The death/murder(?) of Tsar Boris III

Yesterday was the 128th anniversary of the birth of Tsar Boris III; and this year is also the 79th anniversary of his death (or murder).

He became Tsar at the age of 24 after his father’s abrupt abdication, he spent the first years of his reign completely isolated by his family. He survived two coup attempts in 1923; an assassination attempt in 1925 and lived through the biggest terrorist attack on European soil at the time. He married an Italian princess; was instrumental in saving the Bulgarian Jews and keeping the country out of the Eastern Front.

He died at the age of 49 with the official reason being a heart attack. To this day, however, there are many who believe foul play. His death happened not long after a meeting with Hitler and, by Boris’ own account, he was very furious. Over the years, other suspects have been suggested as well: the Soviet embassy in Sofia (as they opposed the monarchy); and the Nazis tried blaming his Italian wife (as Italy was just switching sides).

We will never know what truly happened to him as one of the first acts of the Bulgarian Communist Party was to destroy his remains so that he will not be worshipped. And they had good reason for that, as seen in this 1943 ‘In Memoriam’ news reel:

The mystery surrounding his death is interesting enough for a video of its own. Many sides had motives, but the truth may never be known…

Did Hitler Kill a King? - YouTube

(while the video does a relatively good job at explaining the basics, it does get a few details wrong, it also omits the Soviet theory but overall is a good English language introduction to the issue)


Thanks for posting, without you I would never have known this.


Mark Felton also did an interesting video on this. Great topic, glad you posted it :+1: