern Macedonia.