There is a spirit abroad in Europe which is finer and braver than any-
thing that tired continent has known for centuries, and which cannot
be withstood. You can, if you like, think of it in terms of politics, but it
is broader and more generous than any dogma. It is the confident will
of whole peoples, who have known the utmost humiliation and suffer-
ing and have triumphed over it, to build their own life once and for all.
—major frank thomPson, ChrIstmas day, 1943
On a scorching hot morning in August 2013, I caught a bus from
the Poduene bus station in Sofia to the city of Botevgrad. Once in
Botevgrad, I hired a taxi driver who called himself Sincho to drive
me out a few kilometers to Litakovo. I wanted to visit the grave
of Major Frank Thompson. I brought red carnations. I was feeling
lost and frustrated with the political situation in Bulgaria and in
Greece and back at home in the United States. In all of these places
politicians seemed dangerously out of touch with their constitu-
ents. Democracy seemed fragile. The Bulgarian government had
resigned in February, but snap elections in May had failed to pro-
duce a clear winner, and now the streets of Sofia were once again
filled with protestors demanding yet another round of elections. As
if that would solve anything.1
After some questioning of the villagers in Litakovo, we drove up
a hill to the monument commemorating fallen communists both
ConClUsIon ON
THE OUTSKIRTS OF LITAKOVO
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