12th National History Competition 2019/2020

The past century has been a turning point for Bulgarian history. Bulgaria has survived four wars, two national catastrophes, economic and political crises. Governments, regimes, systems, property, even names have been changed. All this happened in the twentieth century and it is impossible for all this to not have influenced the fate of your family to some extent.

The theme of the twelfth national history competition offers you a different point of view on history - through family history, as evidence of the vicissitudes of time, its dynamics and its multiplicity.

What is actually family history? As part of vast history, it is personification of national or world events. In family history, these events bear the names of your loved ones because they have influenced their lives and changed their fates. The twentieth century is marked by a series of turning points for which you can find evidence in your ancestral memory. For some, they lead to ascension and prosperity, for others to suffering and struggle for survival. How did these radical changes affect the fate of one person or one family?

The changes were accompanied by hopes and disappointments, faith and fear, social and economic prosperity, adversity and hardship, conformism and rebellion, dissidents and repressed, rehabilitated and tolerated. For some, they were a chance, they opened new horizons for realization, education, a privileged status, for others these changes deprived them of many opportunities.

For some, Bulgaria becomes a new homeland, for others it remains in the past and they leave the country for decades or forever. Immigrants and expatriates - what drove them to these fateful tough decisions. To start a new life, to live in a new country, at a new home, with a new identity and new neighbors, new values ​​and ideals, hopes of disappointments, fear. Does tolerance or ill-will await you there?

What is the price of survival and preservation of spirit - adaptation, moral uplift or fall? Can you be broken or the difficulties and trials are uplifting, helping us to preserve humanity, kindness, faith.


Research/Study the story of a clan, a family, or the fate of one person. You can decide for yourself whether you want to trace the history of a family or an episode of family history associated with a significant event. The emphasis in your research should not be on events, vicissitudes and changes in the twentieth century, but on family history as their reflection. You can trace moments from the family history or life story of an certain person. Not only your loved ones may be the object of your research, but also the life of another family or person.

What do you know about your family, relatives and kin? What has preserved the genetic memory of what happened? Is there a written history or a well-researched and documented family tree? Your job is to describe it, because family history is part of your spiritual heritage.

If one of your kin has already done so, then try to gather more testimonials and present the inherited written family history by focusing your attention on past events in your family from another perspective, one of great events designed on one person's life.

What sources you may use: 1) Old albums: They have sealed your relatives’ important and significant moments. 2) Family archives: letters, diaries, CVs, war books, social security certificates hide many interesting moments in a person's or family's life. 3) Oral History: these are the stories of your parents, grandparents. Compare eyewitness’s narratives to information from the official press, which is often propaganda. 4) Items stored at home for generations can testify to important moments in family history. 5) Visit museums and archives.

It is not your job to research and describe the life of one kin, person or family, but to find out which of the events has left a mark on the family. You will probably find a connection between leading events and the lives of ordinary people.

NATIONAL HISTORY COMPETITION is organized with the financial support of:

and in co-operation with:

For more information such as participation, requirements and prizes take a look at the brouchure.