Menkov, Borislav (1915-1993) aka Menkata

Borislav Menkov

A short biography of the Bulgarian anarchist communist Borislav Menkov.

Submitted by Battlescarred on February 24, 2024

Borislav Georgiev Menkov was born on September 16, 1915 in the city of Kyustendil, Bulgaria. He organised student anarchist groups in both Austria, when he took a course abroad, and in Bulgaria.
He travelled to Spain with the outbreak of the revolution there in 1936, and was a volunteer in an anarchist militia.

Returning to Bulgaria, he was arrested and detained several times by the State authorities. After the Communist coup of September 9th, 1944, he became the secretary and organiser of the Bulgarian Anarchist Communist Federation (FAKB) in south-western Bulgaria.

He was arrested in March 1945, whilst attending a FAKB conference in Kniazhevo as a delegate. He was sent for “re-education” to the Kutsian concentration camp. He was arrested again in 1948 . He was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. Whilst at Ruse prison, he underwent brutality from the guards, like the other prisoners. They were sometimes not given food for several days. The prison was not far from the banks of the Danube. Menkov, in a testimony received by the Commission for Aid to Bulgarian Anarchists, explained that one evening “delirious with hunger, the prisoners, looking through the bars of their cell, saw, floating on the Danube, the corpse of 'a dog. Showing a remarkable spirit of "humanity", the prison guards agreed to fish out the corpse and throw it into the prisoners' cell who made a feast of it.”

He also spent time at Nova Zagora prison, and at the concentration camp of Bogdanov Dol. He was then sent to the even harsher Belene concentration camp and remained there until November 2nd, 1953. In the meantime, his wife, Anka Pisarska, also an anarchist, and their two children , were evicted from their home and moved to the village of Svetlen, in north east Bulgaria.

Menkov realised that the security services were still keeping him under observation in 1969 or 1970. Anyone who made contact with him or met with him in a café, what and to whom he said something during a chance meeting, to whom he sends a greeting card, etc was noted. State security kept him on record until 1981.

Borislav Menkov, who had been one of the most active anarchists in Bulgaria, died in Kyustendil on April 16, 1993.

Nick Heath