The Tobacco Fortress: "Asenovgrad Krepost" and the Politics of Tobacco in Interwar Bulgaria

Mary Neuberger, University of Texas


This paper explores the rise and (partial) fall of "Asenovgrad Krepost," a tobacco cooperative in interwar Bulgaria. It focuses on tobacco production, and to a lesser extent commerce, as well as the broader politics of tobacco in politically tumultuous interwar Bulgaria. While "Asenovgrad Krepost" is the central strand in the narrative, this paper argues that tobacco was implicated in, and in many senses undergirded, a range of complex political and social struggles that unfolded in the period. Among other players, the Agrarian Party, Bulgarian communists, and Macedonian revolutionary refugee organizations were tied into, funded by, and worked within public and subterranean tobacco worlds.

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