Anti-Nazi Resistance heroine.
A Sephardic Jewish girl, born in Dupnitsa, a small city in Western Bulgaria. Her father was a small trader who died before she was born leaving the family in difficult financial circumstances. At the age of fourteen she went to work as a laborer in a tobacco warehouse, and at sixteen moved to the capital Sofia to become a seamstress- and soon joined an anti-Nazi Resistance cell.
By that time Bulgaria was not occupied by the Nazi Germany, but its far-right regime, lead by the evil and opportunistic Tsar Boris III joined the Axis, deported 12 000 Bulgarian Jews to Auschwitz and Treblinka (nobody survived), imprisoned the rest in the ghettos and concentration camps, declaired the war on the Allies and set to deploy the Bulgarian troops against the Soviet Union.
In the crucial Battle of Stalingrad their contribution could tip the scales in favor of Germany and eventually lead to the Nazi victory in WW II.
Preventing this development Violeta Yakova and her comrades in the so-called "urban fighting groups" assassinated a number of prominent Bulgarian Fascists who had spoken out for this deployment.
Intimidated by their death as well as mass protests by the trade unions, liberal opposition and Bulgarian Orthodox church leaders Tsar Boris III (no less coward than evil) made an U-Turn and refused to send the troops against the Soviet Union and to deport the remaining Jews to the death camps.
Infuriated by his "betrayal" Hitler set to support a coup d'état in Bulgaria and replace Tsar Boris III by General Hristo Lukov – a former Minister of War and leader of the Fascist organization "The Union of Bulgarian Legionnaires", but the revolt was foiled as well, because on February, 13, 1943 General Lukov was shot by Violeta Yakova.
Later in 1943 the partisan movement grew stronger and ended the activity of the urban groups and Yakova joined a partisan detachment in Western Bulgaria. By Spring of 1944 partisan actions prompted the government to assemble a force of about 100,000 in an attempt to crush the partisans.
This attempt failed, but claimed live of many Resistance fighters, and Violeta Yakova was was one of them.
Having being detained, brutally tortured, gang raped and horribly mutilated she perished shortly after her 21st birthday and less than three months before the downfall of Bulgarian Fascist regime