Vodenicharov, Vladimir (1903-1961)

Vladimir Vodenicharov

A short biography of Bulgarian anarchist communist Vladimir Vodenicharov.

Submitted by Battlescarred on February 25, 2024

Vladimir Vodenicharov was born in Sliven, Bulgaria, on April 7, 1903. He was one of the first members of the Bulgarian Anarchist Communist Federation.(FAKB). He actively participated in meetings and conferences of the organisation.

He was one of those who moved to Yugoslavia in the 1920s. From there, it was decided to move to France in 1927. They left illegally through Austria. Most of those who moved to France settled in Toulouse. There they developed their organisation and carried out propaganda work. Vodenicharov was amongst these, alongside Alexander Sapundjiev, Dimitar Balkov, Hristo Manolov, Vasily Denchev, Georgi Hadjiev, and others, more than 35 people in total. The Toulouse organization was engaged in developing the conceptual, tactical, and organisational problems of the movement. For three years (1928-1930), the Organisational Platform of the Libertarian Communists was studied and carefully analysed. This had a marked influence on the direction of the FAKB.

Whilst in Toulouse, Vladimir studied and graduated in chemistry.

Together with his brother Georgi, he travelled to Spain in 1936 to participate in the struggle there.

After returning to Bulgaria, he initiated production of photographic paper in Sofia, becoming an important figure in photographic circles. He met and married the history teacher Nadezhda. They fled Sofia with the bombings there during World War Two, and settled in Kotel. There they set up their own photographic paper workshop.

During the wave of repression against the FAKB on January 10th, 1949, a list of 163 militants of that organisation was drawn up by the Communist authorities. Vladimir was 91st on the list. They were detained at the Bogdanov Dol concentration camp. Vladimir spent several years there, living in appalling conditions and suffering cruel treatment.

The officers there attempted to “re-educate” prisoners, that is, renounce their ideas and acknowledge the Communist authorities. One of the most brutal was Krastyu Gershanov, captain of the camp guards, a sadistic Stalinist, who administered cruel beatings with a stick, sometimes killing prisoners. As the anarchist Dimitar Dimitrov noted in his memoirs of Bogdanov Dol,” "Gershanov tried to add an anarchist to them, (Those who had been “re-educated”) but he hit a rock - Vlado Vodenicharov, although he was in shaky health and was constantly ill during his stay in the camp, did not give in and resisted.”

As a result of his treatment, Vladimir Vodenicharov contracted tuberculosis and became seriously ill. In consequence, he was released from the camp in 1951. He returned home to Kotel, spending his last years passing on his knowledge of chemistry and mathematics to his daughters. He died of TB in 1961.

Nick Heath



Photo: Vladimir Vodenicharov (centre) with his family.



2 months 4 weeks ago

Submitted by Steven. on February 27, 2024

You're on a real roll again with these biographies!


2 months 3 weeks ago

Submitted by Battlescarred on February 29, 2024

More to come!