Who was Sava Popov? The Unlocking of an Archive
Who was Sava Popov? The Unlocking of an Archive


Who was Sava Popov? The Unlocking of an Archive

Student of Law

From 1935 to 1937, Sava Popov was a student at the Law Faculty of Sofia University and attended lectures by professors P. Venedikov, (Roman law), L. Vladikin (general law), V. Ganev (general theory of law), and P. Stoyanov (financial studies). He passed his exams with good marks, but did not graduate. Perhaps his passion for literature was stronger.

After 1936, Sava Popov participated in the publication of Mlada volya (Young Will) – the newspaper of the youth organization of the Father Paisius All-Bulgarian Union. This was the newspaper’s second year; at that time the organization was still non-partisan and independent. Here, too, patriotism was the glue that held most of the materials together. Everything Bulgarian was celebrated – the glorious history and people, the natural wonders, the talents in the arts. Titles such as “Bulgarians – The Best Nation in the Balkans” and articles about great Bulgarians such as Botev, as well as the constant return to the “The Legacy of Paisius,” corresponded to the general mood in the circles in which the young Sava Popov moved. He wrote articles and essays for the newspaper. “Anteroom of the Bulgarian Historical Epic. From Momchil and Krali Marko to Karadzha and Hadzhi Dimitar” (1936); “Freedom Fighter” – an essay about Botev, published on June 2, 1936. Another of his texts, “Letters from a Village,” was based on memories of his hometown, the first alphabet letters written and nursery rhymes spoken, nature descriptions and memories of smells and seasons (1936). Sava Popov did not accept the intensified politicization of the Father Paisius youth organization and its gradual association with right-wing and pro-German parties.

White Shirt, Red Cross 

In an essay by Sava Popov, we read: “It is known that health is the foundation of all human well-being. The well-being and welfare of the entire nation is built on its ability to work – respectively, on its health. It has been observed that agricultural countries such as ours are far worse in terms of health than industrial ones. This is due to the nature of the people’s work. The peasant farmer is more alienated; cultural benefits reach him later, and he accepts them with more difficulty. And his work is of such a nature that it does not tolerate an hourly plan. The crisis he suffers in the years of a poor harvest or the devaluation of his produce sometimes has a catastrophic effect on his life.”

*From an article by Sava Popov for the magazine Youth Red Cross, no. 3/1936.


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