Page 158 - MIGRATION

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MIGRATION, MEMORY, HERITAGE: SOCIO-CULTURAL
APPROACHES TO THE BULGARIAN-TURKISH BORDER
Accommodation (1927-1931) which was simultaneously connected with the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs and Confessions and the Ministry of Domestic Affairs and People’s Health, as well as with
the special UN Agency.
Based on the archives of the local commissions for accommodating refugees and of the
municipal councils, one can trace the relations between the Directorate and the local actors.
Overall, the local commissions followed the orders and were held accountable in full before
the Directorate with regard to the measures taken, such as land distribution and allocation and
yards delineation for the refugees, accommodation and relocation, distribution of livestock and
agricultural equipment, etc. At the same time the Directorate was the only institution which could
aid local authorities should any problems with the refugees arise in refugee districts. Here is an
example:
Inaccordancewith the request onbehalf of the residents in thedistricts of “Makedonski”
and “Trakiyski”: We kindly request Mr. Director to allocate funds to the aim of securing water
supply to the two residential districts. […] In the afore-mentioned refugee districts there
live 184 refugee families which have been allocated yard space by the Municipal council in
Haskovo. There exist built houses after the credit given by B.A. [Bulgarian Agricultural] Bank
in 1923, 1924, and 1925
(From Letter N20 of 25.01.1930 issued by the Haskovo District
Commission for Refugee Accommodation to the Directorate for Refugee Accommodation;
RSA – Haskovo, 23 K, opis 1, arhivna edinitsa 2
4
).
The Main Directorate had the right to issue orders to the municipal authorities with regard
to what measures they should take in relation to refugees’ accommodation.
Upon this notification, you are to order all municipal councils in your district, in which
municipalities, according to the general plan, refugees are accommodated, to followthe above
decree of the law for L.A.F.
5
(District Decree N4729 from 11.07.1927 of the Main Directorate
for Refugee Accommodation).
At first sight, state policy with respect to refugees was complex and well-directed, but
the discrepancy between the data regarding the number of in-comers to Bulgaria (especially to
Haskovo) and the number of accommodated (with yard or land allocation or quartering in the
homes of others) show that striking numbers of refugees were left to cope on their own or rely on
private assistance only.
During Alexandar Stamboliyski’s term in office, as well as after him, the policies with
regard to refugees were mostly directed at their
agrarian accommodation
, i.e. in agrarian and
stock-farming regions and predominantly in villages. On the other hand and at the same time, we
4 The transliterated archive documentation sources stand for the following: K – unique case number;
opis
– listing;
arhivna edinitsa
– archival unit. RSA is the respective Regional State Archive. To be abbreviated hereafter.
Translator’s note.
5 The Law for Labour Agrarian Farms, enacted in 1924 under Alexandar Tsankov, which revoked the agrarian
reforms under way during the term of Alexandar Stamboliyski.