Resurrecting Ghostly Rivalries

Eastern Europe discovers that national hatreds and prejudices increasingly haunt the land

A bronze equestrian statue of Czar Alexander II dominates the cobblestone square in front of the parliament building in Sofia. It was erected by grateful Bulgarians to commemorate Russian victories in 1877 and 1878 that ended five centuries of Turkish rule over the Slavic nation. Since the resignation of Stalinist dictator Todor Zhivkov last November, that statue has become the rallying point for a revived nationalist movement using the old hatred of the Turks to fight new political battles. Day after day, thousands of Bulgarians ignored sub-zero temperatures to gather around it. They shook their fists and cheered rabble-rousing speeches protesting...

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