Lozanov, Petar (1895-1968) aka Percho

Petar Lozanov

A short biography of Bulgarian anarchist communist Petar Lozanov.

Submitted by Battlescarred on February 23, 2024

Petar Lozanov was born in the Bulgarian town of Lom on November 5th, 1895, into a relatively wealthy family. He came in contact as a high school student with refugees from the mutiny on the Russian battleship Potemkin, in the nearby city of Ruse. Some of these were anarchists, and Petar became enthused by these ideas.

He got involved in a strike of high school students which spread through Bulgaria. He was drafted during World War One and fought on the southern front. He was captured by the French. Returning to Bulgaria with the cessation of hostilities, he established contact with anarchists like Georgi Sheitanov, Georgi Zechev, Petar Maznev and others, most of whom were active underground.

He left Bulgaria around 1920 to study medicine in Berlin. There he came into contact with German anarchists, and took part in the International Anarchist Congress of 1921 and that of the anarcho-syndicalist International Workers’ Association in 1922, attending as a Bulgarian delegate under the name of Kazimir Sudbin.

Bulgarian anarchists abroad now formed the Union of Bulgarian Anarchists (UAB) which kept in contact with comrades on an international level, and provided assistance to imprisoned anarchists in Bulgaria. Lozanov was very active in this work, corresponding for publications and translating articles to and from Bulgarian and German.
Lozanov kept his head down during the period of State repression. He re-entered the movement in 1930-31 and joined a group in Sofia alongside Alexander Sapundjiev, Georgi Hadjiev (Balkanski), Petar Dinev, Kosta Daskalov and others, numbering around twenty. This group pushed for the unification of the movement.

He was at the national conference of the Bulgarian Anarchist Communist Federation (FAKB) at Lovech in August 1932. After the reorganisation of the movement in Sofia, Lozanov directed the monthly magazine Svobodno Obshtestvo -Free Society (1932-1934), and was the theoretical review of the FAKB. When this was closed down by the State, Lozanov took over the direction of Novy Mir (New World) which survived until 1936. He also wrote a pamphlet on fascism around this time.

An excellent publicist and debater of anarchist ideas, he had a great theoretical knowledge and his widespread knowledge of Marxism aided him in polemics with the Communists.

He contracted tuberculosis as the result of a hard life, and moved to the spa town of Ladzhene, where he lived for the rest of his life, working in a laboratory at a sanatorium.

He was one of the 1,000 anarchists arrested by the Communist authorities on December 16th, 1948. He was sent to the concentration camps but survived the worst treatment because he was assigned to the prison hospital at Pernik. Le Libertaire, weekly paper of the French Anarchist Federation reported in June 1950 that
“The Stalinists arrested him without taking into account either his advanced age or his health, or, finally, the great respect that the Communists themselves have had for his anti-fascist conduct and for the very useful educational work he was doing in labour unions.”

The Bulgarian Anarchist Union in exile posthumously published his last pamphlet, Condemnation of the Cult of Personality, in Paris.

He died in 1968 at Ladzhene, right during the events in France and Prague. The inscription ‘No God, No Master’ was written on his tombstone.

Nick Heath