A a first-generation Bulgarian American, I was deeply moved by Blaine Harden's May 26 article, "Bulgaria Lifts Curtain on Stalinist Gulag."

With free elections coming up this weekend, the villainy of Communist oppression is indeed being exposed and vilified. And the air the Bulgarian people are breathing is a bit more free. My uncle in Bulgaria now speaks freely on the phone with my parents. He complains that recently he waited in line for four hours to buy some meat. The shelves in the markets are empty. Such brazen candor a year ago would have been unthinkable, especially from a man who survived the insult and cruelty of a concentration camp after the war.

The Communist rulers who put him there deserve the gallows. And now, Bulgaria's so-called reform Communists are shrewdly distancing themselves from the crimes of their politburo. The country's opposition, on the other hand, is fractured and poorly organized. My family and other Bulgarian immigrants, particularly in Los Angeles and the Washington area, are working hard to provide financial and moral support to the opposition forces.

They believe, as Blaine Harden's article poignantly portrays, that Bulgaria's ruling Communists have left a legacy of countless dead and infinite human suffering. To them, the term "reform Communist" is as ludicrous as "reform Nazi" would be to the victims of those atrocities.

DANIELLE KARSON Bethesda