Bulgarian activists in Macedonia plan to open another club named after a controversial historic figure – Tsar Boris III who led the country during the Second World War.

During his reign, Bulgaria joined the Axis, occupied the territory of modern day Republic of Macedonia from the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, and carried out the Holocaust in Macedonia and Thrace. The King died in 1943, after a meeting with Hitler, when he refused to continue deporting Jews from Bulgaria proper. Organizer Milan Vrabevski received support from former King Simeon, Boris’ son, to apply to register the club – under Macedonian law this allows the club to avoid a longer registration process during which its name will be examined to see if it is hateful or controversial.

The club is expected to be opened in Ohrid on October 7th, just days ahead of the celebration of October 11th – the day when Macedonian partisans began their struggle against Bulgarian rule. The move comes months after the opening of the Vanco Mihajlov club in Bitola – named after the Nazi collaborator who supported the Bulgarian position on the ethnic origin of Macedonians while fighting for an independent Macedonian state. Singer Lambe Alabakoski set fire to the door of the club in Bitola shortly after its opening.