Todor Angelov

Todor Angelov Dzekov
Born Todor Angelov Dzekov
(1900-01-12)January 12, 1900
Kyustendil, Principality of Bulgaria
Died November 30, 1943(1943-11-30) (aged 43)
Fort Breendonk, Belgium
Cause of death Execution
Known for Member of the Belgian Resistance
Spouse(s) Aleksandra Sharlandzhieva
Awards Order of Leopold

Todor Angelov Dzekov (Bulgarian: Тодор Ангелов Дзеков, French: Théodore Angheloff) Kyustendil, Principality of Bulgaria 12 January 1900 – Fort Breendonk, Belgium 30 November 1943 was a Bulgarian anarcho-communist revolutionary who lived and was active for a long time in Western Europe. During World War II, he headed a Brussels-based group of the Belgian Resistance against Nazi Germany; he was captured and sentenced to death by the Nazis.


Early life

Angelov was born in 1900 in the city of Kyustendil to a mason father and a weaver and laundress mother, both Bulgarian refugees from Macedonia. In 1923 he married Aleksandra Sharlandzhieva; the two had a daughter, the writer Svoboda Bachvarova (b. 1925). Angelov was related to the anarchist left wing of Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO) and the Bulgarian Communist Party from an early age; in 1923 he took part in the failed and suppressed September Uprising, more specifically in its Pirin Macedonia operations. After the communist St Nedelya Church assault of 1925, he was sentenced to death but managed to escape the country with his family.

Spanish Civil War and Second World War

After spending some time in Austria and France, Angelov and his family settled in Belgium in 1927. In 1930 they were extradited for "disturbing public peace": Angelov settled in Luxembourg while his wife and daughter returned to Bulgaria. In 1932 he was allowed to return to Belgium. In 1936–1938, he joined the International Brigades' Dimitrov Battalion of Bulgarian volunteers and fought in the Spanish Civil War, siding with the Second Spanish Republic forces.

Upon returning to Belgium Angelov was an active supporter of the Communist Party of Belgium. In 1942, he organized a resistance group of around 25 people, mostly Central European Jewish immigrants; the group was mostly active around Brussels. Angelov was referred to as Terrorist X by the Nazi authorities and led over 200 actions against the Nazis, including the destruction of a train carrying military machinery and the burning of records of Jews to be deported. During a single year, around half of the group's members were killed or arrested. Angelov was arrested in early 1943 and interned in the Fort Breendonk concentration camp, where he was executed in late November 1943.


Immediately following the war, Angelov was proclaimed a hero of Belgian Resistance and awarded a posthumous Order of Leopold. In the early 1980s, a monument to him was built in the Clos du Chemin creux in Schaerbeek, where he lived. A monument to Angelov also exists in his hometown Kyustendil; he was proclaimed an honorary citizen of Kyustendil in 1998.

In 2007, the book Hostages of Nazi Terror (French: Otages de la terreur nazie) devoted to Angelov and his group was published in Belgium. In 2008, the Bulgarian writer Svoboda Bachvarova published the three-volume documentary novel In a Particularly Painful Way (Bulgarian: По особено мъчителен начин) devoted to her father's life.


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