At the age of 85 Georgi Saraivanov passed away. He was one of the last political prisoners, sentences to death by the communist regime. He spent months shackled with a chain and more than 9 years in the prison in Pleven. In 1972 he ran to Germany; after the fall of the Berlin Wall he returned to Bulgaria. Even though he was a victim of the communist regime, Gogo, as his closest people called him, never saw himself neither as a victim nor as a hero. For him, freedom and the responsibility to build your own destiny and the country you live in, were central topics. During the lectures and lessons he gave in the past years, he always found a way to connect the history of communism with the current situation and with the responsibilities and opportunities we all have as free citizens. He could not comprehend how one could be uninterested in the past, in “how it was before”. He described freedom as the sweetest thing and thought us not to pre-judge people as weak or lacking character. Gogo often talked about the repressive nature of the regime and how wide spread it was in order to remind us the power of fear and to give us confidence in the moral values we all uphold as Bulgarians. He looked upon himself with the humility of a contemporary hero. Such was his attitude when he accepted the medal for civil merits, given to him by the President Plevneliev on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. Gogo was among the people whose presence was felt everywhere he went; much emptiness is left when he is gone.
May he rest in peace!