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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 27, 1962

BULGARIAN LEGATION, WASHINGTON, TO BULGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    The Bulgarian diplomatic mission (legation or embassy) to the US reported to the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sofia what actions the embassy executed and planned to execute to prevent seizure of documents during the "international situation," or Cuban Missile Crisis. Enclosed in the letter is an explanation of items destroyed and items placed under heightened security. The letter also includes information about security for the embassy staff.
    "Bulgarian Legation, Washington, to Bulgarian Foreign Ministry," October 27, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Diplomatic Archive, Opis 18-P, a.e. 128. Translated by Greta Keremidchieva and edited by Jordan Baev. Obtained by the Bulgarian Cold War Research Group. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116251
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    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116251

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Strictly Confidential! By courier

Legation of the

People’s Republic of Bulgaria

2100 16th Street NW

Washington DC

Outgoing Nr. C 561/29.X.62

TO THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS CABINET OF THE MINISTER

SOFIA

As we have already informed the Ministry with a cable, with regard to the extremely tense international situation and a direct threat of an imminent war, we have destroyed all confidential reports, memos, instructions, work plans and accounts, as well as correspondence, in order to prevent the enemy from getting hold of them. We have kept only the materials concerning the code, the Embassy annual work plan and the last quarterly plan, which are of confidential nature but due to their small volume, are easy to destroy if the need arises. All destroyed materials were included in a list with incoming and outgoing reference numbers.

With regard to the Cuban crisis and the high chance for provocations and attacks against legation facilities, employees and their families, we have strengthened the security of the room where the coded materials and other secret correspondence are kept. For this purpose, we have appointed three guards on over-night duty after working hours – two in the room with secret materials and one in the adjacent room – who will be able to give a timely warning of any imminent threat. All flammable materials have been thrown away from the offices and the basement, and all fire protection facilities [have been] checked.

The employees and their families were summoned and instructed what precautions to take in order to increase their level of alertness and to prevent provocations like kidnapping, attacks, beating, etc.

I should mention that during these days of extreme tension and anxiety, a sense of duty and the self-confidence [on behalf] of all employees in the Legation, in the Commercial and Military missions is required. We are proceeding with all special measures to strengthen security and to raise the alert-level and readiness of employees and their families.

27 October 1962

Washington